20 Jan 2015

book review: paper towns by john green

John Green is an author that made me cry with The Fault In Our Stars and as a result, it took me some time before I could read another novel of his (in a good way)! I chose Paper Towns to read next as back in 2013, I read quite a number of sparkling reviews for it.

Image credit: John Green Books
Paper Towns is a story about a boy called Quentin and the girl next door, Margo, who was his best friend when they were growing up. The story is told from Quentin's point of view and is essentially about Quentin trying to track down Margo after she goes missing. Conveniently, she leaves behind some clues for him to decipher.

 The official blurb, as taken from Amazon.co.uk, says this:

"Quentin Jacobsen has always loved Margo Roth Spiegelman, for Margo (and her adventures) are the stuff of legend at their high school. So when she one day climbs through his window and summons him on an all-night road trip of revenge he cannot help but follow. 

 But the next day Margo doesn't come to school and a week later she is still missing. Q soon learns that there are clues in her disappearance . . . and they are for him. But as he gets deeper into the mystery - culminating in another awesome road trip across America - he becomes less sure of who and what he is looking for."

Reading this book wasn't as emotionally investing as The Fault In Our Stars and in my opinion, it wasn't as enthralling a read either. At no point did I feel like I was eager to know what was going to happen next - I felt like I was reading it for the sake of finishing a book.

My interpretation of the main message is that 'who can be sure who someone else is?' because everyone's interpretation of Margo in the book is different and no one can agree on where she could be or why she disappeared in the first place. And can how we see someone else be a reflection on ourselves and our ideals? Obviously, yes, but the book kind of explores that.

However, you might interpret the book differently and I think that is why the book has had such positive reviews - it is a mainstream book with an individual appeal. Overall, I give this book a 5/10 as, in all honesty, I found it a bit lame and the way it was written just didn't appeal to me - though that could be an age thing rather than a book thing.

Have you read Paper Towns and if so, how did you find it? Am I being too harsh (possibly!)?


  1. I didn't realise, but the guy who wrote these also is in a YouTube series called Crash Course World History. You should definitely check it out :)

  2. I really liked a lot of aspects about this novel. I enjoyed how Green explores the different interpretations of a person through each person's idea of them. I also think Green does a really good job in exploring the grief of a potential suicide victim and the questions surrounding those suicides, do we ever really know what that person is thinking is such a vital question around this type of potential mental illness that Green hints at that is such an issue for today's society.

    I think Green does a great job in portraying how young adults rely on their friends for support through these times, while also showing adults how you sometimes just need to let young adults work things out on their own to be okay with things instead of trying to hover.

    I completely agree with the writing, once in a while it because really frustrating, but I still devoured this novel when I read it last year!

    1. Love your comment - I do agree in that the plot and overall story was good but the writing could have been better. John Green is a great writer and I've not been put off so will be exploring his other works later this year (as I work my way, slowly, down my 'to be read' list hehe) x

  3. I haven't read this one yet, but my sister thought it was okay. She has the box set of John Green books and ranked them in this order: The Fault In Our Stars, Looking For Alaska, Paper Towns and An Abundance of Katherines.

    I can see where you are coming from and I think my sister enjoyed certain aspects. I am still curious to see if I will like it, so I'll probably read it sometime anyway.

    1. That's interesting - I'm yet to read Looking for Alaska and An Abundance of Katherines but they are on my 'to be read' list. It may have been a mistake to read The Fault In Our Stars first because it's a pretty good read and will be hard to top!

      Let me know what you think of Paper Towns! x