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Saturday, 5 January 2013

Book review: Paper Towns by John Green

Summary: Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs back into his life - dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge - he follows.

After their all-nighter ends and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Q soon learns that there are clues - and they're for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer Q gets, the less Q sees the girl he thought he knew.

Paper TownsReview: Apart from Michael Grant's 'Gone' series, I haven't read many books told from a guy's
point of view. It's a wierd experience for me, being a girl and all, with differences in
speech, topics of discussion and friendship groups. Wierder still is the protagonist
(Quentin) and his fascination with the popular girl Margo who he was friends with as a
child. This girl, who the very idea of is made up from stories he's heard or things made
up inside his head.

For me, the main difference with a male narrator is that he and his friends talk a lot
dirtier, and have less meaningful discussions. Even in the 'Gone' series the male
narrator is often thinking about a girl or his woeful troubles as leader.

But despite the male protagonist, I ate this book up. I can't say I enjoyed it as much
as experienced it, and couldn't wait to finish it (and not in a bad way). The plot is so
inventive, and although I don't believe that people like Margo Roth Spiegelman exist,
she was an intriguing character to decipher. Her whole image is based on "oh did you
hear that Margo..." but you never actually saw any real truth behind her until she had

The ending is perfect - not too soppy and gooey, walking hand-in-hand towards the
sunset, but not too stark and cold like everyone being shot then finito, the end. And by
the grand finale you are able to meet the real Margo Roth Spielgelman and find out the

So to conclude, this book was good, but in a different way to most that I read. It didn't
hold much appeal, and I didn't like or feel emotionally attached to any of the characters
(although there were a few cringey moments when I thought "Oh Q, don't do that"). By
the end it had a good road-trip vibe and then retreats back to a deep, angsty poetry-
esque feel, but overall the writing style makes you want to read on long after the book
has ended, so much so that you'll read the 'author's note'.

So 4 stars!

You would like: 'Gone' by Michael Grant and 'The Perks of Being a Wallflower' by Stephen Chbosky


  1. John Green is a great writer and I love so many of his books but in this book Margo just pissed me off way too much. I felt like the ending was built up way to much and you were left with nothing.

  2. I quite enjoyed this, but I wouldn't say it was the best John Green I've read. I liked the plot, but Margo was so irritating and attention seeking!


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