Monday, January 10, 2011

Awesome Book Reviews: PAPER TOWNS by John Green

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 he gets, the less Q sees of the girl he thought he knew.

Printz medalist John Green returns with the brilliant wit and searing emotional honesty that have inspired a new generation of listeners.

Review: My first John Green experience was LOOKING FOR ALASKA. It blew me away, to say the least. So when I picked up PAPER TOWNS, I figured I was in for another mind-blowing experience. I was right.

From page one, readers have no choice but to fall in love with Quentin. He's one of those smart outcast-types with few (hilarious) friends. He's also in love with the girl next door (literally). Margo is a force to be reckoned with--she tells it like it is, and isn't afraid of not being liked. Quentin's not only fascinated by her, but he's constantly hoping the feeling is mutual. That hope gets a little crushed when she disappears one fine day. She does that every once in a while. Maybe to force her parents into paying attention. Maybe because she's bored. As a reader, you're never 100% sure. But she always leaves clues to where others can find her. And this time, her clues are for Quentin.

What I loved most about this book can be boiled down into two categories: 1) what is; and 2) what isn't. Quentin's quest (say that ten times fast...) to find the girl of his dreams makes you worry. About him. About her. About life. 'What is' refers to how Quentin sees Margo and the world around him. 'What isn't' is everything else--the truth. By making Quentin connect the dots of Margo's whereabouts, John Green's connecting the dots that make us all human. He's bringing the 'what is' and the 'what isn't' together. Isn't that what growing up is all about?

My verdict? Read PAPER TOWNS. Twice a week. A bazillion times a year. John Green is a genius. I will someday make a T-shirt that says so. 

Tell me: have you read a John Green book? If so, which one?  


  1. I"ve read Paper Towns, An abundance of Katherines, Will Grayson Will Grayson and the first half of Looking for Alaska (I flipped to the end and read the Questions for Readers Groups and spoiled the entire book for myself-- Reader Fail)

    He is a genius-- watch his videos on you tube and you'll love him even more.

  2. Awesome review! I started to read An Abundance of Katherines and was really wowed, but my library called it back in the midst of life's craziness. Just that small sample of John Green's writing has given me plenty to admire, though. I'm sure I'll learn much from him when I finally pick up Looking for Alaska, for which I've heard endless praise on writing blogs everywhere. This review is just one more reason for me to push that up my priority list.

  3. Great review. I loved Looking for Alaska. Paper Towns in one of the books in the to-read stack by my bed. Now it will move to the top. :)

  4. I've read Paper Towns and Looking for Alaska (and a short story he's written). Much preferred Looking for Alaska but everything he writes is gold!

    Love your blog BTW and I have a blog award for you:

  5. Great review. I so want to read PAPER TOWNS. I've got Looking For Alaska to read first. :)

  6. Paper Towns is the kind of book that is so good it made me want to give up writing, because I knew I could never reach that level of perfection.

  7. Erinn--Reader fail indeed!! But hey, at least you beat me to Will Grayson. Cannot wait to read that one. And yes, his videos are hilarious and epic. :)

    Katrina--Library fail!! Go back and get it ASAP!!

    LS--Thanks! Paper Towns is definitely the kind of book that needs to be moved to the top :)

    WritersBlock--THANKS for the award! You are too kind!

    Lindsay--Yep. I don't think the order matters much. They're both great. As long as you read one of them, you're gold.

    Elizabeth--I. Know. Same thing happens to me all the time. After I'm done with his books, I go, "MAN, I suck at life..." Guess we just have to try to apply his awesomeness to our own manuscripts, right? ;)

  8. Coming across this a little late, but I just picked up Paper Towns at the bookstore yesterday, and I hadn't even read this post yet! Can't wait to read it!


Add your awesome here: