Review: Paper Towns by John Green

“It is so hard to leave—until you leave. And then it is the easiest goddamned thing in the world.”

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


I am proud to announce that this is the first book by John Green I decided to read and unfortunately might be the last. Although it was entertaining and I liked the fact that it was somewhat original when compared to other YA books I’ve read, the style of the author was not for me. It may be because the dialogue seemed to swing between childish to mature then back to childish.

I was intrigued by the beginning of the story, with young Quentin and Margo discovering the victim of a crime in a park, then in present days when they reconnect after many years and going on … well doing pranks on Margo’s former friends. Then Margo disappeared and another kind of story took off. I am a big fan of mysteries, but this time just didn’t work. The entire search for Margo was boring and in the end, it seemed pointless. I do understand the reason for this search, it was a way for Quentin to discover himself, but it seemed that this was the only purpose for Margo’s existence.

The problem is that I couldn’t like any of the main characters, but I enjoyed some of the supporting ones. I mean I enjoyed Quentin’s geeky attitude in the beginning, however things changed when he started obsessing over Margo’s disappearance. It’s not the quest itself that annoyed me, but the fact that in his search there was no one else for him. He did not care about his friends or his family and had only one goal. Again, I understand that this book is all about Quentin discovering himself, but that doesn’t mean that he needed to ditch his entire life, to go after Margo. I am sorry, but he seemed obsessive and ungrateful towards his friends when they finally said no.

Then there was Margo, who left a bunch of clues behind her, as if she asked to be found, but in fact she didn’t want to. Here is the thing, all her friends were worried, her little sister was worried, but…SPOILER ALLERT she was just pissed off because her friends tracked her down and eventually found her. SPOILER ENDED.

Maybe I would have cared more about her if she actually had a motivation when she decided to run away from home, not for the first time. I might be wrong, but what I understand is that she was sick and tired of her home town so she took off…repeatedly.

“I didn’t need you, you idiot. I picked you. And then you picked me back.”

The only characters I liked were Quentin’s friends. Yes, they were not properly developed, but in the rare occasions they showed up, I liked them. They were good, loyal friends, who even accepted to ditch graduation and tag along Quentin in satisfying his obsession.

The Ending
Well, it was disappointing. I heard many things about John Green’s novels and I honestly would have expected something more dramatic. That would have had more sense, that I would have loved. Instead, we get an unlikable character, being more unlikable.


Simina S said…
This is an interesting book. I don't know if I will read it, but anyway I like your review. :)

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