Book Review: Paper Towns


Just a warning for those reading….

If you are super picky about not wanting to expect anything about the ending, you might want to skim the last couple of paragraphs. I’m not going to say anything that I wouldn’t say to a friend if they asked if I liked the book, but you can’t say I didn’t warn you. (:

I have a problem when I read…I can never remember the names of the characters.  It’s actually kind of embarrassing, if I’m trying to recommend a book to a friend.

“It’s called Counting by 7’s…and it’s about this girl who’s a super genius. And kind of socially awkward, and then her adopted parents die and so she makes a friend and goes and lives with her. And she – no not the friend, the genius girl whatshername – also has this psychologist guy who is supposed to teach her how to fit in better but he’s really really bad at his job.  Nononono I promise it’s better than I’m making it sound!” *face turns slightly red*.

Well, I did not have this problem with Paper Towns.  The characters are so quirky that even their names are stuck in my head: Q or Quentin and Margo Roth Spiegelman. And I didn’t even have to peek at the book description to remember that!  Q is the kind of kid in high school that never did anything really to stick out.  Opposites must really do attract though, because he has a hopeless crush on the elusive Margo, a childhood friend now famous for her adventurous antics.  Running away from home four times is only the beginning of her career. So when Margo climbed through Q’s bedroom window out of the blue and asks him to help her get revenge, of course he says yes. And so the adventures begin.

On the plus side of this book, the themes in it were amazing.  Idolizing your crush into a perfect someone she isn’t.  What constitutes a “fake” town or “fake” people? John Green incorporated some unique themes in a way that wasn’t preachy at all.  Maybe it’s just me that gets excited over weird themes like that because I’m a nerd, but oh well. It was an aspect I enjoyed. Also the style of the book was very readable and the story was pretty funny (this was another one of those one-sitting car trip reads…and people ask why I bring six or seven books whenever I go on vacation…). However, there was so. much. language. In most cases, I don’t mind cursing in a book, and doesn’t really affect my overall opinion of it. But I don’t appreciate it when there is so much that it becomes a distraction (like reading faster than normal so I can turn the page in case little siblings are trying to look over the backseat to see what I’m reading. yikes), or when a stupid crude joke turns into a really big deal in the story.  The other thing that stopped me from enjoying Paper Towns more was the ending. There wasn’t any sort of resolution to the story, and honestly the last scene tried overly hard to be a metaphor, but what happened in it felt so stupid after the grandiose journey. And a certain character turned out to be just like you feared even though you were sort of holding out for him/her.  Such an urghhh moment.

Is it just me, or is this book sorrrrrt of like Ferris Beuller’s Day Off?  Both are about teenagers who do a lot of crazy stuff because that’s evidently that’s the real way to enjoy life. Both Ferris and Paper Towns have a leader who specializes in adventures, and the two friends who follow them around. And both were extremely entertaining to read/watch at the start, but at the end of the day, I don’t think I’ll ever read/watch it again.  Unless I’m desperate for some mindless entertainment.

Recommended to: people who like quirky-to-a-fault characters, metaphors galore, and beach reads.

So, if you’ve read Paper Towns do you hate me now? (: What did you like about it so much, or do you agree with me?  And how’s the movie by the way?

have a good Sunday!



Filed under books

3 responses to “Book Review: Paper Towns

  1. Olivia Emily

    My problem with John Green is the fact that makes his characters speak as eloquently as he does in his late 30s. Teens don’t speak like this! Despite this, though, I do like a lot of his storylines, and the ideas he deals with. Personally, I found the movie to be pretty weak. There were so many unnecessary awkward moments! *cringes* And they totally changed the ending – not good!


  2. Pingback: Ode to the Books To-Be-Read | Periwinkle Lane

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