Paper Towns by John Green: (Mostly) Spoiler Free Book Review


Paper Towns by John Green

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Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs 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 the girl he thought he knew… (taken from

I really enjoyed the concept of this book and the pacing. As always, I found John Green’s main characters really interesting, dynamic and quirky. The pacing of the book was excellent, it kept me interested and compelled but didn’t leave me without a sense of understanding for the scene, the characters and the smaller events. The philosophical meaning that I took from this book was also very meaningful and important. This book was also incredibly funny at times.

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

Omnictionary was a little bit confusing of a concept and wasn’t explained clearly enough for my own personal tastes- an online dictionary perhaps, but also a form of social media within the community? Also, was Radar the founder/owner? If he wasn’t then how could he track people’s IP adresses or searches? These are all questions that I felt should have been answered during the course of the story and weren’t. I found some of the characters and situations a bit too cliche, and I found Margo’s ‘popular but not herself’ type of character a little bit redundant, although it did give a nice opening into the deeper philosophical meaning that can be found in this book. I also found that it bared too many similarities to Looking for Alaska, which I enjoyed much more (different situations but still- boy(s) obsessed over a girl, over finding her, over understanding clues.

“When did we see each other face-to-face? Not until you saw into my cracks and I saw into yours. Before that, we were just looking at ideas of each other, like looking at your window shade but never seeing inside. But once the vessel cracks, the light can get in. The light can get out.”

Overall, whilst I did enjoy the book and found it a fun read, it is not my favourite John Green book by far and wasn’t the best written book ever, either.

“Margo always loved mysteries. And in everything that came afterward, I could never stop thinking that maybe she loved mysteries so much that she became one.”

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