3 stars, Reviews
Comments 6

Book Review: Paper Towns by John Green

So, as I’m sure you all know, the movie for this book will soon be upon us. So I decided I should probably get a move on and read this book that I’ve had on my Kobo forever.

What’s it about? After being friends as children, the sensible ‘boring’ Quentin and the wild ‘not boring’ Margo drift apart, and Quentin can therefore only admire her from afar. Until one night, Margo climbs in his window and takes him on a nighttime adventure of revenge and various youthful misdemeanors. But then the next morning, Margo is nowhere to be found and it seems she has left a list of clues for Quentin to decipher if he wants to track her down.

“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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What did I think? It was alright. The book is composed of three parts. I thoroughly enjoyed part one and quite enjoyed part three, but part two seemed to just drag and drag. I didn’t have much love for either Quentin or Margo, and the only thing that kept me going through this middle section was my undying love for Quentin’s nerdy friend, Radar. Probably the most problematic part of this novel for me was Quentin’s best friend, Ben, who is The Worst. He’s so sexist, referring to all females as ‘honeybunnies’ and constantly making jokes about wanting to bang Quentin’s mum. I really just wanted to punch him.

“That’s always seemed so ridiculous to me, that people want to be around someone because they’re pretty. It’s like picking your breakfast cereals based on color instead of taste.”

A major theme running through this book was obsession. Almost everyone in the book is obsessed with something. And it was strange how much I found some peoples’ obsessions endearing and others completely infuriating. I think John Green writes teenagers incredibly well. I think he is able to perfectly capture both the way teenagers see themselves, as well as what adults see when they look back on themselves. All those little details and flaws that teens never see in themselves at the time, but are blindingly obvious once they take that doomed step into adulthood and look back on that part of your life that is now gone.

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“Isn’t it also that on some fundamental level we find it difficult to understand that other people are human beings in the same way that we are? We idealize them as gods or dismiss them as animals.”

This book wasn’t perfect, and it was no The Fault in Our Stars, that’s for sure, but it was enjoyable for the most part. John Green is an incredibly entertaining writer and I often found myself laughing out loud. I’m not a huge fan of contemporaries, so this isn’t really my genre, but I think people who this kind of book appeals to would probably quite enjoy it.

I rate it 3/5 stars.

Find it here: Goodreads. The Book Depository. Amazon. Kobo.


  1. I’ve never read any of John Green’s book before but have this on my to read list if only cos the movie is coming out. It sounds like he does capture being a teenager very well though, I think teenagers to become really obsessed with a lot of stuff they feel defines them I guess it’s part of trying to build your identity at that age.


  2. I completely agree with your review – it’s certainly an interesting book to read and the ending was certainly a surprise, but I wouldn’t call contemporary my genre. I read a lot of fantasy books, so any story that doesn’t contain either a dragon or a person with luminously coloured hair sometimes feels kind of…lacking. I’m glad that I read Paper Towns, though, because it’s one of those books that everyone talks about and I like to know what’s going on! I really enjoyed reading this review: as well as being very honest about the book, your photography skills are always amazing!


      • It’s good to know that I’m not the only person who thinks every story can be improved with the addition of an animal (or person) that can breathe fire! And no problem, I really enjoy reading your reviews 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: July Wrap Up + Book Haul Part Two. | Read the Bloody Book

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