Paper Towns by John Green

Title: Paper Towns
Author: John Green
Genre: YA Contemporary
Length: 303 pages
Published: October 2008
Series: Stand-alone novel
So, you know how I started reading this book ages ago and then abandoned it? And you know how I did the same thing to Looking For Alaska, then ended up loving it and reading it within a few hours? Well, a similar scenario happened with Paper Towns. I just get sucked in by John Green's writing, all the time.

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...
The thing that I love about John Green books are the characters. Arguably, they could be compared to the characters in Looking For Alaska, mostly due to the fact that our main character Q is a nerdy, shy boy who is in love with a wild, free spirit (Margo). But I actually really liked Q (I couldn't say the same about Pudge.) He just seemed like a nice, cool guy, and his character development in this story was amazing. He really does almost end up a different person... or at least, a different version of himself. I did get frustrated with him at times, but all was forgiven at the end. His best friends, Ben and Radar, were also diverse characters, although I couldn't stand Ben at all. Radar was a great character, and I feel he was a way better friend to Q than Ben was. John Green's talent for building realistic, relatable, 3D characters really showed with these two, as although they weren't the main characters, I knew who they were and they had character traits and quirks that meant I could identify them better. And then, we have Margo. I really, really didn't like her. She seemed very petty and selfish, and I was angry with her for what she put Q through during this story. I appreciate her reasons, and I admire her for them, but I honestly found myself disliking her a lot. She's a really interesting, complex character, though, and this still shows even though she's not physically present for a lot of this book.
So, onto the writing. Of course it was beautiful - this is a John Green novel, I think that's a given. The story itself is almost quite whimsical (mostly due to Margo and her schemes) and yet it's still very realistic. There was another inclusion of pranks that, again, reminded me of Looking For Alaska, and I, again, found them quite childish. But there are these little lines here and there amongst all of the other stuff that just stand out for me, and are so lovely.
What truly made me love this book was the meaning I took from it. For some reason, I find that most of John Green's books are about something more than what they're about. Know what I mean? For me, this book was about how we view other people, and how much we really know about them, and how much pressure we put on them to act the way we want them to. There are a few scenes where Q's parents and also Radar say a few things that I kind of learned from. Q's realisation and thoughts of how many 'different' Margos there could actually be was quite eye-opening, as I think it can be applied to anyone.
Overall, I really liked this book. The one thing that annoyed me was it's length - I honestly feel it could have been cut down by at least a quarter, or maybe even a third. Just because of Q's trial and error, and the way the mystery was almost dragged out made it slightly boring for me. I'm not sure this will annoy other people, but for me personally, I like mysteries to be wrapped up sooner rather than later (I'm super impatient.) I'm also very interested to see how it's going to play out on screen, with Cara Delevingne playing Margo. Hmm...
I'm giving this book 3/5 stars.

If you liked Paper Towns, I'd recommend Looking For Alaska by John Green or The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.


  1. Amazing review! SO ACCURATE. I also thought that the whole intriguing and fascinating idea of Margo was kind of what made the book for me, but it all still seemed pretty realistic. But I did kind of expect a slightly better ending! Beautiful post. Thumbs up! <3

    1. Thank you! Margo was a really fascinating character, and she definitely intrigued me whilst at the same time annoying me haha! x

  2. Great review! This is my favourite of John Green's novels that I have read, although I agree that it could have been cut down!
    Bethan Likes

    1. Thank you! I don't think I like this as much as Looking For Alaska, but I did really like it! x

  3. Hmm. I might have to look into reading this one. I wasn't the biggest fan of TFiOS, but I know Looking for Alaska is supposedly very good, as well as this one. I'm always loving to find more to read!

    1. I'd really recommend this one, even if you didn't like TFiOS. I think a lot of people prefer this to it. Looking For Alaska is still my fave though! x

  4. Hey there, Lauren! Just stopping by and letting you know that I just nominated you for the One Lovely Blog award! <3 Congratulations, and this is because I think you totally deserve it.

    See your nomination on this link:


  5. This is my favourite John Green book so I'm really glad that you enjoyed it!
    Love Hayley,
    Water Painted Dreams

  6. great to read your thoughts on it, i love this book but not as much as 'looking for alaska'! very much looking forward to cara delevingne's portrayal x

    // The Dress Diaries

    1. Thank you! I'm really intrigued as to how Cara is going to do! x


Thank you for commenting! Please feel free to leave your links - I'm always on the look out for new blogs to read xo