Review: Paper Towns by John Green

Challenge CriteriaA book you previously abandoned.


Quentin has always loved Margo Roth Spiegelman, for Margo (and her adventures) are the stuff of legend at their high school. So when she one day climbs through his window and summons him on an all-night road trip of revenge he cannot help but follow.

But the next day Margo doesn’t come to school and a week later she is still missing. Q soon learns that there are clues in her disappearance . . . and they are for him. But as he gets deeper into the mystery – culminating in another awesome road trip across America – he becomes less sure of who and what he is looking for.

Masterfully written by John Green, this is a thoughtful, insightful and hilarious coming-of-age story.

Image via Goodreads

What I liked: 

It’s full of suspense – where has Margo actually gone? Is there an alliance we didn’t know about? It’s enough to keep the reader guessing and turning right up to the last word.

It also covers a lot of rituals you usually find in YA fiction, and in life as a youngster anyway – going to their prom (and that being The Most Important Thing in the World), underage drinking, and first love. It touches on all of these really well.

What I didn’t like: 

I really didn’t like Margo, or her parents. The disrespect she showed them, and their willingness to wipe their hands clean of her, was a little nerving.

In fact, there were a lot of unlikeable characters in this novel. Ben really grated on me. Quentin himself annoyed me – who would have their friends skip something so important with them to find something that may not even be there?

I felt as well that Margo’s depiction of her hometown as small town with small minded people was a bit over done, so by the time I came to reading it I was a bit over the idea.

Out of five?: 

Three. I’ve previously given up on this book, and I was determined that this time I had no excuses. But I just couldn’t get into it no matter how hard I tried. The unlikeable characters just didn’t do enough to swing it in my favour, and I felt it was a drop from the other John Green book I’ve read, The Fault in Our Stars.


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