Review – Paper Towns – John Green

To start off, let me give a disclaimer: this is my first book review! I’m excited but nervous to get this part of my blog up and running. For the most part my posts are about life problems or successes and how they relate to books. One thing I have been wanting to venture into was the world of reviewing (thanks to the awesome ladies at OTSPSecretSister who do such a good job getting me interested in it)! So, without further adue-

After having only read two of Green’s books before this one, I was still fairly a newcomer to his style. I read The Fault in Our Stars  a few years ago, and then Looking for Alaska a mere few weeks ago. I had completely different experiences with each, but felt this odd feeling that I was “revisiting” TFiOS while reading LfA. While I was moderately pleased with TFiOS, I absolutely abhorred LfA. I am not a fan of the teen angst, stereotypical plot line that’s common in YA literature now-a-days. LfA was exactly that, and I disliked it. The two things I did like, were Green’s writing style, and the essence of the characters. Now, speaking to the characters, I noticed that they bared resemblance to those in TFiOS. It seems, that this is a running theme with Green and his novels.

Paper Towns was a book I picked up because even though I thought I would hate it, as I hated LfA, I wanted to be knowledgeable about it, that way my arguments and comments against it would be valid. I didn’t want to automatically pin it as the same stereotypical teen angst book that I had found LfA to be and TFiOS to almost be. A few chapters into the book, I felt that vibe and it made me uncomfortable because it was just like reading TFiOS and LfA all over again, except the characters had different names, and they were in a different setting. Yes, the plots are different, but the plot lines are the same. Yes, the characters are different, but they character qualities are the same. Quirky teen boy falls for troubled teen girl, insert humorous friends and an adventure of some sort, all leading to a sad, unfulfilled, ending. This is my main problem with this specific book, and a huge problem I have with all of his books in general. Thankfully, this book had one redeeming quality the others did not-

A Good Mystery

TFiOS had no mystery, and LfA had a rushed, lackluster mystery in the second half. Paper Towns, on the other hand, had a continuous mystery that consumed me. I very much wanted to know where Margo was and at one point was even convinced she had been taken. It was interesting and a great differential from what seems to be Green’s formula for novels. Even though LfA did have that “did she kill herself or not?” mystery at the end, it was less of a mystery to me than a couple of teenagers rambling back and forth playing detective. Q quite literally became a detective of sorts, and was wholly committed to figuring out where Margo was. Even though the whole concept was slightly drawn out, it was interesting to have the time to ponder for yourself what had happened to her. Was she hiding out in Orlando? Had she run away? Did someone kidnap her? Was she dead? Really, it could have been any or multiple of those options. It kept me wondering and using my brain the entire time. It was a nice switch up from the stereotypical plot lines of the previous two.


Interestingly enough, the one thing I loved in all three books was Green’s writing. His words were memorable and interesting and humorous and delightful, and REAL. I absolutely loved almost every piece of dialogue in all three books. Green’s writing is astonishingly perfect. I am just so happy with his style of writing. It is captivating and fresh and I cannot gush about it enough. He is a wonderful author.

I just wish he would write something not about stereotypical teens in a repetitive plot situation.


All in all, I enjoyed this book more than the previous two from Green, and I would give it 4/5 stars.


Here are some reviews from Goodreads that are similar to what I’ve said here:

Emily- “I’m sorry John Green, but all of your books get to be too much of the same…”

Missie- “Likes: Margo Roth Spiegelman was amazing… Q was so stinkin’ cute. I loved his crazy friendships and the way the boys had such a realistic relationship.”

Jamie: “Margo and Quentin are exactly the same people as Colin/Katherine and Miles/Alaska.”

Lahara: “I’ve only just finished Looking for Alaska…and thus it was immediately apparent that this book was EXACTLY LIKE LOOKING FOR ALASKA…and it seemed like they were on the same journey…The thing is, I feel like John Green is a good writer. And I feel he really needs to branch out a bit more.”


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