Book Review | Paper Towns by John Green

“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 colour instead of taste.”


Paper Towns follows Quentin Jacobsen, a seventeen year old loving in Orlando. He’s been in love with his neighbour and childhood friend, Margo Roth Spiegelman, his entire life. A few weeks before graduation Margo appears at Q’s window to see if he’ll join her on revenge filled all-nighter that includes breaking into Sea World. Hopeful that this night will bring them both closer together again he agrees. The next day Q discovers that Margo has disappeared and is certain that she left him clues to find her. Q sets out on a cross-country road trip, with his friends, in the hope of finding the girl he loves.

I picked up a copy of this book after I worked my way through The Fault in Our Stars and it quickly became my favourite of all John’s books. I actually preferred it to any of the other books he has written. I did seem some similarities with this book and Looking For Alaska but overall, in my opinion, this one is the better of the two.

Before I read this book I actually had no idea what a paper town was. Now all I want to do is get in a car and head out on a road trip in search of one. I really liked how the paper town explained Q and Margo’s relationship throughout the whole book – more how Q viewed Margo. At first Q sees Margo as one-dimensional and just the object of his affection but as the story goes on he starts to see Margo for who she really is, but not in the way he had hoped. I read about it here  and it really change my whole outlook on the book.

I loved a lot of things about this book. I love that Radar’s parents had a collection of black Santa’s. I loved the friendship between Ben, Radar and Q and I loved the relationship between Lacey and Ben. I loved that Q thought he knew everything he needed to know about Margo but he didn’t. I loved that he loved her without a single doubt in his head and I loved how much he didn’t want her to be dead. I loved how much joy and happiness he had when he found out where she was. For me this just kind of illustrated how much he did care for her – unlike her parents. I hated Margo’s parents and I hated Margo’s boyfriend for being a douche!

I really liked the ending of this book but I know people who didn’t like the way he choose to end the book. Margo always seemed to be this free spirit who wanted to go on an adventure and travel and I think that’s one of the reason why this ending worked so well. I loved that Margo got to see this fun and care-free side to Q when they went on that night filled with adventures and revenge. She didn’t want Q to go back to the safe zone like he always does. Margo wanted him to continue to have that care-free fun side and let other people see that side of him. I also liked how in the end Q realised that Margo wasn’t some perfect human being without any flaws. She was no longer this perfect person that he had imagined his entire life. In the end he saw Margo for who she really was and I like to think that it brought them closer.

Would I recommend this book? Yes, like any other John Green book I have read I would recommend it to anyone and everyone. John has this style of writing that takes you on a journey with the character, sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse. In this particular case it was for the better. If you haven’t read it you’ll be pleased to know that it’s not as sad as The Fault in Our Stars of Looking For Alaska – bonus! As always if you’ve read the book then let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

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11 thoughts on “Book Review | Paper Towns by John Green

  1. […] I love books about road trips and I also love John Green. Combine both my loves together in one book and you have an ultimate favourite. One of my absolute favourite things about this book is the “Paper Towns” idea behind it. Before I read this book I had no idea what a paper town was and now all I want to do is grab a bunch of my friends and go find one. I love the message behind the book that you think you know everything about a person but truthfully you don’t. The book is filled with adventure, love, laughter, friendship and fun – it’s hard not to love. (You can find my review of Paper Towns here) […]

    • Not as sad as TFiOS which is always a good thing because there is only so much heartache you can go through! I’m excited for you to read it the book is my favourite and if I’m being honest it’s the book that made John Green stand out as an author for me. He has a gift and it shows in this book. Can’t wait for you to read it and ot hear your thoughts 🙂

  2. Yes! I loved this book, I read it about a week ago. I really enjoyed your review, and I completely agree with everything you said. However the ending made me a little sad, since I didn’t expect it to go that way, but John Green kept things real, which I love. I did a book review for this book on my blog recently if you’d like to check it out xoxo

    • I love his writing style – one of my favourite authors if you couldn’t already guess 🙂 Love your review! You’ll really like Looking For Alaska it’s very good just be prepared for similarities between Paper Towns 🙂 Can’t wait to hear you thoughts on this book 🙂

  3. I read this book recently, too and I enjoyed it. Not as much as you did, but I agree with every points you made. It was so good.

      • I think it fit because the whole book was about how Q’s Margo wasn’t the real Margo, which I think we fully got to see in the ending because now Q realizes that Margo isn’t his dream version of her.

      • Yay I’ve found someone else who thinks of the ending like I do. Only one of my friends thinks the same – other people I know who’ve read it felt like the ending was a let down which I can’t wrap my head around.

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