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Paper Towns

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Paper Towns

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  • Paper Towns
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Customer Reviews

Very thoughtful and entertaining readOf the John Green books I have read, this is my favorite. We have a familiar cast of characters -- the nerdy teenage boy and his brainiac friends and the damaged teenage girl who is may be popular and confident on the outside but is deeply troubled on the inside. We also have a lot of smart dialogue, a mystery, a quest and the anguish and sweetness of young love. But in this book, it somehow comes together, aided by the musings of Walt Whitman, is a way that is not treacly or weepy - but real and grounded.The book is dominated by Margo, a high school queen bee whose brash exterior hides an intellectual and angst-filled interior. The male lead is Quentin, brainy but balanced. The two live next door but are in different social sects in the high school caste system. However Quentin carries a torch for his childhood friend. After an extraordinary night of adventure together a month before graduation, Margo disappears leaving some cryptic clues as to her whereabouts. It is for Quentin to follow the trail -- but to find Margo he first has to understand Margo, not as an ideal or love object or symbol -- but the real person.The climactic scenes of this quest are extraordinarily well done and the final resolution is moving without being shattering. Really enjoyed this one.5Fun YA novel that should be a fun movie later this year(Review copied from https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1155229225)Chose to read this because John Green was posting updates to Twitter from the set of the film adaptation being released later this year. I loved The Fault in Our Stars when I read it over a year ago and enjoyed that film, so I figured I'd get ready for this film too. I didn't want to wait and read the book too close to the film's release, however, because then I'd no doubt be complaining about the changes that are always inevitable in film adaptations.Paper Towns tells the story of two neighbors who are very different, and yet somewhat similar. Quentin Jacobsen and Margo Roth Spiegelman grew up in an Orlando subdivision and shared the traumatic experience of finding a dead body on their playground. The two grow up living just feet apart but separated by the vast divide of high school cliques. Margo Roth Spiegelman (never just "Margo") pretty much runs the school while Q (rarely "Quentin") usually just hangs outside of the band room with his friends Ben and Radar, pining after his neighbor from afar.Everything changes when Margo comes to Q's window late one night and takes him on an adventure of revenge and disappears the next day. Margo up and left for a few days at a time before, but this time feels different. Prom and graduation are only weeks away, and Q worries why Margo would leave just after they started to connect after years of not. Soon, he finds a series of clues she left for him and he goes on another adventure trying to find her. Sadly, the clues let him find a lot more about Margo than he ever imagined.Most of the book is a mystery about not only where Margo went or what happened to her, but also who Margo is. For a girl who seemed to have it all, Q finds a lot about her that she kept hidden from everyone.John Green is very intelligent (seriously, check out his YouTube channel, vlogbrothers, to learn all sorts of little bits of trivia in 4 minutes or less) and he seems to write high school characters really well. Some of the writing seems a little too intelligent for the characters (do high school students really every randomly quote poetry?) but the story is very intriguing. The characters are all well-written, especially Margo Roth Spiegelman who we get to know slowly throughout the book when she's missing. I love the final section in its hour by hour/page by page countdown to its final 25 pages of wrapping everything up. It was a little bittersweet, but that's how I remember high school and any attempt to shoehorn a perfect ending would have felt like a cheat since high school is never perfect. Can't wait to see the movie--a lot of fun scenes that I hope make the cut.4Good initial set up that loses traction.I give this book a 2 1/12 star (rather than a 2) because I liked the writing style, which I found to be entertaining. The story arc? Not so much. I actually thought it was pretty good up to the point where Margo disappears, which is fairly early in the story. But from then on, the story spins it's wheels, while the characters obsess about prom, get drunk, over-think things, and follow clues that go nowhere, until the story finally limps to an unimpressive climax.SPOILER ALERT:Margo is ultimately found. But why she preferred to run away days before completing her HS diploma to live in scary, decaying, boarded-up buildings and write in notebooks didn't really resonate with me. Other than her parents being intolerant asses and not understanding her, in the absence of any terrible psychological, emotional, or physical trauma, I couldn't fully appreciate (as presented) her appeal for this dreary and lonely lifestyle. Although she disappears early in the book, she's a big presence in the book, talked about and obsessed about constantly by Q and the other characters. She's revered as a "legend" and arguably one of the more interesting characters in the book - if not by presence, by reputation. So there's all this mystery and build up around her. The allure of her bigger-than- life persona. Her fearless wild actions. It all sets up a series of questions that begs for dramatic answers. Where did she go and why? Did she run away? Was she dead? Was she off doing wondrous bold things?After a drawn out circle-jerk of clues, that made little sense at all- they finally find her and...pffffft. Her reasons for running aren't particularly interesting or strong - which was a major let down. Equally unsatisfactory: What ultimately happens to Margo from there? After a kind of climactic "wrap it up" talk between Margo and Q, which I guess, is supposed to be deep, about how much Q has grown brave because of her and how no one really knew or saw Margo for who she is, insert metaphors, literary symbolism, and more metaphors, they make pledges to email and stay in touch, etc etc etc - Q and his merry crew leave Margo where they found her - in a small NY town living in a deserted decaying building with no electricity or plumping (she has to go to the nearby truck stop to shower) which is, I guess where she wants to be. [ Apparently, planning to eventually move to NYC or something] She seems pretty depressed to me. What's to become of her? We never know. But I guess Margo's not supposed to be the point, although you kinda wish she was, after all, she's pretty much the main focus of Q's inner dialog ad nauseam throughout the entire book. But it's Q's journey and how his idealization of Margo drives him. I just wish his journey had been more interesting.BTW, the whole Paper Town analogy didn't quite resonate for me either. Something about suburban new development , or....something. To be fair, I was skimming rapidly by this time, having tired of the clues to no where, so maybe I missed it.2Overall okay book and easy read / good storyThe dialogue was a bit cheesy and didn't seem realistic. Granted it's been a minute since I was a teenager myself, it just felt inauthentic and forced at times. Also, I cringe when people use the word "retarded" and felt it was used unnecessarily several times throughout the book. Whether or not teenagers might still use that word, it was totally unnecessary for multiple characters to use, including the narrator. It's an offensive word and gives people the wrong idea that it is okay to use, given that a lot of young impressionable people read these books. Could have easily exchanged for a different word used by teenagers with the meaning author intended.Liked "Turtles All the Way Down" a lot better.3Good but not Great!So I downloaded this book because the advertisement for it popped up on my Kindle; which then reminded me that I had recently seen a movie trailer for it. I realized once I started reading the Editorial Reviews that it was written by the same author of the The Fault in Our Stars. I honestly would never have put it together it was the same author until I read that... So that being said I decided to download it. Ok... fast forward to about 15 minutes into the book and I realized what my problem was going to be with the book (same problem I had with The Fault in Our Stars), I do not know of any teenagers who talk the way that John Green writes his teenagers. I understand that they are all of above average intellect but their vocabulary and speech patterns just do not flow right. If the character of Ben said the phrase, "honey bunnies" one more time I thought I was going to pull my hair out. But thankfully once he got a girlfriend that phrase miraculously dropped out of his vernacular. The lists that Q. keeps making and reiterating in his mind that he never discusses with anyone became really annoying too. They stopped for a while and then came back, they served almost no point. I get that Quentin was a very methodical person and that was part of his thought process but his lists were fairly repetitive and did not aid in the understanding of the scenario. I know it sounds like I did not like this book at all however, I did really enjoy it. I made it through some of the longer winded parts, and some of the annoying parts and came out at the end. The ending was not what I expected and I was glad. There was definitly a conclusion (although some may say this is not the case), and I thank John Green for that. I do not think it was the kind of ending that ties up every loose end but these kids were all graduating from HS so the ending was really a starting point for all of them. And that is what made it a good ending.3Plain old boring.....This book was disappointing in many ways. First, I admit I became a huge John Green fan based on reading The Fault In Our Stars, I loved the writing, characters and the plot idea, as well as the actual book. After that I wnt on to read Looking for Alaska, which I found interesting,but much less gripping or entertaining.Finally Paper Towns....the writing, as in all his books is impeccable, smart, witty and very entertaining. Even with mundane dialogues he is capable of transmitting emotions and make it fun. That being said, this book is just plain boring. Aside from the beginning (first part) and "road trip" this book is very monotonous, wit h same types of dialogues among the characters as well as going back and forth in the exact same locations. Nothing really happens in this entire book! And I found myself reading through it just to get to the end and see if in fact ANYTHING would happen. It in fact, does not. So you could actually skip like the 20 chapters in the middle and nothing changes your understanding of the book. I totally get why this is being made into a film, it's soooo easy to just wipe entire chapters and not change a thing in the outcome! Don't know if I'll go see it, though.For me it was just too boring to recommend, I'm beginning to think that this is the real John Green style, while The Fault in our Stars was just a fluke.2"Basically this is going to be the best night of your life.""Basically this is going to be the best night of your life."That was a promise made from Margo Roth Spiegelman to Quentin during their senior year of high school. Margo convinced her neighbor, Quentin, to help her accomplish eleven things on her list on this particular night."We bring the effin-ing rain down on our enemies."The eleven things they set out to do revolved around getting revenge on those who had wronged Margo. After reading some of the things that took place that evening I know I don't want someone like Margo taking revenge on me. *lol*PAPER TOWNSI'm sure my mom has mentioned this term to me since she use to work in mapping for the government but I don't remember it. Who listens to their parents anyways? Not my kids that's for sure. But now I feel like I have some new knowledge about what paper towns are and I'm curious to check a map for them.Overall Paper Towns held my interest in listening to it. Had I read it I might have started to skim some of the stuff. Since, I recently read Finding Alaska I found this book to have a similar feel: high schoolers, a boy infatuated with an unattainable girl, searching for answers to where the girl went, a group of corky friends. I've only read 3 books by Mr. Green and maybe this is his signature style.Now, that I've read it I can see the movie. I like to read the book first and then watch a movie so I can imagine the story how I want to without the movie putting the pictures in my mind. Here's hoping the movie is good. I love the actress casted to play Margo.4Paper TownsPaper Towns by John Green tells the story of Quentin, otherwise known as Q. Q and his next door neighbor Margo used to be best friends and, as they ve grown up and become high school seniors, they have turned into acquaintances. One night, Margo talks Q into helping her seek revenge on her ex-boyfriend and ex-best friend, who happen to be sneaking around behind her back to have sex together. After their fun and rowdy late night, Q is anxious to see if Margo acts differently towards him at school. When she s not at school or even at home for a couple of days, everyone assumes Margo is on just another one of her adventures. As Q tries to figure out and follow the clues, he begins to worry that he might find Margo dead. The ongoing suspense along with the wonderfully executed humor have made this one of my favorite books from beginning to end. Dynamic, complex, real characters bring depth, realism and humor into this adventure of a story-5 Stars!5Different For EveryoneWell-defined characters are hard enough to do. Well-defined characters who will come across differently to everyone are much harder to write. Yet it is this kind of character that John Green nails in his YA mystery novel, Paper Towns.To be clear, I am not a John Green groupie. While I enjoy his Youtube channel and went to go see The Fault in Our Stars shortly after reading it, I do not enjoy everything John Green writes. To be completely honest, The Fault in Our Stars and Paper Towns were the only things he has written that I actually like. So when I say Paper Towns is a truly unique book, I m not just saying that because John Green wrote it.The book follows Q, a nerdy highschool senior who dreams of even talking to his next-door neighbor, Margo Roth Spiegelman, his wild-child opposite who he has been crushing on since he was a kid. After a crazy night where she ropes him into a crazy revenge scheme, she disappears, leaving clues for Quentin to find.First off, Green makes it clear that this is no love story. Thank goodness. This is a story about two people, one of which has a major attraction to the other. This is a story whose theme is that sometimes, we build other people up into things they aren t, and that we shouldn;t get disappointed when they don t live up to the standards we made for them in our head.While Q was well-written and layered as a character, Margo was the character that the book was centered on, and will come off differently to different people. Some people may empathize with her need to get away. Others might understand what it is like to feel like you have the whole world figured out. Personally, I hated her. She was interesting, but I hated her. Why? Because she reminds me of actual people that I have met..and heavily disliked. She left clues, yet got mad when people dared follow her. She had this idea in her head that everywhere outside of the Orlando suburbs would be a magical places where no one had ideas of being normal and settling down with, and this is the kicker here, a job and a family. How dare they. Horrible, paper people. All of them normies.Margo seemed to think that anyone who colored within the lines was pretty much a horrible person. That s what bugged me. She let people in, letting them think she was friends with them, while secretly despising them because she believed that they were forcing her to make false personalities for each person. The fact I m getting so angry writing about it proves how good this book is. I don t identify at all with Margo, yet something about the way she is written strikes an angry chord in me because I have known, and been hurt by people like her. Even if you don t relate to the characters in this book, you still get something out of it, and that quality is what makes a good book a great book.The rest of the book focused on the development of Q, the mystery of where Margo vanished to, and the roadtrip. The weakness of the book was the mystery location of Margo-Green seemed to be more interested in his characters and where they were going-and it shows. I m not sure if this was intentional or not, but Margo s location was the least interesting part of the book for me. I just didn t care.On the other side, the roadtrip was fantastic. It was one of the most fun things I have ever read in a realistic fiction book. It was fun, sped up the momentum of the storyline, yet still carried the themes that had been apparent throughout the book. To be concise, the tonal shift from Q moping about Margo and the amigos going on a roadtrip wasn t jarring, but uplifting. It felt natural. The confederate flag/black santa gag genuinely made me laugh, as did the bit with Ben insisting that he didn t care about anyone else, just himself as he saved everyone from the cow fence..thing. Wreck. Whatever. Point is, it was great.Overall, Paper Towns is a well-written coming of age novel. Tightly written with natural dialogue and peppered with nerdy antics that I can personally assure you actual nerds talk about, Paper Town s main mystery isn t Margo s location, but ended up being the mystery of the real people behind the perceptions that we give each other.5Very disappointing!I decided to read Paper Towns after enjoying The Fault in Our Stars. I was curious even though I am far removed from the YA category this novel falls into. Perhaps that is why Paper Towns never caught my interest. Quentin is a high school senior who has been fascinated by his neighbor Margo from age 9. She disappears! Her parents don't seem to care and neither do any of her friends, all of whom she has mistreated, including Quentin. Quentin searches for her without regard for his own comfort, sleep, senior prom, parties with friends and finally misses his graduation for the search. I won't ruin the plot but Margo is a cruel, self absorbed bore and I hope this fictional boy will get over her quickly and move on. I did.3
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