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Review: Paper Towns by John Green

in a sentence or so: Quentin's got one month until he graduates from high school...which is just enough time for his gorgeous and enigmatic next door neighbor to take him on a night of crazy pranks, disappear, and leave the slightest hint of a trace on how she can be found - should he so desire. he does.

Margo Roth Spiegelman has been Quentin's next door neighbor and childhood friend for as long as he can remember. this does not mean, however, they are currently friends. mainly because Margo is the Queen Bee of high school while Q is friends with the band geeks. that's right - he's not a band geek...he is friends with the band geeks and spends his after school time waiting for them by the band door. now, this isn't to say that Q isn't totally fabulous in his own way because he TOTALLY is. but he's awesome in that gangly, awkward, gaming, potty-humor 18 year old boy way. Margo is awesome in a way that's hard to put your finger on, but you just KNOW she's smarter than you, funnier than you, thinking deeper thoughts than you, and is downright more attractive than you.

so, imagine Q's surprise when Margo pops up at his window in the middle of the night, for the first time in a good 8 years, for a night of pranks. on a school night! gasp! obviously, Q is hesitant...he does have perfect attendance after all...but you don't just ignore Margo Roth Spiegelman. not because she twists your arm or guilts you or anything, but because she's just the type of person you WANT to be around and WANT to hear and WANT to laugh with and bask in the glory of. so he goes. he pranks and he plots and he breaks and he enters. Q has the time of his life and can't wait to see what the future holds for him and Margo. but the next day, Margo's car is gone. she's left without a trace...or so they think. Q starts to notice some signs that Margo might have left for him and Q can't help but get drawn in to the mystery of finding her. he realizes soon that there are parts of Margo he never knew and for Q to find Margo means to really and truly discover the gorgeous, mysterious, and secretive girl next door.

alright, i'll just throw this out there straight up. i am a HUGE John Green fan. i adored Looking For Alaska and An Abundance of Katherines. this is mainly because John creates a nerdariffic and hilarious cast of characters that i cannot get enough of AND creates a intellectually kickass plot of mystery and self discovery AND infuses humor that is exactly my style. this love definitely continues with Q and his pals, Radar and Ben. there is such authenticity with their interactions and banter that reminds me of my high school days and makes the characters feel absolutely tangible to me.

one of the things i loved about Paper Towns was following the clues to discover Margo. it soon becomes a group effort and we learn more about who she is through those who knew her. the core of Q's path to discover Margo is through a highlighted copy of the Walt Whitman collective poems "Leaves of Grass" which, admittedly, is already quite gorgeous in itself.  the mystery of finding Margo drives the story on, but the true enjoyment for me was the self exploration on behalf of the characters. for instance, Q gets mad at Ben because he isn't putting the same value on finding Margo as he is (mainly because he's hungover at that time) and Radar comes out with some seriously insightful mediating that blew my adult mind away.  he concludes his argument with "Just saying: stop thinking Ben should be you, and he needs to stop thinking you should be him, and y'all just chill the hell out." (155) genius.

if you're the kind of person who likes smart, witty, silly, hilarious, relateable, thought provoking, intentional, intellectual and sophisticated reads from an adorably nerdy-yet-cool teen boy perspective - then this is the book for you. in related news, John Green is the author for you.

fave quote: "I couldn't help but think about school and everything else ending. I liked standing just outside the couches and watching them - it was a kind of sad I didn't mind, and so I just listened, letting all the happiness and the sadness of this ending swirl around in me, each sharpening the other. For the longest time, it felt kind of like my chest was cracking open, but not precisely in an unpleasant way." (172)

fix er up: the prom drama wasn't my fave, but it is their senior year and is totally something teen readers can relate to, so it makes sense.

title: Paper Towns
author: John Green
publisher: Dutton Juvenile (part of Penguin Publishing)
genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Humor

FTC Notice: i did not receive compensation or anything for this review. i bought the book with my own straight cash, homey.

Lisa is a gamer, crafter, fangirl, mother, wife and unabashed nerd who is pretty ridiculous and it's best you know that up front. When she's not binge watching Netflix or crafting into the wee hours of the night, you can find her spending a lot of her time on Pinterest and Twitter.


  1. they should talk in prohibition-era slang and potentially call this brick.

  2. you're so right. while i do appreciate the solid contemporary read, i did love the noir awesomeness of brick.


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