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Friday, July 29, 2016

Lefty's Lowdown: Paper Towns by John Green

Paper Towns by John Green
Published: October 16, 2008 by Speak
Source: Purchased
Summary from Goodreads: 
Who is the real Margo?

Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs into his life—dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge—he follows. After their all-nighter ends, and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Q soon learns that there are clues—and they're for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer he gets, the less Q sees the girl he thought he knew...

I've got to be honest, I'm still not entirely sure where I stand with this book, so please bear with me as I attempt to figure it out. That being said, this review is going to be more list-y than my usual reviews.


  • The voice - John Green is an expert when it comes to writing humorous, clever, and engaging characters. I thoroughly enjoyed being inside Q's head! 
  • Quentin - Q is very real and relatable. He is used to routine, he's used to planning his future, and playing things safe so he doesn't ruin his future. I loved following along as he breaks out of his shell and starts to get adventurous. 
  • The minor characters - I just adore how all the characters in this novel have such unique, distinct personalities. Ben and Radar, especially, were both extremely hilarious and believable and real. 
  • The adventures - In the very beginning of the novel, Margo taps on Q's window and whisks him away for a night of risky tasks, which I found incredibly interesting! I could tell it was well-thought out and unpredictable. I was eager to see where Green was going to take us next. And then, toward the end, there's a big ol' road trip. WHO DOESN'T LOVE A GOOD ROAD TRIP? It was spontaneous and full of so much weird and friendship and they were on a DEADLINE. The road trip was, by far, my favorite part.  

  • Some of the pacing - There is one point in the novel in which Q is consumed with the thought of piecing together the clues Margo left behind and finding her. Not only does he become a bit insensitive to his friends at that point, but I just thought it was boring. It was like going to a concert with an epic opening act and then watching the band you came to see sit in a freaking run-down room moping. No thanks. 
  • The "r" word - Okay, so, this book was written in 2008 when political correctness was not as prominent as it is now, when calling something "retarded" was not as widely frowned upon. But. No. It still bothered me a lot. One thing I hate more than anything is using the word "retard" in a derogatory sense, and sadly that happened on multiple occasions within this novel. 


There were so many good things in this novel, and it was a ton of fun. In typical John Green style, there was humor, above-average-intelligence teenagers, and lots of life philosophy. Unfortunately, it was lacking in a couple areas, but all in all it was a very enjoyable read. I initially thought I would rate this 4.5 stars, but after a few days of distance, I'm leaning more toward 4 stars. So, I've compromised. 
4.25/5 stars 

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Thank you so much for taking the time to read what I have to say and give your opinion on it. It really means a lot to me. And of course, I will do my best to return the favor. However, as easily distracted and scatter-brained as I am, please don't be offended if I forget to comment on your blog.