Paper Towns by John Green

I was enticed to read Paper Towns by John Green after reading his bestseller novel The Fault In Our Stars. Usually I am not game for young adult fiction. But The Fault In Our Stars was exceptionally beautiful and heart rendering novel especially when it was inspired by a real life character. But after reading Paper Towns I felt like it felt me high and dry.

Young Adult Genre not my Type

Basically I am not a big fan of Young Adult genre. The kind of language used in these novels, I can’t identify with them and the kind of adrenaline rush the characters  enjoy, I just can’t relate with them. Well that is absolutely my problem.  Anyone, who doesn’t mind slangish language and weird characters, can enjoy reading young adult genre.


So coming back to Paper Towns, firstly it took me quite sometime to understand what exactly Paper Towns mean and what significance it has in the plot. Well the meaning of the term Paper Town got clear after referring to online dictionary but certainly I fail to decipher why John Green used the term for his novel. 

Lead Character Margo

The characters in the book Paper Towns doesn’t seems to be real. I mean how can a school student how much intelligent she is can plan such a fool proof revenge plan and even more smooth was the executions without any glitch. Even professional criminals fails to do so but John’s Margo Roth Spiegelman, an adventurous, unconventional, and intelligent runaway high school student can certainly do it.

Margo is an extremely complex character. Till the end I fail to make out what to make out of her. Why she runs away all the time? Her revenge plan was great, though unbelievable but still it was fun to read. But then why did she vanished all of the sudden. And the reasons she gave at the end were hard to digest.  

Even complex characters could have depth about whom readers ponders for hours. But Margo’s character is completely flat which weakens the plot of the book. As its the only character around which the whole story revolves. When the main characters lacks substance then the story suffers.  

The author wanted to portray Margo as strong, independent, brainy girl out to prove something but ended up with manipulative, careless, and utterly self-centered person.


Q, the nickname for Quentin, is madly in love with Margo and goes lengths to impress his ladylove. He along with his friends searches Margo frantically. He appears to be a weak link in the story but hits bingo in the end by deciding not to go to New York with Margo. This shows at least he had some common sense but comes at the end.

Among other characters Radar was the only decent character, a genuine kid with odd parents, and John Green’s version of Wikipedia.


The concept of the book is great but poorly executed by John Green. Really hard to believe he is the same author who wrote The Fault In Our Star. 

The mystery regarding Margo’s disappearance was great. She has an adventurous revenge night with Quentin, male lead, and runaway next morning leaving behind trails. It was so puzzling. I kept scratching my brain for possible reason.

Quentin and his friends search frantically for clues which could lead them to Margo. But at the end it was like so much ado was taken for nothing. Honestly I was flabbergasted with disgust by the time the novel ended. 


The dialogue are terrible and unrealistic especially Ben’s honeybunnies, mothers are hot, size of testicles and penises were so irritating and ruined the mood completely.

The Verdict:

What a waste. It could have been a great novel but mishandled very badly. For me Paper Town is a boring and dump novel. After reading the novel I felt like 






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Ritu Mantri

Ritu is an avid book reader. She also reviews books and have reviewed around 200+ books till date. Her target is to finish 1000 books.

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