Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs back 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 of the girl he thought he knew.
Printz medalist John Green returns with the brilliant wit and searing emotional honesty that have inspired a new generation of listeners.
©2008 John Green; (P)2008 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
Magazine editor, graphic designer and mom with a love for escapism. Especially love magical realism, fantasy, historical fiction and YA.
mysterious, hilarious, teenagers
This story has a lot of common elements with Looking for Alaska, another John Green book. Both have strong, confident, wild females that smart, nerdy boys pine for.
A tie between Radar and Ben, the trusty sidekicks. There were very distinct and perfect voices for each character. He really brought them to life.
Absolutely! The plot pace was just right and the mystery was compelling. Plus, I just loved listening to the dialogue between the characters. More than once I tried to stifle bursts of laughter.
I'm a big fan of John Green. All his books manage to tell a serious, compelling story while injecting great and unexpected humor. The reader was fantastic, giving identifiable personalities to each of the characters, and never missed a beat on the humor. This book was well worth the listen, and if you like it, pick up Green's other books as well.
I really enjoyed this book, maybe not as much as Looking for Alaska, but it still had the desired impact. John Green creates a world that you feel like you are a part of and makes you analyze all the triumphs and mistakes you experienced while there. This story is a great read for almost any age. I definitely recommend picking it up. Great narration by the way.
"I didnt need you, you idiot. I picked you. And then you picked me back."
Librarian, blogger, reader
In some ways it reminded me a bit of Green's Looking for Alaska. There is a girl who is mysterious and misunderstood, one boy is sort of obsessed with her but doesn't really know her, she is suddenly gone and then everyone tries to figure out what happened to her. But that's where the similarities end.
I love a good road trip novel, and I enjoyed the one in this book even more than those in An Abundance of Katherines (also John Green) or Amy and Roger's Epic Detour or Going Bovine. There's something wonderful about teenagers heading out together on an unsupervised trip without permission or proper provisions. I liked seeing them find their way to their destination, while strengthening their friendships along the way.
On their trip to find Margo, it became clear that each character had a different way of seeing her. Nobody really knew her because she kept herself veiled and only revealed what she wanted others to see, but everyone interpreted those clues through their own filters. It became clear just how much our views of other people are shaped by our own lenses.
I've read most of John Green's books at this point and this is definitely one of my favorites (along with The Fault In Our Stars). His characters are clever and witty, yet still have the faults inherent in being a teenager. The narration was well done and I very much enjoyed listening to it.
Short, Simple, No Spoilers
No, my friends don't read YA. However, I would recommend it to an Audible fan of John Green. I enjoyed the explanation for paper towns and the road trip.
I enjoyed the main character the best. I identified with his longing and unrequited love (or obsession).
I thought his best was a little over-the-top obnoxious and I didn't care for Margot Roth Spiegelman. I found her selfish.
Mr. Middle Earth
It was an entertaining read, with very likable and even funny characters. Though I found it very readable, and it did keep my interest, at times it just sorta ... disappointed. I was let down by what the search for Margot meant... and very disappointed with how it all cashed out in the end.
The book has a very fun story line, and some GREAT characters that truly get you laughing out loud, but the ending was, to my mind, a bit anti-climatic.... a bit of a let down.
Definitely not John Green's best work. His best is The Fault in Our Stars, which is a masterpiece. 2nd would be Looking for Alaska.
I won't be reading another John Green book for some time. I loved The Fault in Our Stars and enjoyed Looking for Alaska, but Paper Towns was just too similar to LfA to be enjoyable.
If you have not read Looking for Alaska, then by all means read Paper Towns, I'm certain you will enjoy it. You will love Q and his friends and Margo will keep you questioning.
Always moving. Always listening. Always learning. "After all this time?" "Always."
John Green's Audibles should be labeled "Warning: Do not drive while listening."
"The Fault in our Stars" (2012) had me sobbing through an entire chapter. Fortunately, I was in really heavy traffic and I was able to slowly follow brake lights ahead of me
On the other hand. I laughed to hard through parts of "Paper Towns" (2008) that I forgot to look at my GPS, drove far past my exit, and ended up late for a meeting with a big grin on my face, instead an appropriately contrite look.
I'm not going to summarize the whole book here. I'm several generations past the target audience, and I'd almost certainly end up condescending and judgmental. Green doesn't deserve that, and neither do his characters Quentin 'Q' Jacobsen and Margo Roth Spiegelman.
So, as a middle aged mom of teenagers, here's what I thought was great about the book:
I like Green's neologisms. I've worked with developers for more than 20 years in California. There so many named, never built grand dreams on maps. California City. Salton Sea. Elegant community names are given, streets are mapped out and maybe graded, lots are sold - but nothing is ever built. Green calls them "pseudovisions" - and that's really the best word for what they are.
Green's subtle, clever nod to American photographer Lillian Virginia Mountweazel (1942 - 1973) added an unexpected dimension to "Paper Towns" that I had fun exploring. I don't think Mountweazel's posthumous contributions, especially to Wikipedia, are recognized often enough.
I also have a confession to make: I managed to make it through almost half a century without the slightest inclination to read Walt Whitman, much less understand his poetry. Or, to be fair - any poetry not written by Edgar Allen Poe, Ray Bradbury, or Maya Angelou. So, yes, I'll be listening to Whitman sometime soon. And I'm guessing I'll really like if. (Audible, wouldn't "Leaves of Grass" be a neat Daily Deal???)
The only problem I'm having now is - well - I keep thinking of great practical jokes. Which, since I'm a litigator and Judges are required to give up all sense of humor when they take the bench, won't ever happen. But at least I can imagine tricks while waiting for my case to be called.
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"So... does anyone else feel that the frail lead has major psychiatric issues? Or are we supposed to think its cute."
So, I don't want to be too hard on this novel. I like John Green and his books are very entertaining- this one is no exception. However, I felt like the lead female, Margo Rel-rah rah or whatever, is clearly very disturbed. Like, Brittany Spears shaving-her-head disturbed. I kept waiting for the lead dude to help her find help, but nope! "Ok. We will just leave you hear alone after we thought you where dead. Toodaloo!" The end. I can't wait for the sequel: Paper Towns with White Walls.
This book is a riot. I absolutely love it when a book makes me frequently laugh out loud. Paper Towns is a uniquely witty and refreshingly realistic teenage adventure story and I highly recommend it for teenagers and adults.
Band geek and good boy Quentin Jacobson is weeks away from graduating when one night his rebellious neighbor and old childhood friend, Margo Roth Spiegelman shows up at his window. Quentin, also know as Q, has had a serious crush on Margot ever since they were kids but hasn’t spoken to her since then, until this night. His crush presents him with the opportunity to drive her around town and seek revenge on all who’ve scorned her. Little did Q know that this night would change him forever.
When Margo goes missing, Q and his band of geektaskic friends, Radar and Ben, search for clues to find her. Their search for her leads them on an outrageous journey that is results in unexpected new friendships, insights into Margo’s life, and quirky encounters with all sorts of new places. Their twisted and perverted teenage boy sense of humor is nothing less than awesome and I couldn’t help bursting out laughing.
Even though Paper Towns is fun and humorous read, there is a note of seriousness that keeps the book grounded. John Green highlights the issue of teenage runaways, its causes and it’s affects. Although this is a tough subject, John Green keeps the reader enthralled.
I’ve been wanting to read a John Green book for a while now and I’m so glad I finally did. He is a smart and talented author who clearly knows how to write good young adult fiction. I’m already trying to get my hands on some of his other books because I cannot wait to go on another one of his teenage adventures.
Say something about yourself!
good story. sad endings. this would make a great gift for an eighth grader.. ya know i wonder sometimes how high school stories can be so deep, i mean in that "era" you dont really know who you are but the author gives these kids a purpose. i like this author alot he is funny. in this story radar had it right the whole time.
"Difficult to finish."
I don't enjoy being negative but this story took alot to get through.
Firstly, I didn't mind the character of Q as I could sympathise with the almost pathetic adoration of somebody when a teenager. However, it was the character he adored that I found so unbearable.
I don't really see Margot as the free spirited, self-seeking girl that I think the author intended, to be honest I just see her as an incredibly selfish, manipulative megalomaniac. Unfortunately this made the story such a struggle, as his whole quest to find her left me frustrated with him, and their friends, for not seeing that they were essentially doing exactly what such a narcissistic person wanted.
Perhaps no longer being a teenager means the quirky teen angst is somewhat lost on me, but I actually hope not as I'd hate to think teenagers who are reading this think that it's acceptable to act the way she did.
On a more positive note, I thought the narrative was fine and rather well acted. I would listen to other stories read Dan John Miller.
I would also like to add that I have read other John Green books, The Fault in Our Stars and An Abundance of Katherines (which is an excellent, charming read), and I will read more by him, in the hope that Paper Towns is just a dud.
Amazing story. Capturing. Loved it and can't wait now to watch the film. Such a brilliant author
Funny, engaging and charming, with likeable characters and plenty of depth. I would definitely recommend for teens and adults.
"Another classic John Greene"
I read / listened to this off the strength of "The Fault In Our Stars" and have to say that although not 'quite' up there with that book, this has been a pretty good story. The character development is brilliant and I really got behind the main characters. The people you start out not liking (such as Lacey) turn out to be some great characters in the book.
Off the strength of this book I'm now going to get his other book 'Baked Alaska' or whatever it's called. :)
This book was OK 🆗 but the narration was hard to understand. 4/10 don't recommend
The narrator was kind of difficult to listen to at the start but I got used to it. The story is very good and interesting
I really appreciate the performance of John Miller.
This is the first novel of John Green I read. I watched movie before the novel.
There is difference in the story between book and movie. I like the story in the movie more than book.
Such an amwazing and inspiring book by John Green. My favourite by far! The perfomance of the books is brilliant and very engaging!
"John green rules"
as per John's books always make me question life, the characters, buy this book now
"It get you thanking"
Will it the same text but I got to say that I like the audio edition more.
Ben He just's like my firend was like in high school and me also.
When Q go to put up Ben and Rader from the party and everone just keeps saying yes like over and over it was just so funny.
yes I love John Green's books
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