February 26th, 2012


Book Review: Paper Towns, by John Green

Nice Guy (tm) on a quest for Manic Pixie Dream Girl watches everyone but him get laid. High school as envisioned by Judd Apatow.

Paper Towns

Dutton Juvenile, 2008, 305 pages

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 readers.

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Verdict: Good Young Adult reading for young adults. Still entertaining for crabby curmudgeons like me who can kind of remember being like Quentin, but if you find teenagers annoying, these teenagers will annoy you. They are fairly superficial caricatures defined largely by their quirks. I see why John Green is popular: his voice is appropriate for the kind of entertainment teens like, and his writing is much more sophisticated and true to the anxiety-ridden state of adolescence, afflicted with both eye-rolling juvenilia and the beginnings of adult problems, than more romance-focused YA books. If you like John Hughes, Diablo Cody, and Judd Apatow movies, this book is aimed at you.

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