Beverly B, February 13, 2013
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The Fault in Our Stars was my first John green novel. I loved it. So, I was eager to read Paper Towns and heartbroken by how disappointed I was. Paper Towns is very entertaining in the first 75 or so pages when shy, mopey, responsible, likeable Quentin is convinced by eccentric, cool, popular Margo to go out in the middle of the night for several hours of clever, funny, acts of vengence. The idea of Margo coercing Q is the first problem. Although Margo and Q were best friends as children, Margo has totally ignored his existance for many years. The second problem is that Q has been pining over Margo for all of those years when he was invisible to her. The hapless male teen protagonist being duped by the girl he worships from afar is just too predictable. The third problem is the next 150 pages. Margo disappears after their night together, and Q is obsessed with finding her. Since she is 18 and has a history of running away, the police refuse to get involved. Margo's parents are relieved not to have to deal with her drama and chaos any longer. Q is convinced the obscure clues Margo left for him to find are ominous. He stops living his normal life, stops being his normal self and focuses only on finding out what happened to Margo. By the time the story reached its climax, I did not care where Margo was or what happened to her. I could understand why her parents wrote her off. Like Q's two wonderful, loyal friends (also way too predictable), I just wanted him to move on. But of course, the hapless male teen must stay true to his love and his quest to save her.