Paper Towns

( 734 )

Overview

From the #1 bestselling author of The Fault in Our Stars

Winner of the Edgar Award for Best Young Adult Mystery
New York Times bestseller
USA Today bestseller
Publishers Weekly bestseller
  When Margo Roth Spiegelman beckons Quentin Jacobsen in the middle of the night—dressed like a ninja and plotting an ingenious campaign of revenge—he...

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Paper Towns

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Overview

From the #1 bestselling author of The Fault in Our Stars

Winner of the Edgar Award for Best Young Adult Mystery
New York Times bestseller
USA Today bestseller
Publishers Weekly bestseller
  When Margo Roth Spiegelman beckons Quentin Jacobsen in the middle of the night—dressed like a ninja and plotting an ingenious campaign of revenge—he follows her. Margo’s always planned extravagantly, and, until now, she’s always planned solo. After a lifetime of loving Margo from afar, things are finally looking up for Q . . . until day breaks and she has vanished. Always an enigma, Margo has now become a mystery. But there are clues. And they’re for Q.

Printz Medalist John Green returns with the trademark brilliant wit and heart-stopping emotional honesty that have inspired a new generation of readers.

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Editorial Reviews

.

"Green is not only clever and wonderfully witty but also deeply thoughtful and insightful. In addition, he's a superb stylist, with a voice perfectly matched to his amusing, illuminating material." - Booklist, starred review

Publishers Weekly

Green melds elements from his Looking for Alaska and An Abundance of Katherines- the impossibly sophisticated but unattainable girl, and a life-altering road trip-for another teen-pleasing read. Weeks before graduating from their Orlando-area high school, Quentin Jacobsen's childhood best friend, Margo, reappears in his life, specifically at his window, commanding him to take her on an all-night, score-settling spree. Quentin has loved Margo from not so afar (she lives next door), years after she ditched him for a cooler crowd. Just as suddenly, she disappears again, and the plot's considerable tension derives from Quentin's mission to find out if she's run away or committed suicide. Margo's parents, inured to her extreme behavior, wash their hands, but Quentin thinks she's left him a clue in a highlighted volume of Leaves of Grass.Q's sidekick, Radar, editor of a Wikipedia-like Web site, provides the most intelligent thinking and fuels many hilarious exchanges with Q. The title, which refers to unbuilt subdivisions and "copyright trap" towns that appear on maps but don't exist, unintentionally underscores the novel's weakness: both milquetoast Q and self-absorbed Margo are types, not fully dimensional characters. Readers who can get past that will enjoy the edgy journey and off-road thinking. Ages 12-up. (Oct.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Booklist
[Green is] clever and wonderfully witty...he's a superb stylist, with a voice perfectly matched to his amusing, illuminating material. Starred review
VOYA - Molly Teague
Based on the cover, I never would have picked up this book on my own because I-and I think we all secretly do-judge a book by its cover. But once I opened it, I couldn't put it down and read ninety pages in the first sitting. The book is a perfect length; quick enough so you stay interested but slow enough to prevent it from being choppy or confusing. There is just enough humor to prevent it from becoming monotonous. I think this book would appeal to both male and female high school readers. Reviewer: Molly Teague, Teen Reviewer
VOYA - Diane Colson
Quentin has been in love with his next-door neighbor, Margo Roth Spiegelman, since early childhood. Their connection was forever bonded when they discovered a dead body together at the age of nine. Now they are ready to graduate from high school. Although Margo has not been part of Quentin's life for many years, she shows up at Quentin's window late one night, enlisting his help with a wild scheme of revenge against her cheating boyfriend. Despite his natural reluctance to break the law, Quentin goes along with her, imagining that this teamwork will signify a new, more romantic turn to their relationship. But then Margo disappears, leaving only wisps of clues to her whereabouts and a tormented Quentin in her wake. In this story set in Orlando, Florida, Green perfectly captures the tone of this grotesquely over-developed town when Margo comments, "It's a paper town . . . look at all those cul-de-sacs, those streets that turn in on themselves, all the houses that were meant to fall apart." This theme is echoed as both Margo and Quentin struggle to discover what is real in their own lives. The writing is as stellar, with deliciously intelligent dialogue and plenty of mind-twisting insights. The book suffers a lull about midway through, as Quentin keeps hitting dead ends in his search for Margo, but even this hitch seems to be an accurate reflection of Quentin's stubborn determination. Language and sex issues might make this book more appropriate for older teens, but it is still a powerfully great read. Reviewer: Diane Colson
KLIATT - Janis Flint-Ferguson
Printz Award-winner John Green has crafted a story that explores the themes of honesty and image, of identity and friendship. Quentin is a high school senior who lives next door to his classmate Margo. Margo is an unusual young woman who lives according to her own rules. Late one night, she knocks on Quentin's window and drags him out of his studies and into a wild escapade. As he takes part in her revenge tactics, Quentin realizes how much he really cares for this crazy young woman. In the morning, she's gone. Margo has run away before, and Quentin remembers that each time she leaves clues to her whereabouts. Because he is concerned about her emotional state, he enlists the help of his friends Ben and Radar, and Margo's friend Lacey. The four hunt for clues with the help of Margo's little sister. While Ben and Lacey, Radar and his girlfriend attend their prom, Quentin spends the night alone and finds what he believes to be proof that Margo is in a deserted "paper town"—a town that exists only on a map. So instead of attending their graduation, the three embark on a wild cross-country road trip to "save" Margo. Quentin tells his story with laugh-out-loud humor and heartfelt poignancy. Language and situations make this a realistic high school experience as Green explores the issues and ramifications of authenticity and image. These are characters readers will remember for a long time. Reviewer: Janis Flint-Ferguson
Melanie Koss
Quentin Jacobsen believes everyone gets one miracle in life, and his is living next door to Margo Roth Spiegelman. Margo is the epitome of Quentin's dreams, and he will do anything for her. When she appears in his room in the middle of the night, dressed all in black, and asks him to go on a top secret mission with her, Quentin ignores his better judgment and goes. What follows is a night full of escapades, revenge, dead smelly fish, and the creation of a bind between the two friends. When Margo mysteriously disappears and leaves enigmatic clues for Quentin, he feels he must drop everything and find her. In his best book date, John Green provides original, quirky dialogue and enough twists, turns, and mystery to keep the reader turning the page. Once again John captures the essence of a geeky high-school boy who is pining for the out-of-reach girl, and fully develops the supporting cast of characters — Quentin's friends and the elusive Margo Roth Spiegelman. Reviewer: Melanie Koss
School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up

Quentin Jacobsen, 17, has been in love with his next-door neighbor, Margo Roth Spiegelman, for his entire life. A leader at their Central Florida high school, she has carefully cultivated her badass image. Quentin is one of the smart kids. His parents are therapists and he is, above all things, "goddamned well adjusted." He takes a rare risk when Margo appears at his window in the middle of the night. They drive around righting wrongs via her brilliant, elaborate pranks. Then she runs away (again). He slowly uncovers the depth of her unhappiness and the vast differences between the real and imagined Margo. Florida's heat and homogeneity as depicted here are vivid and awful. Green's prose is astounding-from hilarious, hyperintellectual trash talk and shtick, to complex philosophizing, to devastating observation and truths. He nails it-exactly how a thing feels, looks, affects-page after page. The mystery of Margo-her disappearance and her personhood-is fascinating, cleverly constructed, and profoundly moving. Green builds tension through both the twists of the active plot and the gravitas of the subject. He skirts the stock coming-of-age character arc-Quentin's eventual bravery is not the revelation. Instead, the teen thinks deeper and harder-about the beautiful and terrifying ways we can and cannot know those we love. Less-sophisticated readers may get lost in Quentin's copious transcendental ruminations-give Paper Towns to your sharpest teens.-Johanna Lewis, New York Public Library

Kirkus Reviews
Printz Medal Winner and Honoree Green knows what he does best and delivers once again with this satisfying, crowd-pleasing look at a complex, smart boy and the way he loves. Quentin (Q) has loved Margo Roth Spiegelman since they were kids riding their bikes, but after they discovered the body of a local suicide they never really spoke again. Now it's senior year; Margo is a legend and Q isn't even a band geek (although quirky best friends Ben and Radar are). Then Margo takes Q on a midnight adventure and disappears, leaving convoluted clues for Q. The clues lead to Margo's physical location but also allow Q to see her as a person and not an ideal. Genuine-and genuinely funny-dialogue, a satisfyingly tangled but not unbelievable mystery and delightful secondary characters (Radar's parents collect black Santas)-we've trod this territory before, but who cares when it's this enjoyable? Lighter than Looking for Alaska (2005), deeper than An Abundance of Katherines (2006) and reminiscent of Gregory Galloway's As Simple as Snow (2005)-a winning combination. (Mystery. 13 & up)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780142414934
  • Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
  • Publication date: 9/22/2009
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 932
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.48 (w) x 8.28 (h) x 0.84 (d)

Meet the Author

John Green is the award-winning, #1 bestselling author of Looking for Alaska, An Abundance of Katherines, Paper Towns, Will Grayson, Will Grayson (with David Levithan), and The Fault in Our Stars. His many accolades include the Printz Medal, a Printz Honor, and the Edgar Award. He has twice been a finalist for the LA Times Book Prize. John was selected by TIME magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World. With his brother, Hank, John is one half of the Vlogbrothers (youtube.com/vlogbrothers), one of the most popular online video projects in the world. You can join the millions who follow John on Twitter (@realjohngreen) and tumblr (fishingboatproceeds.tumblr.com) or visit him online at johngreenbooks.com.

John lives with his family in Indianapolis, Indiana.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 734 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(497)

4 Star

(131)

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(63)

2 Star

(20)

1 Star

(23)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 734 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    This book changed my life.

    The first book I read by John Green was an Abundance of Katherines. I was hooked. This brilliant man who I knew through Nerdfighting and Brotherhood 2.0 videos had a completely different, and yet the same, side. He could write far better than almost any modern author I'd read- and that was only his second book. I read An Abundance of Katherines three times after I got it, and promptly bought a copy for myself. Then, I heard about Paper Towns. I had to read it. If it were even half as good as his other books, then it would be a miracle. But it wasn't. It was exponentially more amazing.

    I read the whole book in one day. I checked it out from the library in the morning at school and read it under my desk in class all day long. In seventh period, I read the last sentence, having heard nothing of class all day, closed the book, amazed, and excused myself to go deliver the book to one of my friends, who had begged me to lend her the book when I finished it, in her math class. I couldn't wait to pass it on.

    Everything about Paper Towns screams MASTERPIECE like nothing I've ever read. In the first fifteen minutes after the final punctuation, Paper Towns beat out each and every one of my favorite books, some of which I've called my favorite since elementary school, and became my favorite book.

    The characters are real, alive, vibrant. You can feel the story and live it along with them. John Green makes you cry one moment and laugh your ass off the next, all in one fluid motion. This book... is amazing. I feel like I've known Q my whole life. Hell, I'm even ordering a Black Santa online.

    If you haven't yet, buy this book. Read it. You'll never, ever regret it.

    Everything about Paper Towns is just beautiful. I can't say it enough. My way of thinking was changed. My way of writing was changed. My way of talking was changed. My way of life was changed. This book, though it is printed on paper, is NOT a paper book, to be passed by. By no means 2-dimensional, this book is like the V for Vendetta of literature- everyone should experiance it. Paper Towns changed my life, and my perspective of modern literature.

    Buy this book.

    118 out of 120 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 1, 2009

    Simply amazing

    When I first started reading this book I was completely in love with it. It was one of those books where you laugh out loud, cry, and think a lot. I think we can all relate to some of the situations in this books. It was really amazing. It kind of teaches us that we can chase somebody across the United States, but in the end our fantasies won't become real. I really liked the characters in this story. I would be reading in class and just bust out laughing. It was really good and now it's one of my all-time favorite books.

    77 out of 80 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 4, 2012

    Mmhhhhhh

    Wow. I first read the fault in oir stars (also bby john green) and thought and still claim that it is my allbtime favorite book. So when i found paper towns i was like"YEAH BUDDY? GIMME MY FIX OF JOHN GREEN FOR THE NEXT 3 DAYS". because i already knew i would read this book in that minimal amount of time. But i was wrong. This book was so explicitly awesome that i finisshed it in 2 days. Paper towns has such a unique story line with amazingly funny, bright characters who make you hate your friends because they aren't like them. Super funny and in depth thinking, great for everyone especially teens. Mr. Green, if you happen to come across this review, i want you to know that if you ever. EVER, stop writng books, punch a wall. Yeah that,s right. Be intimidated by my wall punching. (I really hoped that made u laugh because i was trying reeeaallyyy hard hahaha). ANYWAYS! Every humam being should read this book.

    23 out of 28 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 24, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    A story of growing up, self discovery, endings and beginnings

    The story has so many layers it was like peeling the layers from an onion only to discover more layers underneath.

    Written in 1st person narrative, from Quentin's (Q's) perspective. Q was surprisingly easy to relate to even in my female dominated household. Q epitomises the boy next door stereotype. A good student and all round nice guy. John Green makes geek/nerd sexy.

    Margo & Q are tied together by a traumatic incident in their childhood. Although no longer friends, Q has had a crush on Margo from an early age. Following their night of adventure and Margo's subsequent disappearance, Q has to analyse how well he knows/doesn't know Margo.

    The notion that we are different versions of ourselves with different people really comes under scrutiny within the narrative. How well do we really know someone when we only see a single side of them. In the same context how well do we know ourselves, when we are different with different people. There are a complex set of psychological theories beautifully entwined in the plot.

    Making Q's parents psychiatrists in the story adds an extra dimension to the analysis. Elements of the nature versus nurture debate especially with the contrasts between Q's parents and Margo's.

    The use of Walter Whitman's poem Leaves of Grass within the plot adds another layer to the story (see what I mean about peeling the layers of an onion). The analysis of the poem parallels the analysis of people within the plot.

    Q evolves tremendously throughout the book. At the start he has always been on the periphery of his own life. Through his search for Margo, he discovers who he really is. I think that is why finding Margo became a compulsion for him, as he was also finding himself.

    I adored John Green's writing style, the use of metaphors & similes were fantastic. Decay never sounded so good :0)

    A story about growing-up, self discovery, endings & beginnings. The realisation that the world is a big place and we are just a small part of the whole. A highly recommended read :0)

    20 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 4, 2008

    A great, thought provoking novel

    Margo Roth Speigleman is one popular girl. On the outside she appears to have it all, the looks, the friends, the personality but in all honesty her inside is a mystery to the world. Margo is especially a mystery to Quentin, or Q, who¿s been her neighbor ever since they were little kids.<BR/><BR/>When they were young they used to do everything together. Some may have even considered them to be best friends. Now though they are about to graduate high school and they barely even acknowledge each other¿s presence. One night though Margo appears in his window dressed as though she was ready to go rob a bank.<BR/><BR/>She¿s on a mission to pay back all the people who have wronged her and she is determined to complete her list before the next morning. Using Q as her mode of transportation, she gives him the night of his life. Then she disappears and is now an even bigger mystery to him. Leaving him few clues and a lustrous heart Q is determined to find Margo, and maybe even himself.<BR/><BR/>John Green has done it again, except maybe even better then the last two times. Both his other books have always been near and dear to me, but this one was particularly special. It was compiled of all the classic Green elements of, nerdy guy wanting amazing girl, girl being a little out there, guy finding himself on the way to getting the girl, but it also had this extra wow factor included that easily made it his best book yet.<BR/><BR/>I could really feel not only the characters emotions, but also the author¿s in every sentence. Many times I found myself laughing along, feeling upset, or just plain frustrated with the events in the story and started wondering if this was a real life experience. There was such truth and purpose to each word that the book seemed alive in many aspects. The characters had real personalities and it was easy to imagine them as real people and these characters dealt with mostly real life situations that I could easily picture myself in. I loved how everything felt so real and alive that most of the time it was excruciatingly hard to come back to reality.<BR/><BR/>For me the plot line was very original and compelling. It was also really easy to relate to. I know in this case that everyone can find someone in the story that they know. Whether it be yourself or a really good friend, you¿re sure to find someone similar enough for the story to really hit home. I know in my case I was really able to see where the very complex and interesting Margo was coming from. She reminded me a lot of a close friend and helped me see where she might be coming from. It was very evident that the author put a lot of time and effort into developing his characters, which I know as a reader is the mark of a truly great author.<BR/><BR/>This book is one of the deepest and quickest reads you¿ll find. You¿ll never want it to end and you¿ll find great meaning in it. Paper Towns is truly an unforgettable book that is easily the best of the best. With no doubt I am sure it is the best book of 2008 and one my of my new personal favorites.

    9 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 30, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    in One word Amazing

    Wben you look at the headline of my review, you may be turned off by my random capitalization, but that actually is a portion of the book, and a very clever one, at that. Paper Towns is a book that you pick up, you laugh a lot, you cry a little, you think a lot, you piece things together. It is everything a realistic fiction book needs and so much more. The characters are lifelike beyond words and MANY things said in the book remind me 100% of my friends. This is officially one of my favorite books now, a real page-turner to say the least.

    8 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2012

    Amazing book!

    Definitely a must read for John Green fans. This book plays with your mind on the ups and downs of a "paper perfect" town. The book leaves you with immense feelings of awe. I cant even describe how i felt after this book was over. It was just so good. GO NERDFIGHTERS ;)

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 16, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Made of Awesome!

    I loved Paper Towns. That's basically it. But seriously, I only got it in January (yay for Barnes and Noble gift cards!) but I've already read it twice and I'll probably be reading it for a third time very soon. That's how good it is- I've owned An Abundance of Katherines for over a year and have just now gotten around to reading it a second time but Paper Towns? Twice in three months and it never got dull. The awesomeness that comes out of John Green's mind is unbelievable. Yeah, I love your books John. And Hank rocks too :D...DFTBA!

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 16, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    another great book from John Green

    John Green has once again given us the gift of an awesome novel.<BR/>He doesn't have a cult-like following for no reason. He is very talented and unlike many other modern Y/A authors. Mr. Green writes well, something that many other Y/A authors forget to do while they are constructing familiar plots full of empty, but attractive, "characters". <BR/><BR/>Paper Towns is an entertaining mystery that I just could not put down. Q, Ben & Radar are hilarious and engaging and Margo Roth Spiegelman is interesting and mysterious (that's kind of the point, isn't it?). I thoroughly enjoyed Paper Towns and I have suggested it to all of my friends.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2013

    I mostly liked it for the humor...

    It was a deep and good feeling book with a lot of humor. If you have a taste for mysterious stories this is a good one.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 24, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    i reread the first 60 pages over and over and just could not get

    i reread the first 60 pages over and over and just could not get into this book. i put it away for 2 months then tried to read it again with no luck.

    4 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2014

    Great!

    The book was, in my opinion, fantastic! Every aspect, details incorporated, the clues; it was all very well put together and flowed perfectly. Another book well done, John Green. Keep it up. (:

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 2, 2013

    Paper town

    Strange but inspiringly beatiful

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 2, 2013

    This is the first John Green book that I have read, and I must s

    This is the first John Green book that I have read, and I must say that I am really impressed. His writing is simple; yet, at the same time really rich in meaning. I didn't think that a senior in high school, could teach me anything about life that I didn't already know myself but I was definitely wrong.




    I adore Quentin, the narrator. He reminds me a bit of myself: having a schedule and always sticking to it, planning his life out and doesn't take any detours. Until he goes on this one night crazy adventure with Margo, and his whole perspective changes.




    The adventure that Q and Margo went on was hilarious, and fun. Something that you would only see in the movies, but wish could happen in real life.




    I really like Q's journey throughout the story, where he learns about Margo and his friends and most importantly, about himself. What is he willing to change, and what he is not.




    This book has a chuck full of memorable quotes, and crazy adventures with characters that I wish were real.




    Can't wait to read other books from Mr. Green! I am so glad that I bought the autograph box set, since I have three other amazing books to choose from.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 7, 2012

    Recommended for the most part

    John Green's writing is the most high quality kind I have ever read. It has personality and spunk, Which is pretty much the only reason why i continued with this story line. I enjoyed the way the story ended, unfortunately parts of the story seemed pretty repetitive such as the mini mart scene. But all in all I love the way John writes and i will continue reading the rest of his works.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2014

    Best book ever!!!!

    Funny smart adorable mystery touching just absoulutely wonderfull i laughed cryd and couldnt put the book down i say a must read

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2014

    Love it click here

    Best book ever much better than his other works such as the fault in our stars the story moves at a great pace just a great amount of action its soooo NOT BORING favorite book for me totaly recomend it

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2014

    It was okay but not his best.

    Thus story was okay, but I found myself wondering why the protagonist and his friends missed the last few weeks of their senior year, including graduation, to find the antagonist when she didnt want to be found. The antics preceeding the antagonist's departure were entertaining, as well as the process of solving the mystery of where she went, but I feel the story premise was lacking. Also, I skipped the car ride chapters after Hour Four, and just went to the chapter on Algoe NY just so I could get to the ending, which was lackluster.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2014

    Fantastic!

    I think i like it better than the fault in our stars

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2014

    John Green is the best EVER

    This book is AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 734 Customer Reviews

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