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Paper Towns Summary & Study Guide

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❶I scoffed when he started dating Lacey - it just wasn't believable that someone like Lacey would date a lame loser like Ben.

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Plot Overview
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by John Green

Paper Towns is the story of a boy named Quentin Jacobsen and the adventure he is drawn into by his childhood friend and secret love Margo Roth Spiegelman. As children, Quentin and Margo discovered a dead man's body; an event that binds them in ways they do not realize. As they grow up however, they grow apart. After this is explained in the prologue, Part I of the book sets up the main narrative by introducing the setting, Jefferson High in Orlando, Florida in the early s and introduces Quentin's good friends, Radar and Ben Starling, his fellow nerds.

In contrast, Margo is the most popular girl in school who has an incredible reputation for her wild hijinks. The plot takes off in Chapter 3 when Margo sneaks into Quentin's bedroom and asks him to help her execute an eleven-part plan, which largely involves taking revenge on her ex-boyfriend. Throughout the night, Quentin is exhilarated and his love for Margo is reenergized. However, Margo has left him a series of clues as to her whereabouts.

Part II is spent piecing together Margo's clues. Quentin pursues Margo with the help of his friends, but all the while, high school comes to an end. Quentin follows a string of false leads, which makes him increasingly reflective and leads him to gradually accept that he has made Margo into a magical non-person, a "paper girl" and that he loves someone who may not exist.

He eventually decides that the only way to ind Margo is to understand who she is. Eventually he figures out that a paper town is a false city on a map that cartographers once used to detect copycats. Margo had left for the paper town of Algoe, New York. Part III begins the night of graduation when Quentin grabs his friends to leave on an intense, twenty-one hour road trip from Orlando to upstate Agloe.

When they reach Agloe, they find Margo in an old barn, writing. After fighting furiously about Margo's apparent selfishness for leaving, Ben, Radar, and Lacey storm out. Quentin and Margo learn that they had idealized one another and love each other.

However, they both realize with regret that their love was based in falsehood, in being a "paper boy" and a "paper girl. Quentin, however, does not give up on Margo. I'm kind of perplexed by this book. I know I never want to read the name Margo Roth Spielgelman ever again, that's for sure.

The characters apart from the previously named were fantastic and very believable. The dialogue between the friends was great and funny as I have come to expect from John Green. The first quarter of the book was highly enjoyable and then it deteriorated for me.

I think The following is quite a lot of dribble that I felt the need to get off my chest I think this book suffers from it's own storyline. I found myself wondering if this was seriously what this book was about after Quentin starts a desperate search for said girl who left home, is 18 yes a legal adult and has studiously ignored the crap out of him for 9 years apart from that one night!

Not to mention she has her own head firmly stuck up her own arse. What is with all the convoluted clues left for Quentin? Talk about self important! Anyway, I read through it all hoping it all had good reason, but it turns out it was just a giant exercise in navel-gazing.

That's all good and well, but, in future please do something more interesting with your great characters John Green, thank you. View all 37 comments. Mar 05, K. Absolutely rated it liked it Recommended to K. Last weekend, I attended a company-sponsored teambuilding session and the facilitator used this. I got some good feedbacks that confirmed what I already knew but also some revelations.

In this novel Paper Towns , John Green indirectly used Margo Roth Spiegelman for Quentine Jacobsen or simply Q to understand love and life and to know himself better as a person, as a man. Not by giving him direct feedbacks but by making him experience the things that he would not have dared doing. Then going to the houses of the people who wronged your friend just to avenge?

Then your friend disappeared, with no intention of returning and not wanting to be found, the following day? Leaving a note after a hug and a kiss: Who would have thought of having this plot in the first place? What makes this novel engaging is the prose: Green does not push down his philosophy on growing up down your throat. He lets you enjoy his story and life realizations just naturally follow.

Q, Radar and Ben but Margo permeates in each page of this novel: The fundamental mistake I had always made — and that she had, in fairness, always led me to make — was this: Margo was not a miracle. She was not an adventure. She was not a fine and precious thing. She was a girl. After all, we all went through those pains — not having a prom date, losing your first love, unrequited love, unknowingly pissing off some of our friends, etc — and we all learned from them.

But for them, those are parts of their lives. And yes, even one of my blind spots has just been cleared by this novel. I never thought that a middle-age man like me would still enjoy a YA book. Where were these books when I was growing up? Let me talk to you about this book.

I have never given this kind of low rating to a book, I guess it's time. And I would have given it less stars but I gifted it half a start because of something I will talk about below.

Here's what I wrote when I started this book two days ago: I have heard the worst fucking things about this book. If I don't start it now I'm afraid I will leave it get dust on my bookshelf forever so Wish that I don't hate it as much as I'm waiting to hate it. So you can see I went into this book a tiny bit prejudiced. But I wasn't wrong to be and I don't think had I not being prejudiced once I started it I would have liked it. I'm entirely certain that if I hadn't read this book now, it would have collected dust in my bookshelves for the rest of my days.

And I'm glad I got rid of this now because when I look at books in my bookshelves I haven't read it gives me anxiety. Anyway, now let's start with the tea. 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. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer he gets, the less Q sees the girl he thought he knew. My past with John Green is not as big as other people's. John Green has the reputation of writing pretentious books so yeah, he didn't disappoint with this one.

This is an old book and it showed. Mostly on the part that it entailed little to no diversity. Also some good old misogyny. But it is to be expected with a book published in fucking Let's start with what I liked about this book, won't take much time -???? I gave this book half a star more because of it. It was fun and entertaining but also unrealistic but this is John Green for ya.

I'm very glad it was also included in the movie but let's talk about all these things more later on. And the tea starts - Let's start from the first 30 pages. What the fuck was that about? A little year-old-whatever-tf girl is doing an investigation on a crime and she goes to the crime scene and the detective or whatever asks the fucking year-old-whatever-tf girl if she's with the school newspaper and if she's not, he will answer her questions and then the year-old-whatever-tf girl goes to the house next door and a GROWN UP woman tells the year-old-whatever-tf girl that the man killed himself because of his divorce and because he was troubled.

Who tells a year-old-whatever-tf girl these things? Which adult in their right mind does that?? I don't know why I'm stuck at this for so long, but those details weren't included in the movie and I'm very glad of it. From now on when people ask me which is the most annoying character for you , I will say her name. I didn't even need to look up her name to write it right.

It's stuck in my head for the rest of my life. The Mary Sue to end all Mary Sues. The most entitled bitch to have ever walked the Earth. I didn't care if she would be found. I knew she would be doing something stupid and "inspirational" or whatever. She didn't deserve the attention she got. I didn't like any of them. Basically from the beginning till the end I didn't care about any of the characters' fates. I just wanted the book to end because I was extremely bored and unsatisfied.

What was even the plot? The pace was just So many clues and then some high school stuff and some more clues and some shit Ben kept saying and more clues and then the road trip and then it's over. And I hated that his friends followed him. This is where this road trip was unrealistic for me. This would never happen in real life. And that's why they changed it in the movie too. The dude was head over heels in love, otherwise no one would have done that. It was slowly killing me from the inside.

I would rather have eaten dog shit than read this book. It was this bad for me. And now let's discuss the movie adaptation Listen to my incredible story for a bit. So, after hearing this, you will realize I didn't watch the movie because I liked the book, but because I always do.

And it's also an excuse for me lately to watch movies, because if I don't watch a movie in the cinema, I never do at home. I'm more of a books and tv shows kind of gal, what can you do? The movie made the story and the characters a little bit more interesting.

It cut out the boring parts and added some very funny and nice scenes that lacked in the book. I liked that they didn't lose their graduation for the road trip to find Margo, because it was totally bollocks. I liked the changes they made with that aspect of the book. I liked the casting, I think it was spot on. Except Margo and not because Cara isn't good enough for the part but because of her weight.

Margo is supposed to be "curvy" and she got "bullied" by Lacey because of her figure. And I hated that they didn't keep this part in the movie because there wasn't any real reason after all for Margo to be hating Lacey. Margo was supposed to be "the most perfect and popular girl in the entire school" and she was curvy.

Just let that part in, damn it. Also, this movie's description must have been: Honestly, why make Q's love for Margo unrequited?

When it was the opposite in the book? I didn't understand this change. It was unnecessary and it didn't add anything to the plot. But, to sum it up, the movie was a good enough adaptation for this book. But I didn't like it. Because I didn't like the book. In conclusion, this book was a nightmare for me, from start to finish. I didn't earn anything from this book, not lessons, not a new ship, not new favorite characters, nothing. I just wanted it to end. I know it's a popular book and I'm very sorry for this negative review, but not all books are for everyone.

And till the next one View all 45 comments. Jessica The Bookish Teacher I couldn't agree more with your review! Sep 09, Maria Jessica The Bookish Teacher wrote: I was pretty disappointed in Paper Towns. I am a big fan of John Green but found this book plodding and boring. I hated the Margo character and thought that Q was a big whiner.

His obsession with Margo, who he didn't really even know, was really annoying. I realize that this was one of the messages of the book, that we all assign traits and "personalities" to people we hardly know, but it was still hard to take, page after page. I still love John Green and his blog, still consider myself a "nerd I was pretty disappointed in Paper Towns.

I still love John Green and his blog, still consider myself a "nerd fighter" and would give just about anything to see him in public, but can't give Paper Towns more than 2 stars. View all 31 comments. Teens finding their way. Recommended to Lhara by: Oh dear lord, I found this book immensely irritating.

It had the same geeky male character. The same kooky aka annoying female character. The same male best friend. And whilst this was okay in LFA, reading the same characters again was annoying! And it seemed like they were on the same journey as in FA, except obviously there's a di Oh dear lord, I found this book immensely irritating. And it seemed like they were on the same journey as in FA, except obviously there's a divergence in the second half. Also, I just found elements of this book preposterous.

Considering she has no troubles at home, there doesn't seem to be a strong enough reason for an eighteen year old to suddenly decide to run away except that oh, she's oh-so-kooky and larger than life and a small-town girl etc etc.

John Green explains why she does, but I still have trouble accepting it. To me, she only did it because she was self-centred and looking for attention. I didn't feel anything for her character. Q was also really annoying, pining for a girl he barely knows, instead in love with her from the friendship they had as a child, rather than the girl she is today.

I'm willing to bet all my money which is not much that John Green bases the male protagonist on himself, and that the female character is the type of character he fancied at school, and it sort of plays like he's the dorky, awkward girl in love with the popular, unattainable boy.

Q's need to abandon everything to find this girl who, btw, never showed any sign of affection before their pranks together , is entirely self-indulgent and illogical. And whilst at times he sounded like a teenage boy, other times he sounded a decade or two older. The fact that his friends also decide to follow him on a road-trip to find her doesn't make sense. They do it on graduation day. Why would anyone ditch graduation which they seemed to look forward to to find a girl who a doesn't want to be found and b they don't even like?

Everybody loves a roadtrip, sure. But these are limits. These implausibilities made this book really hard to finish.

And I feel he really needs to branch out a bit more. His other book, The Fault in the Stars, apparently has the same characters in it too.

A sign of a good writer is their ability to be original, and surely he yearns to write about different types of characters? Also, John needs to have a more interesting plot, where things actually happen, rather than nothing much happening except for a lot of musings. I used to watch YT clips of John and really liked him, so his books are a bit of a let down in comparison. I really do hope he writes something more creative with fresh characters , because he has got talent - he just needs to push himself more.

View all 25 comments. Unexpected in many ways but still quite a ride! How well do we know the other people? How well do we know our neighbors? How well do we know our own close friends? How well do we know our first crush? But then again, if you don't imagine, nothing ever happens at all. And even if they turn out not to be what we wish, reality is always better than an illusion. That blanket still smelled like you. Still, we should be always brave enough to meet the real person and accept them for what they are.

Even if they appear in the middle of the night at your window asking to join them in a wacky adventure. What is life without some wacky adventure once and then? We are owners of our own lives, and we should be brave enough to understand what we need to do and not looking for easy exits.

We can live the lives that others expected, because if so, we would be ending living other lives than our own. Always a wise advice should be well received, a friendly tip, but at the end, we must forge our own lives, since only us would be guilty of a sad existence or recipents of a happy lifetime.

Our personal decisions can affect others. The way I figure it, everyone gets a miracle. Life itself is a miracle and we must honored it doing something good with our lives. But keeping our eyes open since you never know when a wonderful miracle would enter in our lives.

Update July 26th, I watched the film adaptation last Thursday, and I liked it a lot. In fact, I think that the movie has a better tempo to tell the events. There are some missing stuff but nothing so relevant. The really important elements in the general story are there. Also, the cast of actress Cara Delevingne was the right one to give life to the very complicated character of "Margo Roth Spiegelman". I think that the movie is adequate to tell the same message but giving a better light to the character of Margo Roth Spiegelman that if you don't get what the author wanted to tell in the story, it's quite easy to fall in the road of not liking her.

View all 64 comments. Aug 30, Nick rated it liked it Shelves: This book as the others by this author has the John Green theme: Awkward funny charismatic good looking fit main character who somehow is a looser.

The hot popular girl who he is forever in love. A weird funny bestfriend who gets in trouble. Everything happening in the last 2 weeks of high school.

Quotes that every teenage tumblr girl has in their blog description. Some meaningful ending when you re-think all your teenage years and wish that this would have happened to yo This book as the others by this author has the John Green theme: Some meaningful ending when you re-think all your teenage years and wish that this would have happened to you.

View all 7 comments. Aug 31, Lola rated it really liked it Shelves: I can see why there are people out there comparing this with Looking for Alaska. I am not going to linger on the comparisons between those two because 1 I never liked Looking for Alaska, 2 I never even finished Looking for Alaska and 3 I thought this book was original enough not to find it some twin brother or sister.

I am such an easy target. I am the easiest of targets when it comes to writing style. Margo Roth Spiegelman disappears with clues behind so smart people can track her. Quentin, a smart and bewitched-by-Margo person, makes it his life quest to find the dear disappearing love of his life and, with the help of his friends, Q embarks on an adventure like never before!

I make it all sound very dramatic, but the thing is that it IS extremely dramatic for Q and the story overall pretty intense. I adore this one message among many others that I extracted from the story: I very much anticipated the denouement… the moment of revelation… the ending, because this is the type of story that you know would surprise you with the truth.

View all 38 comments. Jun 19, Inge marked it as did-not-finish Shelves: I quite liked the banter between Q and his friends, but I could not stand another word about that damn Margo Roth Spiegelman. Oh, and then she disappears.

Who was a self-centred twatwaffle. Give me a break. Life is too short to spend one more fuck on Margo Roth Spiegelman. Inge has zero fucks. At the end of the day, Inge still has zero fucks.

How many fucks did Inge give that day? Ya estaba yo poniendo los ojos en blanco, porque oH GOD. Jun 06, Christine Delilah Maramochabooks rated it liked it. Typical unpopular boy with an ordinary boring as bread life. Mysterious Margo then disappears, because, I don't know, her life's fake or something.

Our kid with 2. Our kid with his equally dull friends go on a road trip to find Mystical Margo. You know that basic song that goes: Just imagine that, but a guy taking it to another level. So I understand what John Green was trying to do: I love that message, it's great.

What I didn't like were the dull characters, especially the main one. He definitely was obsessed with Margo and the way it played out on the pages was annoying. I don't want to hear about how amazing someone is in every single chapter. I didn't even like Margo, she just seemed to think herself as above everyone. In my opinion leaving and letting people think you commit suicide is a pretty indecent thing to do.

This was probably a good demonstration of how we sometimes think of life as a game. It isn't about being the most mysterious or having more adventures than someone else, it's about being authentic. Be who you are and don't expect others to be the same. Another thing I'd like to mention is that there's certainly consequences to just disappearing or breaking in. I don't know if I'd even recommend this to a younger audience since I sincerely wouldn't want anyone taking pointers from Margo.

One thing I have to mention is that John Green knows how to write. His characters have never been for me, but the philosophical aspect is always interesting. Having a couple really highlights the story and makes you go: But having one in every chapter, is more like: A quick reminder for anyone and especially young readers, is that wanting to project yourself as something doesn't make you become that.

If you desire to make yourself seem like a mystery, it doesn't mean you're a mystery. You're a person and it's wrong for even you to see yourself as something less or more than that. It's amazing to have adventures, it just doesn't define you. I've learned that once you stop seeing things the way other people do, you'll learn how to open your eyes to your own perspective. I appreciate the message of the story, just not the plot in general. Cara appreciation, shout out to her for having great eyebrows P.

What's your favourite John Green novel? View all 77 comments. I could NOT put it down. It's funny and mysterious and just so real. View all 11 comments. And then it is the easiest goddamned thing in the world Leaving feels too good, once you leave. Some people take their time into actually doing it. They spent much time planning and scheming on how they should gloriously plow into life. There are some who tried "It's so hard to leave-until you leave.

There are some who tried a few times before succeeding, by accepting that their heavy butts are beginning to be a burden to their family and to the economy. My dear nephew, Jaff, calls it emancipation. They should be equipped, so as not to become scattered dandelions, gliding aimlessly waiting where the wind will blow them. Unfortunately for Margo, she has uninspired parents to motivate her. They are like the paper cut-outs Margo described, who boxed themselves inside this very peculiar thing called normal life.

They regard Margo's actions as rebellion. But all this is unknown to her family and friends. All her life, she has coated herself with a shell of Margo Stuff - the cool ones. It then became difficult for her to remove her coating and be herself. So the only option is to leave it all behind.

But there is still one string attached to this papergirl — Quentin Jacobsen. She wants Q to know her; understand her; love her for who she is inside, no matter how crooked and unreasonable that Margo may be. Little did he know that this journey will not only lead him to Margo, but discover the Margo hiding within too.

Thus, making him aware of his own capabilities and weaknesses. Knowing that he will succeed in finding his place in the world someday soon.

This book gets you to think about the idea of a person and the actual being of a person. Because, of course, it is rather unfair to be thought of as just a mere idea. My favorite part is the Vessel. I had fun with this; I do hope you will too. View all 18 comments. Dec 30, Patrick rated it it was amazing Shelves: This sort of read is off the beaten track for me, non-fantasy YA-ish literature.

That said, it's amazingly well-written, and I enjoyed it immensely. John Green is an amazing author, and he writes with a delicacy I admire and envy. This book, was sweet and light and heartbreaking and true.

It's the sort of book I'll never be able to write Highly recommended for anyone. View all 5 comments. This book truly had me on an emotional roller coaster, and I enjoyed almost every minute of it. The book was broken into 3 parts, and I honestly felt completely different about each of them. The first part of this book was brilliant. It was a lovely introduction to the characters, and their life as high school seniors.

It has had a flashback which was a fun scene. The whole part with Q and Margo out at night was amazing. It was suspenseful and quite fun to read about those antics. We really This book truly had me on an emotional roller coaster, and I enjoyed almost every minute of it. We really got a sense of how far Q would go to impress this girl, although I never really understood why he liked her so much in the first place.

Not that there was anything wrong with Margo, but they went years without talking and still he's obsessed.

The second part of this book just dragged a bit for me. After the first little shocker of the "smelling death" incident it really seemed to slow down a lot. Firstly, I think too much emphasis was put on prom and preparation for something that was really a non-event for the main characters in the end.

I just got tired of hearing about prom after so long. Also, finding her just seemed to get monotonous, but that might well be because I'm impatient so don't worry about that!

I felt the ending was pretty anticlimactic. It was all leading up until they find her, right? I'm not going to lie I'm a sucker for drama and tragedy, but I wasn't necessarily hoping they would have found her dead in a shack, having committed suicide. After all of the talk about that I feel that would have been too obvious. I don't know I just finished the book and was like hmm that's the end? I love John's writing, and I adore his characters. I love how it ended solely because he keeps his characters genuine and true to themselves.

He didn't portray them a certain way and then, at the end, abandon that and have them hook up anyway even though it wasn't best. So yes, I'm glad they went their separate ways. View all 16 comments. Spoilers This was disappointing.

Paper Towns Summary & Study Guide Description

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Of course, Quentin discovers this on May 28, so he and his friends skip their high school graduation to race at breakneck speed to Agloe, a "paper town" that doesn't exist on any map. It was created by .

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Paper Towns Summary Buy Study Guide Paper Towns starts with nine-year-olds Quentin “Q” Jacobsen and Margo Roth Spiegelman discover the corpse of Robert Joyner, a soon to be divorced man who committed suicide in the Jefferson Park.

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Paper Towns begins with a prologue that takes place nine years before the events of the novel. When Quentin Jacobsen and Margo Roth Spiegelman are nine years old, they find a dead man in a nearby . Margo’s description of their town as “a paper town” is an apt metaphor: she describes a paper town as one with cul-de-sacs and streets that turn into themselves and houses that are meant to fall apart.

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This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion and a Free Quiz on Paper Towns by John Green (author). Paper Towns is the story of a boy named Quentin Jacobsen and the adventure . Paper Towns Part 1: The Strings / Chapter 1 summary. Brief summary of Part 1: The Strings / Chapter 1 in Paper Towns book.