Sunday, August 24, 2014

Paper Towns by John Green

The third book written by American author, John Green, on year 2008. The story starts with the life of young friends Quentin (aka Q) and Margo seeing a scene that has changed their life without them knowing.

The story flashes forward to their high school years when one night, Margo and Q went for a one night of great adventure. Here is a story of getting lost and being found.


  • Quentin "Q" Jacobsen - the story's main protagonist. A young man who has a crush for his neighbor Margo since they were kids
  • Margo Roth Spiegelman - Q's love interest and neighbor, who went missing after one night of great adventure with Quentin
  • Marcus "Radar" Lincoln - one of Q's best friend and the author of "Omnictionary". His parents are said to own the largest collection of Black Santas and described in the book as having all type of Santa figures in their home.
  • Ben Starling - one of Q's best fried and has a reputation as "Bloody Ben" after a kidney failure that most people think that it was because of chronic masturbating.
  • Lacey Pemberton - an old friend (best friend) of Margo who went with Q and friends on finding Margo. She has been Ben's boyfriend too.


Started when both Quentin and Margo were younger and saw a murder scene in a park. Realizing the event, they thought that a guy has it's strings broken, a metaphor at their young age, was the reason the man died.

From there, the story flashes forward to their high school years. They were maybe neighbors but on campus they are just strangers living on their own life.

One night, Margo knocks on Q's window and persuade him for a night adventure - a series of pranks and revenge plotted by Margo Spiegelman leaving only her initial on every crime scene. It was a night full of laughter and realization, a night that Q didn't realize would change him.

The day after, Margo suddenly disappeared without notifying everyone leaving no trace (or the way it looks like). Days passes by until Q accidentally found a clue on Margo's window telling him the whereabouts of her. From there the story progresses as Q looks for more clues and hints that she leaves in the hope of finding her.

What I Can Say

I find this story one of the few that you can't put down upon reading. The suspense on every chapter fills me as it unfolds the mystery of Margo's disappearance.

I love how the story defines the title Paper Towns - giving two meanings (an unfinished subdivision that just exists on brochure and a map trademark use for cartography) but I think it conveys that some places are just imaginary. One thing though that I really love about the story is how the protagonists explore the world, leaving his comfort zone, for an adventure worth remembering.

Quoted from the Book

"It is so hard to leave—until you leave. And then it is the easiest goddamned thing in the world."

"The town was paper, but the memories were not."

"I didn't need you, you idiot. I picked you. And then you picked me back."

"At some point, you gotta stop looking up at the sky, or one of these days you'll look back down and see that you floated away, too."
-Detective Otis Warren

"Okay, you're the Grammar King again. You've regained your throne. Now take me to SeaWorld."

"It's always seemed so ridiculous to me, that you would want to be with someone just because they're pretty. Like choosing breakfast cereal based on color instead of taste"


4.5 out of 5


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