Paper Towns by John Green

December 15, 2010
By kendallw512 BRONZE, Chesterton, Indiana
kendallw512 BRONZE, Chesterton, Indiana
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

The book Paper Towns was written by John Green. He is also the author of the novels Looking for Alaska and An Abundance of Katherines. Both of these books received the Michael L. Printz award. Along with being a writer, Green is a part of the video blog Brotherhood 2.0 with his brother, Hank. John Green’s writing style is quirky and well thought through.

Paper Towns is a fictional young adult novel that takes place in present-time Orlando, Florida. The main characters of the story are next-door-neighbors, Quentin “Q” Jacobsen and Margo Roth Speiglman. Q and Margo are both seniors at Central Florida High School, but both are on different routes towards the beginnings of their lives and have been since they were nine. Q is a quick and witty band geek who is not in band at all. Margo on the other hand is the “IT” girl who believed in random capitalization and the present. Q has had a love for Margo for as long as he can remember.

One night, a few weeks before high school graduation, Margo showed up at Q’s window dressed as a ninja. “This is going to be the best night of your life.” Margo and Q went on an adventure of seven parts, each filled with revenge and excitement. “We’re not going to break anything. Don’t think of it as breaking into SeaWorld. Think of it as visiting SeaWorld in the middle of the night for free.” For the adventure as a whole, Margo came up with a list of items needed:

3 whole Catfish, Wrapped separately

Veet (It’s for Shaving your legs Only you don’t Need a razor It’s with all the Girly cosmetic stuff)


six-pack, Mountain Dew

One dozen Tulips

One Bottle Of water


one Can of blue Spray paint
The morning after their epic adventure, Margo went missing. Known for running away and coming back home with unbelievable tales that turn out to be fact, no one is worried- except for Q. He then realizes that Margo has left clues for him as to where she might have disappeared to. “I didn’t need you, you idiot. I picked you. And then you picked me back.” Q and his best friends, Radar and Ben, end up on a quest to find her. Margo’s clues lead the boys to the book Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman which leads them to abandoned houses which leads them to several paper towns which could lead them to Margo. Do they find her? Is Margo the person that Q believed her to be? “Margo was not a miracle. She was not an adventure. She was not a fine and precious thing. She was a girl.” Is Q the person that he thought he was?

The theme of Paper Towns is that understanding a person’s reason and concepts is more important than understanding a person for what you believe them to be. “What a treacherous thing to believe that a person is more than a person.” The tone of the book was smart and clever. The emotion of Paper Towns is varied from character to character. Q was always hopeful in the search for finding Margo, while his friends were understanding but were impatient. Margo was feeling empty and escaped because she didn’t want to be “a paper girl in a paper town”.

A paper town is a term used to describe a city or town which purportedly exists, but in reality only exists on paper. Margo considered Orlando to be a paper town. Q, trying to find secret meaning in what Margo said, thought she was referring to the newness of the city. What did she really mean?

Paper Towns is an entertaining book filled with wit, thoughtfulness, comedy, correct grammar usage (excluding Margo’s random capitalization), and originality. There is a diverse cast of characters which this makes this story more relatable for more readers. Paper Towns is a definite page turner. The novel has a certain light-heartedness that intrigues the reader. I would recommend this book to anyone who is into stories about love, mystery, meaning, and life itself.

Similar Articles


This article has 3 comments.

on Sep. 12 2015 at 6:47 pm
Fanfiction13 PLATINUM, Somewhere, Other
28 articles 0 photos 7 comments

Favorite Quote:
There's no fame without fans.

The website is

RussellKim said...
on May. 27 2015 at 9:14 pm
RussellKim, San Diego, California
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment
@sab20 Paper Towns isn't my favorite John book but it's the most relateable to me throughout but the ending was But to me, paper towns has taught me the biggest lesson. But I have a question, what's your favorite book by John Green.

on May. 5 2015 at 10:32 am
Serena102101 BRONZE, Hartland, Wisconsin
4 articles 0 photos 12 comments

Favorite Quote:
You put the killing thing in your mouth, but never give it the power to kill you
-The Fault In Our Stars

I have read this book a million times, and I can't really explain how much this book can inspire me and I hope John Green can and will continue to inspire great minds.

saffana SILVER said...
on Jun. 3 2014 at 10:59 pm
saffana SILVER, Mumbai, New Jersey
6 articles 0 photos 2 comments

Favorite Quote:
time heals everything but it takes time to heal

i didnt like the book,though i understood what john green wanted to convey but frankly speaking i really didnt like his style.

Parkland Book