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Paper Towns by John Green

A mysterious person is captured and decoded by a friend who will stop at nothing to find a girl who left the generic town without notice. The novel Paper Towns by John Green tells of an epic love story that is mostly fictional. The book starts with them finding a man whose was sad because “all the strings inside him broke.” He decided to take his life and it was Margo Roth Spiegelman and Quentin Jacobsen found him in the park as kids. This is the moment Margo’s passion for mysteries formed. “She loved mysteries so much she became one.” They fall away from being friends and one night their senior year she goes on an adventure with him all night. Later that morning she runs away leaving faint clues.


I admire Margo Roth Spiegelman because when she wanted to leave she did. She left clues for those who wanted to find her but never really wanted to be found. There was no commitment to anything or anyone. She was truly free and lived in a “forever composed of nows.” As you read it you realize that that kind of freedom comes at a cost, but is it worth it? She lived her life collecting memories not things. She was “In Love with cities [she’s] never been and people [she’s] never met.” She never let anyone stop her from being free which was her tragic flaw.


A motif in the book is the idea that people dream up characteristics of people, but in reality they aren’t like that. Margo does it to Quentin. Ben does it to Lacy. Sometimes we need people to be someone they aren’t, and when they can’t be that person it is sad. It also goes the other way. You can think someone can’t help in your life or isn’t necessary, but they are the greatest help in your life. People also changing carries into this motif. Ben Starling was Quentin’s friend and as they look for Margo he becomes paper like the town. He finds a girlfriend and wants to live in the bubbled world of popularity in high school.


The book starts off with all the characters and how they are in reality. Then The fantasy of the Characters comes through throughout the book. Then the fancies and the realities merge together to form who they are by the end of the book. Like Margo said, “You have to get lost before you can find yourself.” Some came out of there hermit shells and became bolder. Some embraced their nerdy side, while others let there sarcasm run wild.


This book should definitely be read by all. My favorite part about the book is I never felt like I was reading. It always flowed and the words came to life as they played in my mind.




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