Paper Towns

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Title: Paper Towns

Author: John Green

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Language: English

Pages: 307 pages


Quentin has always loved Margo Roth Spiegelman, for Margo (and her adventures) are the stuff of legend at their high school. So when she one day climbs through his window and summons him on an all-night road trip of revenge he cannot help but follow.

But the next day Margo doesn’t come to school and a week later she is still missing. Q soon learns that there are clues in her disappearance… and they are for him. But as he gets deeper into the mystery – culminating in another awesome road trip across America – he becomes less sure of who and what he is looking for.


“Margo always loved mysteries. And in everything that came afterward, I could never stop thinking that maybe she loved mysteries so much that she became one.” (p.16)

Quentin ‘Q ‘ Jacobsen loved Margo Roth Spiegelman since that girl moved into his neighbour. Margo has the all of unique characteristic Quentin fall for her. He thinks that Margo is an amazing girl because she was different in any case as compared with the other girls. She’s stunning, eccentric, and has unexpected different way of thinking. These things became the reason why Quentin has a great interest towards Margo. For Quentin , Margo is an complicated adventure with puzzles that he could never guess before. They both became good friends when they were child . But the thing’s slowly changing as they growing older. Margo became a popular girl. While the nerd Quentin felt himself getting too far away to be able to reach Margo.

“That’s always seemed so ridiculous to me, that people want to be around someone because they’re pretty. It’s like picking your breakfast cereals based on color instead of taste.” (p.42)

Until one night, Margo surprised him by suddenly come to his room. She’s climbing through the window and asked Quentin to lend her a car. Quentin,  who always dreamed to be close with Margo, did nothing but lend his car for free. And when Margo dragged along Quentin with her, he agreed. They both did a mission for revenge against those who betrayed Margo, her friends and boyfriend. Margo’s madness (which ended in Quentin’s mind as more like a great adventure they did again after all this time) about her revenge that involving the coward Quentin, unconsciously make him thought that maybe after that night he could fix his relationship with Margo again. Perhaps there will be an opportunity for him to get closer to the girl who always he loved.

But, surprisingly, the next day Margo has disappeared. According to the story of his parents, Margo has been doing the same thing over and over again: disappeared without a word, but odd enough because she left the various hints that placed everywhere.

This part makes me think that Margo, absolutely is, an attention seeker.

But hold on. All people who did a things that are unusual always supported by a reason, isn’t it?

So Quentin looking for her, armed with all the clues left by Margo and his belief that this time she won’t to be found by others but Quentin himself. Adventure that undertaken by Quentin together with his friends to find Margo bring them into a meaningful processes to the maturity, and opened their eyes wider in understanding every complicated thing that possibly happens in this world.

“All those paper people living in their paper houses, burning the future to stay warm. All the paper kids drinking beer some bum bought for them at the paper convenience store. Everyone demented with the mania of owning things. All the things paper-thin and paper-frail. And all the people, too. I’ve lived here for eighteen years and I have never once in my life come across anyone who cares about anything that matters.” (p.61)

Consider from the movie’s quotation “Get Lost, Get Found”, I think it relates to the something very, very, very important we could get and learn from the story. Whether it’s about something lost or accidentally lost, and how to find the right way to discover a thing. To discover the identity as a person and find what is really desired.

“You know your problem, Quentin? You keep expecting people not to be themselves.” (p.195)

Also, that one thing may looks different according to the thought of some people. And we shouldn’t have the confidence to create a judgment according to our will and the way we think about, but we should have give a spaces to let the opinions of others including the fact to create our final judgement. I was reminded about one quotation from anonymous: Do not trust everything you see, even salt looks like sugar. It was true, our point of views are too complicated to builds an understanding for a person or for a case moreover if it only through a glance.

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Or, if the changes come to intervene, then, we will be so much more difficult to understand what really happened to a person.

But sometimes, the difficulties and the failure of understanding may indirectly lead us to turn to understand ourselves. To find ourselves through what happens to other people.

“I realize that people lack good mirrors. It’s so hard for anyone to show us how we look, and so hard for us to show anyone how we feel.” (p.199)

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. ” (p.200)


Surprisedly, I found out myself enjoyed reading this novel. My disappointment to The Fault In Our Stars replaced by a story that’s very unpredictable in terms of touching things very commonly about changes and finding something. There is only one rule to enjoy the works of John Green: never see the movie before reading the book, and read the original edition not the translations. Then you’ll found the interesting way which is forms the strength of the typical writings of John Green: his metaphors.

Rating: 4/5


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