Paper Towns: Summary, review, movie

Hey readers. Welcome to the page! Today we’re gonna talk about another young adult, ‘Paper Towns’. Paper Towns is written by the ‘phenomenal’ American author John Green. The novel was initially published on 16th October 2008. The novel is considered to be John Green’s one of the best novel after ‘The Fault in our stars’ and ‘Looking for Alaska’. Paper Towns was included in New York times bestseller list and has been awarded Edgar Award for Best Young Adult in 2009. The novel is widely acclaimed and considered one of the best young adult of all time.

‘Not only clever and wonderfully witty but also deeply thoughtful and insightful.’ -Booklist

Paper Towns has also recieved very positive reviews from students and even parents too.

So let’s get straight to the summary of this ‘master work’ by John Green

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Paper Towns: Summary

“Everyone gets a miracle”

In the beginning of the novel, Quentin Jacobsen, the narrator and protagonist of the novel and Margo Roth Spiegelman encounter a dead body in a park named Jefferson park. Margo and Quentin however didn’t did anything exceptional and went home and informed their parents, this incident had a long lasting impact on Quentin, who was just 9 at that time, and so was Margo.

After nine years, Quentin isn’t quite popular in high school, but Margo is. She’s a popular girl of the school. Margo and Quentin lost contact after that incident, but Quentin secretly likes Margo and wishes they could be friends again. Quentin has two best friends, Radar and Ben.

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One night, Margo shows up by climbing through Quentin’s bedroom window. Margo asks Quentin to accompany her in his car that night. Quentin agrees but Margo doesn’t tell him the reason initially. She soon tells him that she choose him to help her with the eleven-part plan she has formulated to take revenge from people who have hurt her during high school. Quentin, being fascinated by hearing her plan becomes reluctant to help her out with it, but he eventually agrees. The plan mainly included taking revenge from her boyfriend, Jase, who has been cheating on her and two of her so called friends Lacey and Becca. Margo tells Quentin that Jase has been cheating on her with her friend Becca.

The revenge included informing Becca’s father that Jase is in his basement with Becca late at night by calling his father anonymously, which was done by Quentin. Margo takes revenge from Lacey, who’s guilty of not telling her about Becca and Jase even after knowing everything. They break into Lacey’s car and squish a catfish under it’s backseat. At the end of the night they break into the sea world and spend sometime together. After they return home, Quentin believes that his friendship would eventually grow when he’ll meet her the next day at school.

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‘Nothing ever happens like you imagine it will…..but if you don’t imagine, nothing ever happens at all’

Things doesn’t turns out as expected for Quentin, as the next day Margo doesn’t shows up at school. Even after a couple of days, there’s no sign of Margo. He soon finds out that Margo is missing, and her parents believe that she has ran away. They also seek help from a detective, but he turns out to be helpless and insists that she ran away and would never be found until she wants to be. Quentin finds some clues, which he believes that Margo has left for him and that ‘she want him to find her’. Quentin, Ben and Radar finds Margo’s book called Leaves of Grass, in which she highlighted a poem called ‘a song to myself’ and a Woody Guthrie’s poster on her bedroom. Quentin soon finds a written address under his doorjamb.

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These clues leads Quentin to an abandoned mini mall which is located in Florida. After thoroughly analyzing the mini mall, Quentin discovers that Margo has spent time here. He also finds a bunch of maps in the mall. Quentin soon gets a note that Margo has left that talks about ‘paper towns’ or ‘pseudovisions’. He thinks that Margo has committed suicide in one of those pseudovisions. Pseudovisions are basically suburban subdivisons that were abandoned before they could be built completely. Quentin gets devastated by the thought that Margo would commit suicide, so he goes to each and every pseudovisions he manages to find. However, even after his prolonged quest, he fails to find Margo.

Due to his insane obsession for finding Margo, he gets into fight with his friend Ben, who’s more concerned about his graduation and girlfriend rather than finding Margo. As his obsession grows, he spends the prom night in that abandoned mini mall. During the night he feels that what Margo would be going through and who she really is from inside.

‘All those paper people living in their paper houses, burning the future to stay warm’

Quentin soon finds an internet post which was written by Margo on Radar’s website. The post states that Margo is in a town (a paper town) called Agloe which is located somewhere near New York, it also states that she’ll be there till May 29. So, Quentin  now has only 24 hours to reach Margo. Quentin, Radar, Ben and Lacey skip graduation to immediately leave to Agloe in Quentin’s minivan.

They start this fantastic road trip from Florida to New York. They met with an accident during the trip, which would’ve been serious, but fortunately, none of them gets seriously wounded. The road trip eventually deepens the bond between them.

They finally reach Agloe, they think that Margo wanted them to find her and she’d be thankful to them. But when they ultimately meet Margo, rather being happy, she’s shocked and she acts completely different. She doesn’t seems to be grateful or even happy with their presence. Margo tells them that she ‘doesn’t wanted to be found’ and that she’s happy here. She tells Quentin that she has left the clues for to assure him that she’s alright and not in trouble or something.  Angered by her reaction, Lacey, Ben and Radar leave but Quentin decides to stay with her and talk to her. Margo explains him that what he thinks about Margo being an helpless girl who wanted to be saved by a ‘knight in shining armor’ is completely wrong.

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After the conversation, Margo gets ready to move to New York. She invites Quentin to come with her to New York. But Quentin refuses as he understands that his and Margo’s world are completely different and he has to go back to Orlando cause he has his own responsibilities and obligations.

Paper Towns: Review

Paper Towns is a good novel with a great concept, especially the concept of ‘paper towns’ and ‘paper people’ is surely one of it’s kind. The novel keeps you engaged throughout, and like other young adult novels, it’s not too fast paced. The first and second part of the novel are easy going but the third part would surely give you goosebumps, especially the road trip and the twist at the end.

The characters are great and the protagonist, Quentin, is quite adorable too. Margo Roth Spiegelman, you might love her or hate her, that totally depends on the reader’s perspective, especially after the end of the novel. But you’d surely adore Quentin Jacobsen. But the thing about the characters is that they’re quite similar to John Green’s ‘Looking for Alaska’. If you’d read it, you would find Alaska and Margo similar, Quentin and Miles too.

The concept of ‘Paper Towns’ is really good, but it’s really difficult to understand it. Although the novel is good and has a massive twist at the end, but to be honest, the conclusion is not quite up to the mark. Overall the novel is one of the finest written by John Green and you’d not regret giving it a shot.

Paper Towns: Movie

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The movie was released on 24th July 2015 by the same name as the novel, ‘Paper Towns’. Paper Towns is directed by Jake Schreier. The movie starred Nat Wolff as Quentin Jacobsen and Cara Delevingne as Margo Roth Spiegelman. Ansel Elgort did a cameo in the movie too as Mason.

The movie grossed $85 million overall and was a success and got good reviews from critics.


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