Paper Towns

Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs back into his life–dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge–he follows.

After their all-nighter ends and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Q soon learns that there are clues–and they’re for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer he gets, the less Q sees of the girl he thought he knew.

Paper Towns debuted at #5 on the New York Times bestseller list and won the 2009 Edgar Award for Best Young Adult Mystery. It is taught in many high school and college curricular, often in conjunction with Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, which is an important text within the novel.

If you’ve read the book and don’t mind spoilers, you can find much, much more over at the Paper Towns Questions Page.

If you would like to read this book in another language, go to the translations page.

Reviews (Spoiler Alert!)

“Green’s prose is astounding — from hilarious, hyperintellectual trash talk and shtick, to complex philosophizing, to devastating observation and truths. He nails it–exactly how a thing feels, looks, affects–page after page.”
-Johanna Lewis, School Library Journal, starred review

“A suspenseful mystery, a compelling central metaphor, and one of those road trips that every senior hopes he or she will have round out this exploration of the kind of relationship that can’t help but teach us a little bit about ourselves.”
-Bulletin for the Center of Children’s Books, starred review

“A powerfully great read.”
-VOYA

“There are echoes of Green’s award-winning Looking for Alaska (2005): a lovely, eccentric girl; a mystery that begs to be solved by clever, quirky teens; and telling quotations (from Leaves of Grass, this time) beautifully integrated into the plot. Yet, if anything, the thematic stakes are higher here, as Green ponders the interconnectedness of imagination and perception, of mirrors and windows, of illusion and reality. That he brings it off is testimony to the fact that he is not only clever and wonderfully witty but also deeply thoughtful and insightful. In addition, he’s a superb stylist, with a voice perfectly matched to his amusing, illuminating material.
–Michael Cart, Booklist, starred review

{ 599 comments… read them below or add one }

Sophie March 26, 2014 at 4:26 pm

hello, i’m Writing here Again because i Have the hope you’ll See This and Maybe help me A little. i Am really Interested in the casting of paper Towns but i Don’t Know if the Casting has Already Been chosen. i’d Like to Get some information about It because, Well, i Am a girl and i Really want to cast for it.

my Best wishes and i Really Hope you See this… AND help me :)

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madeline March 26, 2014 at 5:26 pm

Natt Wolf ( the boy who will play isacc in TFIOS) Will play Q.

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Cara March 30, 2014 at 7:45 pm

i Really Quite appreciate Your use of Capitalization :)

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Glaiza March 31, 2014 at 2:26 am

the Use Of capitalization like The Way margo do It :)

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Eby March 26, 2014 at 8:28 pm

I am not a great fan of books and that’s why I have only read 2 complete books in my life before picking Paper Town for my English novel Study.
I hoped it would be good book like the other 2 good books I read in my entire whole life.(which I thought was good)
But when I started reading it, I was just in a different world, A world where I was learning about someone which made me understand about how people are different and also that there are good and different people in this world like Mr.Green who can really make someone happy……….
Thank you for this wonderful book………..Made my World Different
Eby

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Mia Claire March 31, 2014 at 8:33 pm

Me to! This book really changed me :)

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Christal Marcelino March 27, 2014 at 3:08 pm

I love the way the author had expressed his emotions in this book. It made me realize so many things… After reading some lines that touched my heart, I’ll go back to front page and admire the book then go back reading again. Love love for this

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Thomas March 27, 2014 at 6:09 pm

Mr. John Green,
I have only read two of your books. In that time I have realised that a
ll your books combined are greater than my very large personal collection if books including a 1924 copy of Doctor Do Little. You write about death and this makes me very happy because for a while I wanted to die. The fault in our stars and Paper towns are what have made me feel better. I haven’t felt as good as I do as I read your books in a very long time. My friend Riley recommended your books and has partially made her instagram account based just on you. You should follow her. I think its @hp_timelord_theatrechick

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Maddie S. March 27, 2014 at 9:08 pm

I have read almost all of your books and I must say that you are like part of my life. I always keep TFIOS in my backpack for good luck. As well a copy in my locker. I would like to know when and where the auditions for the Paper Towns movie are. Although I am very confident that I will not get a part, I would love to at least try. Please write back. Thank you.

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Misbah March 28, 2014 at 6:06 am

Fault in our stars is love

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Emily March 28, 2014 at 12:07 pm

Hi. I really enjoyed Paper Towns. It was actually given to me as a gift by my best friend when I was told I have a Blood Cancer and had to go through chemo. Every thursday when I would go to the Chemo Lab I would read this book for two hours. It helped me escape what was happening for a little while. My cancer is completely gone now and this book is a reminder to me of how things were going to be ok. I’m very interested in the casting for Paper Towns. If there is any information I would like to know. :)

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Rachel March 29, 2014 at 2:58 pm

hi john,
i am a huge fan of you and hanks youtube, and your books. would you mind saying hi to henry for me?

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Cat K. March 30, 2014 at 3:03 am

John Green! You are a rockin’ novelist and Paper Towns is now my absolute favorite book. Looking for Alaska and Will Grayson, will grayson trail right behind. Paper Towns is extremely enjoyable and fun. The characters are so in depth that they not only relate well to readers but also feel real. Thank you for writing books grounded in the explicit reality young adults’ lives take place in.

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Mavish March 30, 2014 at 2:12 pm

This is so cool! Great job – Keep it up!

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Glaiza March 31, 2014 at 2:28 am

that Feeling when You wish To Be (for Girls) margo Spiegelman :) Because i Do :)

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-p March 31, 2014 at 1:07 pm

you guys who comment on this are brillant

you need to be my best friends.

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-p March 31, 2014 at 1:07 pm

*brilliant

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Anna March 31, 2014 at 1:08 pm

I will be your best friend
anyone on else that wants to be frineds with someone who has none reply

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-p March 31, 2014 at 1:09 pm

YOU ARE SITTING RIGHT NEXT TO ME ANNA. STFU.

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Vanya April 1, 2014 at 2:41 pm

hi can i be your friend

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Anna April 7, 2014 at 12:37 pm

You don’t want to be friends with her

-p April 7, 2014 at 12:38 pm

I WILL BE YOUR FRIEND!!! :D

-p April 7, 2014 at 12:38 pm

Anna’s a meanie

-p March 31, 2014 at 1:08 pm

so basically,
this book is my life.

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Anna March 31, 2014 at 1:10 pm

This book is amazing it took me less than two days to finish this book. I love this writing so much. It takes a really good author to get mew to cry and I must say, John Green, you are the master. All of your books are on my read when I’m older and whenever I can list. Cried four times. Love you all, Anna *Secret*

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Anna March 31, 2014 at 1:12 pm

Okay so I have a friend that has brain cancer. She gets headaches and feels lightheaded at times. I am worried about her and I know she might not have alot left in her. So if anyone nedds to talk im here

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Secret March 31, 2014 at 8:31 pm

I wanted to talk about this book. it is really good and i Love it. I also want to find that nail polish. Does anybody know where I can find that shade of red? If so I will tell all of you girls who want to buy this color polish.

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Danette Veronica Mendoza April 1, 2014 at 11:53 pm

I LOVE YOUR BOOKS

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Brianna April 2, 2014 at 8:51 am

How can I be an extra in papertowns!!!!!! I live 10 minutes from winter park and it would make me soooo happy to either see the movie be filmed or even walk in the background as in extra. I appreciate so greatly your books and quote you all the time, with correct citation of course ;)

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Mia April 2, 2014 at 10:56 am

Hi Mr. John Green,
I was how one is able to become an extra in the Paper Towns movie. My sister and I love the book and would love to be extras, but unfortunately we have no idea how we could do that.

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Rebekah April 2, 2014 at 11:19 pm

Hi! I just want to say that I absolutely love your books! I just finished reading Paper Towns and theres just one thing that kinda bothers me about it. And that is that in the beginning when Quentin and Margo go to Publix, you said that it was like one or two in the morning or something of the sort. But I’m wondering how that can be when, in real life, Publix closes at 10:00… I know this is Not exactly real life but if it’s going to be pretty darn close to it I think a little more accuracy with the minor details would make it better. And i am Sorry if this got to you in anyway negatively, it’s just that I’m such a stickler when it comes to minor details like this…

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Hannah W April 3, 2014 at 8:50 am

Hi John! Early last school year, I read TFIOS. This led me to start watching Vlogbrothers, and, over the course of the year, read your other books. I know there is little chance you will ever see this, but I really just want to say thank you to both you and Hank. You guys made me realize that if I wanted to help decrease World Suck, I first needed to make sure that I was in a good place, because helping people might make them happy, but I was still miserable. You helped me to be selfish in a good way, to take a step back from everything to ask myself if I was okay, and if what I was doing was really helping me and making me happy. I realized that nearly everything in my life, especially at school, made me deeply unhappy. The people I surrounded myself with made me feel terrible about myself and the things I loved and did. I wouldn’t talk about things I liked, I wouldn’t voice my opinions or wear clothes that I liked, and I never let myself acknowledge how miserable I was. But you and Hank helped me understand that I needed to surround myself with people who made me happy, so I cut out people who made me feel bad, and ended up not having anyone at school. I was alone for awhile, and the only source of happiness was watching Vlogbrothers. But then, I found happiness in two incredibly nerdy things: theatre and Latin Club. I found my love for (and, oddly enough, talent of) acting. But more importantly, these activities led me to a group of older kids who were so happy and so unapolageticly themselves. They became my friends, and they helped me to be myself and to be happier. However, later in the year, I developed an undiagnosed eating disorder (I never went to a doctor since my parents never realized what was happening). I probably dropped about 15-20 lbs in a little over a month. The only people who ever noticed were the older kids in theatre and Latin club. They helped me to get out of the bad place I was in, but I also realized that if I really wanted to be better, I couldn’t stay at a school where the only times I was happy were during rehearsals, the once-a-week Latin Club meetings, and while reading and watching Vlogbrothers. So I audtioned for the drama department at the Cincinnati School for the Creative and Performing Arts. I go to school there now, and I’m always surrounded by people who make me happy and genuinely care about me. I no longer worry too much about what I wear or what I love. It’s nearing my 14th birthday now, and I can’t believe how lucky I am to have amazing friends and be able to be in a truly wonderful and accepting community as the Nerdfighters. So, John Green, I jut want to say thank you. From the bottom of my heart and soul, thank you for helping me through such a bad and difficult period of my life. I’m sure that I will encounter worse, but now I have friends who will help me, and I have you, Hank, and the Nerdfighters. I know that there is very little chance that you will see this, but knowing that there is a chance that you might makes me so happy. A year ago, I couldn’t really be happy, but the fact that I now can makes me even happier. Because of you, I am now seemingly possessed with the simple and utter joy of being able to experience happiness, and for that, John, I can never thank you enough.

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Rankin Bullard April 4, 2014 at 9:50 am

I absolutely loved this incredible book. I would love to be a part of the cast as Jase or Ben! I am about to graduate from high school and plan on becoming an actor. Please check out my YouTube channel: Rankin2365

Thanks :)

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vane April 5, 2014 at 6:31 pm

hi, i’m not girl usa and writing is not very good but really I liked your book “The fault in our stars” and really made me mourn so so much haha I hope take something good with this, I think so. And thanks for see things better with the cancer, always there are here love , tnks again :)

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ebear20 April 5, 2014 at 11:02 pm

Hello John Green. One question. I am very upset about the ending of Paper Town. I know your not a second Peter Van Houten (TFIOS) but I was wondering what happens after (SPOILER) they kiss on the very last page. Does Quinten stay with Margo or does he leave and go home. What happens with Lacey and Ben? Radar and Angela. Does Q go to college? What about Margo? Thank:)

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maddy April 6, 2014 at 10:32 am

re-read the end and focus on Q’s thoughts. you’ll get an idea.

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maddy April 6, 2014 at 10:31 am

I heard that Paper Towns is being made into a movie!! So excited! I love the book so much with all of my heart <3 *does happy dance*

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C April 10, 2014 at 12:48 am

if Nat Wolff would be Q, then Gus the Urban Explorer would be Ansel Elgort. LOL

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Gabby April 7, 2014 at 1:14 am

John Green, your books continue to amaze me. I love that you write about fictional characters in a way that many of us can relate to. Your books face reality and I think that’s truly important. I can’t wait to read more of your work. Thank you for all you do!

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Augustin Man April 7, 2014 at 3:30 am

Hello Mr. Green,

Your impressive book made me think to “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” of Truman Capote, because there is basic likeness between Holly Golightly and Margo Roth Spiegelman: they both abhor a normal life. But the likeness stops here: as Holly is scared about her “traveling” future, Margo sees no alternative to it. By the way, I hope you don’t mind, but how Margo lives indefinitely with only some hundred dollars she took from her parents seems unrealistic.

All the best,
Augustin Man

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Kayla April 8, 2014 at 2:38 pm

Hi, you probably will never read this and already did the casting call for Paper Towns. But, I will still try. My name is Kayla Trainor and I’ve lived in Orlando, FL my entire life. I know Orlando like the back of my hand. I’ve always wanted to be apart of something bigger and that will, hopefully, help other people. I have been a nerdfighter for almost three years and I love your work (and Hank’s work such as the SciShow and his songs). I would love to be in a movie or at least attempt to. So, if you haven’t already done the casting, I would love for you to come to Orlando and give me a chance (and those in my area as well). Thank you.

- Kayla Trainor

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Julia April 9, 2014 at 3:20 pm

hello, i Really Loved this book. it Was One of the Best books I have Ever read. I was so Happy when I found Out It was being Made into A movie. I literally Screamed when my Friend Told me. XD

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Todd April 9, 2014 at 3:25 pm

This book has fundamentally changed my views on life. haha I’m only kidding but I will forever remember this amazingly written book. Maybe a sequel sounds good? :)

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noe April 9, 2014 at 8:21 pm

How do i Plan an adventure Like in paper Towns without getting Arrested?

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C April 10, 2014 at 12:44 am

ask robbers? no, just study the flow of people, the time of their sleep, clsoing time, just study the time, and the place also, the fire exit. OBSERVE. wear black outfit. be bold, be brave and equipp yourself with convincing words. trust me, i’d done it.

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-p April 10, 2014 at 12:53 pm

I need you to be my friend.

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Clarence April 10, 2014 at 12:35 am

i use to write stories before then i got bored, but reading Papertowns triggers me to continue my unfinish businesses. i love roadtrips also.

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C April 10, 2014 at 12:36 am

When Q saw Gus on Sun Trust, I thought of Augustus Waters. LOL

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Erin April 10, 2014 at 9:16 am

LITERALLY I SCREAMED AND WALKED AROUND MY HOUSE FOR AN HOUR COMPLAINING ABOUT THE IRONY OF REUSING NAMES.

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Erin April 10, 2014 at 9:14 am

I like your book. Sincerely, a woman of many words.

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Rose April 10, 2014 at 6:42 pm

Encore une fin à imaginé. C’est beau. J’ai adoré “la face caché de Margo” ou “Paper Town”. J’ai complètement entré dans l’histoire. J’adore les personnages et l’humour toujours présent.
Énorme merci

R.

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Ashley April 10, 2014 at 9:18 pm

I didnt know paper towns would be a movie!! YESSSHHH

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Danica April 11, 2014 at 6:42 am

Hi!

I would like to know what really happened to Paper Towns’ ending.
The last paragraph to be specific. :)
I’m really confused…
Please answer :)

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Patience April 11, 2014 at 12:45 pm

When does the movie come out??! I’m so exciteeeed!! :D

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Bryn Clarke April 14, 2014 at 5:53 pm

For me, reading this book was like working out at the gym, or going for a run. While in the middle, it’s hard, and kind of grueling but you keep going at it because you know in the end you will be better for it.

Like running in place, Q’s obsession with finding M finally, strangely, somehow yielded fruit, no matter how annoying it was during or how impossible it seemed when it began.

I don’t care what anyone says, including John Green himself, even if he someday writes a sequel, despite everything that came before the both of them ended up in that silver honda civic.

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nikki estreba April 15, 2014 at 2:15 pm

Omg i found the perfect song for this movie idk if anyone has heard of it but it’s called riptide by vance joy idk it just somehow fits the book to me but thats just me and im weird

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Jordyn April 15, 2014 at 7:10 pm

I don’t know if anyone has made this connection yet but “Mountweazel” is another word for fictitious entry, or copyright trap. “Myrna” means beloved, so Margo’s dog basically translates into “beloved paper town”, just like how Margo always had a special place in her heart for Agloe.
Also, I thought it was ironic that the cause of traffic in Paper Towns was a jackknifed truck, and that is how Alaska got out of this labyrinth of suffering.

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AWESOME April 16, 2014 at 12:02 pm

I am intrested in reading paper towns, because I just finished TFIOS and I’m intrestred in reading another of john greens books. I didn’t want to
read the comments in case their was a spoiler alert, so without “spoiling” it do you think I should read and why??? What is so good about it???
Thanks!

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Jordyn April 16, 2014 at 2:21 pm

Paper Towns is my bible!
This book is basically about a girl (Margo Roth Spiegelman) who did all of these insane things. A boy named Q (the narrator and main character) lived his whole life in fear of getting in trouble, of ruining his future. Even so, he always loved Margo from a far, treating her like an adventure, or a precious thing. He has these unrealistic idea of Margo, just like everyone did. Margo basically spends her last night in Orlando with Q where they go on this epic revenge trip involving spray paint, Vaseline, fish and a picture of her (ex) boyfriends penis. After this night, Margo disperses, which is not an unusual thing. This time, however, Margo left clues for Q. Basically, these clues completely change Q, he starts realizing how wrongly he imagined Margo. Not only this, he begins to actually live for now, not just the future. He takes risks, he lies, he has a road trip with all of his friends.
Honestly, this book gives so much insight into the superficiality of this world. How all of these “paper people” are so fake, they are so caught up in themselves to actually do something important. It is also hilarious. I mean, come on, they use the phrase “the world’s largest collection of black Santa’s” like 10 times.
John Green is a genius. I completely recommend Paper Towns. I’ve read it 4 times and am starting reading it a 5th!
“Maybe she loved mysteries so much she became one”

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Anna April 16, 2014 at 9:34 pm

Mr. Green, (if you read this)
I didn’t appreciate Paper Towns as much as I though I would at the end. It simply wasn’t what I wanted. I have a few questions, though.

1. What happens to Warren?

2. Why didn’t I get to know Q, and why did you want me to not know Q?

3. What is BP? The group stops at BP while on their way to New York to find Margo, and I don’t know what BP is.

4. Will you ever write a book about South-west New Hampshire? (Everyone always writes about the lakes or the fantastic 17 miles of coastline, which isn’t even the interesting part of the state.)

5. Why did Margo turn into Quentin’s Margo after being Margo’s Margo for like .003 seconds at the end?

6. (This isn’t a question.) I should be an English teacher because I feel like these questions make my teenage brain hurt and if I could ask these questions to future teenagers I could probably make their teenage brains hurt.

7. Did you intend for Q’s character to change a little from beginning to end?

8. What happens to the cow? Is it okay?

9. Did the SunTrust building just not mean anything? (Because I saw it as like this huge metaphor for life and all that but that’s a story for another time.)

10. Who is Margo Roth Speiglman?

It would mean a lot to know the answers, they’ve been bugging me since 3:00 this morning when I finished the book.

best Regards,
Anna

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