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.”

“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

{ 1143 comments… read them below or add one }

williama November 17, 2014 at 7:09 am

This implies, of course, studying this content and studying something from it, offered there is something to be discovered.


salimah November 18, 2014 at 12:37 am

how many pages is paper towns ?


donthaveone November 18, 2014 at 4:54 pm

Around 300 . But you can read it very fast


sam November 18, 2014 at 11:37 pm

305 to be exact


Ma. Lucia November 23, 2014 at 1:17 pm

It has 366 in Spanish


sara November 20, 2014 at 5:50 pm



Trinity November 23, 2014 at 5:40 pm

This book is legitimately one of the best books I have read so far. I enjoyed it very much. I spent many days staying up late to find out what happens.


John_Green_Fan999 December 2, 2014 at 5:37 pm

Ummm I completely agree wwith you and my name is Trinity as well.


trinity December 7, 2014 at 7:10 pm

well this is weird because my name is trinity too


aleksy November 24, 2014 at 3:53 am

looking forward to read it.


Tyrone November 24, 2014 at 1:43 pm

The movie is being shot in Charlotte NC


tm December 3, 2014 at 11:52 am

a Cabarrus County School to be exact…go CCS!!!


Emma November 24, 2014 at 8:10 pm

Dear Mr. Green,
I am not one to usually write comments but here I am. You’ve changed me as a person.
Now I know that you usually get a million comments a day and can barely keep your eyes open! Believe me, I know what its like to be tired. But I was hoping you can read this before it dies within the other comments.
How do I begin to describe Paper Towns. Well thats just the thing, every time I pick out a new words. Extravagant. Intriguing. Interesting. You book has inspired my life physically and an indiviual and mentally. I ,myself, can be described in one word…average. But you book reminds me that we all have a place in this world and belong. Wether its: becoming a mystery, or graduating from high school, or going on a road trip :) we are all going to do extrodinary things in life.
You start you book off with saying how everyone gets one miracle in their lives. Well my miracle was picking up your book.


SACKANDCLOTHES November 25, 2014 at 12:14 am

Who’s playing Ben and Lacey???


aPapergirlInaPaperTown December 4, 2014 at 11:37 am

Ben: Nat Wolff, and Lacey I don’t know


melissa December 4, 2014 at 4:47 pm

Nat wolf is playing Q and Halston Sage is going to play Lacey


remicah December 17, 2014 at 9:42 am

and Cara delevigne is playing Margo :)


Zoe Clapcott November 26, 2014 at 11:13 pm

Great book!!!! My fav I have ever read. I am doing a project on it and I was just wondering what does margo roth spiegelman look like????? Please reply if you have a description of what she looks like.
Thank you


Sunny December 5, 2014 at 2:53 am

cara delevingne will be playing her in the film adaption so that may give you an idea :)


trinity December 7, 2014 at 7:12 pm

well personally i think kate uptown should be margo, not cara. Also i think that thomas mann should be ben.


Hannah November 28, 2014 at 12:34 pm

Hello, Mrs Green.

You are an amazing person. I love to read what you write. I admire you as a person and a written. I have three books you have write: Looking for Alaska (I love it!), An Abudance of Katherines, Paper Towns and The Fault in Our Stars. I want so bad the new ones. I think I can get it after X-mas. I’m waiting for your movies (I have saw The Fault in Our Stars in the cinema and it was amazing).
Next monday I will present a school work about you and your book Paper Towns. I promise I’ll do my best.

I am from Portugal and I’m sorry for my bad english :(
By the way, you must visit my country, it’s beautiful.

I hope you write more books (I’m sure you will). Congratulations for your work!

Hannah (fake name)


Pierce November 29, 2014 at 8:45 pm

Paper Towns may be a movie, I’m not sure.


Hope December 1, 2014 at 8:11 pm

It is becoming a movie. They’re filming nearby me.


Pierce November 29, 2014 at 8:44 pm

I actually read this book eh, a couple months ago, and I absolutely adored it. I just couldn’t grasp a couple of things. a) Why, (and I know this must be a frequently asked question or something, and if not, oh well) does Margo leave? I mean, she has a good life and everything, and it’s inevitable that she doesn’t have anything wrong going on with her, so, why? b) Why did Q’s friends not wear anything under their graduation robes? Did you do that? c) When did this story take place, (i.e., 2000′s, 1970′s) I mean, that question is kind of stupid, but I just want to know.


Sharon November 30, 2014 at 8:35 pm

I just finished this book yesternight(actually like 3 am so actually today). I love the ending and I totally understand. I did a similar thing recently. I used to live in West Africa but I decided to relocate to Europe not because of the economic and social advantages but because everyone I knew expected something from me, they knew Me, they expected me to be me; meanwhile I did not know Who I was. I don’t know if I misguided them; which I doubt, I just had another Me in me. Now, I get live out the Me in me though I’m still figuring who I am and I think this book makes me feel like that situation isn’t weird at all. :) btw, Ben is hilarious.


John_Green_Fan999 December 2, 2014 at 5:39 pm

I read this book and balled my eyes out for an hour after finishing it… am I the only one who did this?


Katyana December 16, 2014 at 2:57 pm

No you are not the only one that was crying at it! i was so mad when it ended but it was amazing!!!!


gretakirsch December 2, 2014 at 6:31 pm

this is an amazing, book, I just discovered john green. more like got permission to read it. my parents were reluctant to let a 6th grader read books that were out of the middle school library. But just like with all thing I read, they gave in after some time. THESE BOOKS ARE AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Anonymous December 2, 2014 at 10:10 pm

I agree with the comment from Emma. Emma you are completely right for what you said. John Green has changed most peoples lives and has some amazing books. Paper Towns is one of my favorites. It has shown me many lessons, for example your actions can affect others as did Margo’s on Q. When I was reading this book it made me feel like I was in the real world. The way John Green describes every little detail is incredible. Reading this makes me feel that I am in the world of Q and Margo. Their world becomes average and mysterious but at the same time crazy and full of drama. All in all, this book has been and incredibly experience and lesson. I recommend this for all.


aPapergirlInaPaperTown December 3, 2014 at 11:30 pm

Hi, I just have finished reading Paper Towns, and I really like it. Before I start reading it I read some reviews of the book, most said that that they don’t like it. But I don’t think the same, I really enjoy the book. And when Margo dissapeared I also thought that she could have died. I couldn’t stop reading, I read it in 4 days! I really liked the character Q and Ben, and I think that Nat is perfect for Q! Can’t wait to see the movie, I think it Would be one Of my favorites Movies, like The book is Now of my Favorites.

Sincerely, Sara Morales


Cierra December 5, 2014 at 5:25 pm

what kind of symbolism did this book have?

Did it have any dramatic irony?


Dillon m December 6, 2014 at 12:56 am

I was able to be an extra for this movie. Its been great working with Nat and the cast. Concord NC


Léa .DF December 7, 2014 at 10:59 am

J’ai un livre de John green intitulé”la face cacher de Margo ” qui est la même histoire. Je voulais savoir si c’était la même histoire ou non . j’ai aussi les livres qui est tu Alaska ,will &will , nos étoiles contraires que j’ai beaucoup aimer. Je voulais juste dire que John green fais des livres fantastiques que j’adore, je lai fait découvrir à mes amis , et ils adorent aussi .


Julia December 7, 2014 at 5:45 pm

This book ist awesome. Really. I couldn’t stop reading it, but I’m very disappointed about the end. She didn’t want to be found? And she didn’t come back?
Well no matter, that book is great *-*


Nona :) December 12, 2014 at 9:16 pm

Dear John Green,
Hi! I really like your book, “Paper Towns” but in the end of the story you end it with Margo kissing Quentin. I’ve been thinking about what this might mean but I’m not exactly sure if I’m right. Does that last kiss signify that she will go back with them instead of heading to New York? Just a little question :). I’m a big fan of your books, have a nice day!
From, Nona Poydras


Christine December 13, 2014 at 6:46 am

paper towns is about what?


Emily December 17, 2014 at 9:53 am

this is a really awesome book loved it!


Abby December 18, 2014 at 4:08 pm



aiza yawar December 19, 2014 at 5:07 am

dear sir,
i would like to say that i greatly admire your novel and some stupid questions hit me. I would like to ask you is “An Imperial Affliction” really a novel i know it may seem odd to ask that but that’s the question i badly want to be answered.
Yours gratefully ,aiza


Meg Fenton December 19, 2014 at 9:17 am

I’ve just recently finish ‘Paper Towns’ and might i say one of the easiest books, most books i find hard to continue reading. But this one was different it pulls you in and makes you want to keep reading, i never ever use to rad until i heard of ‘The Fault In Our Stars’ and now it’s hard to hold a conversation with me without talking about book of John Green.
I would like to just say it is an amazing book just like all John Green books.


anonymus December 19, 2014 at 10:00 am

Dear, John Green,

i have read most of your books and they were awensome I liked them so much, the last one I read was Paper Towns and it change my way of thinking, I realice the way we see the other ones and I like it so much, but I want to ask you: what happened at the end?, because I want to know if they separe, what happen whit them, and not only Quentin and Margo I also want to know what happen whit the others; whit Ben, Radar, Laecy, etc, I feel like Hazel asking Van Houten what happen at the end of Imperial Afliction, when I finished I was like: why you are so mean?, in TFIOS Gus died, in Looking for Alaska, she died and in Paper Towns it end in a “mid-sentence”, so I will so gratefull if you can answer me, I know this maybe will get lost in other comments but it is good to try and please come to Colombia a very beautiful coutry that love you so much.



NyA December 21, 2014 at 4:59 pm

I have to admit that the three of your books that I have read ( t.f.I.o.s/19katherines/papert owns ) have all struck an imaginative power in me that I can’t control only being 15 I understood the feelings and actually became part of the book….
Thank you
Trinidad ……


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