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

{ 840 comments… read them below or add one }

Riyaqa July 23, 2014 at 6:45 pm

I just finished this books yesterday , I really enjoyed reading it you’re a great author (my favourite so far) to be honest I really thought Margo killed herself you cant really blame me I’ve read ‘Looking for Alaska’ and Faults in our starts’ before this book and got use to you killing one of the main characters . anyway I love your books and I’ll be starting Will Graysen , Will Graysen next


haidy hassan July 24, 2014 at 8:36 am

hi,im haidy and i really love your books especially the fault in our stars and looking for alaska why dont you make a movie for looking for alaska and your other books ??


Augustus July 24, 2014 at 2:21 pm

Sweetie, that’s not how it works. He doesn’t make the movies, he sells the rights. He sold the rights for paper towns, looking for Alaska, and tfios.


Kaya July 24, 2014 at 2:20 pm

What are the points on the map again? I have looked for a while and cannot seem to come across them.


Antonia S. July 24, 2014 at 4:05 pm

Estimado John Green:
Acabo de terminar Paper Towns, realmente tengo muchas preguntas por hacer, pero sólo haré las que me tienen mas preocupadas, bien que es lo que realmente pasa? solo se dan un beso de despedida y nada mas? Q realmente deja que se vaya? es tan idiota como para dejarla ir?, la buscó solamente para saber si estaba viva y luego dejarla ir? ESTO NO PUEDE SER! y obviamente necesito saber la perspectiva de MARGO (una chica que amo sinceramente)
Antonia Sabrowski, Rancagua Chile


izzie July 26, 2014 at 12:16 pm

i Just wanna Try bluefin.


STRAIGHTANDFAST July 28, 2014 at 1:13 pm

same apart from the twitchiness


izzie July 28, 2014 at 2:50 pm

nah. i like Twitchy.


melimovil July 27, 2014 at 3:13 pm

Hi John !
Just want to say that sometimes the world is small…
I’ve followed you in Vlogbrothers and you with charlieissocoollike inspired me to have my own blog. My account is melimovil (as my nickname now), but I didn’t post too many videos anyway.
My best friend told me like 2 months ago that I have to read TFIOS.. and I did and I liked it. Then I saw your name as the author and I didn’t wonder why I liked it so much. Now I’m reading paper towns and I saw about the omnictionary. And now I’m writting you… in a public space haha
that’s it. I wanted to tell you this..
greetings from Chile


Abril July 28, 2014 at 1:48 pm

Hello John!

I’m from Barcelona and I read Paper towns (ciudades de papeles in spanish) and I like it very much.
The thing that I liked most, is the attitude that have Quentin, Ben, Lacey and Radar to found Margo. It’s so funny because they have differents attitudes and thiks.

Margo Roth Spiegelman is so funny and sometimes I agree with her. The world is very small and some people don’t see what we see us about our town.

The relation that have Quentin and Margo makes me the things that we do with my best friend. I’m not as the same crazy as Margo, but more or less like her.

John Green, you are really amazing. I love all your books (right now I’m starting “Abundances of Katherines” and is very good).

Thank you to be a writter and a person so incredible that makes me happy with your books.

Best regards,


filipa pires July 28, 2014 at 6:19 pm

hello john,
i’m from portugal and i finished paper towns in 2 days. when we love a book, we really don’t want anything else. everytime i read a book by you i think no other book can be better then the past one, but that’s when i read other and other and it keeps going like that and i keep loving your work.
i started reading your books like 2 months ago and now i dont know what to do because i just have more too books to read and after that i will be so empty.
i know you don’t want to know this and probably , with very luck you’ll read this in ten years, or maybe, never. and i will be a grown up (yes because i’m only 15) and i won’t remember all the books i’ve read during adolescence, but i am sure i will never forget your books, because they were the ones who had a remarkable importance during this period.
i am just a kid, a someone trying to become something, to know myself, but you ( through your books) were a very important ‘process’ of me becoming that.
and all of this to thank you, because even not knowing , you are helping kids and adults to grow up.
and i want to sorry this outburst of nonsense thoughts of a 15 year old girl who really admires your work. thank you for what you are, thank you for what you do.
one more time, i’m sorry, and i’m thankful for everything.
best regards,
– filipa pires


filipa pires July 28, 2014 at 6:20 pm

sorry for the mistake, i wanted to say : more two books*


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