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.

The movie adaptation of Paper Towns will be released in Summer 2015 starring Nat Wolff and Cara Delevingne, and directed by Jake Schreier.

You can buy Paper Towns from your favorite retailer via the Penguin Portal!

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

{ 1254 comments… read them below or add one }

Yogini January 7, 2015 at 10:54 pm

I love the windows and mirrors metaphors in this book. This and Looking for Alaska are definitely my favourites.


Mr. Green, help end the R-Word January 9, 2015 at 1:57 pm

Hi Mr. Green,

I’m not sure if my comment was deleted…Just in case I’ve decided to post again. Do you know what the word retard actually means? You use it 4-6 times in Paper Towns. The reason why I am being so persistent about this is because you are offending a large group of people when you use this word. Yes, this book was written in 2008 so you may not have been well educated on the matter, (Spread the Word To End The Word came about a year later) however the movie is coming out in 2015. I really hope you don’t use the R-Word in the movie. By using this word, you are telling your young audience that using this word is okay or cool when in reality it is the complete opposite. Mr. Green, you have a huge influence on people if you didn’t already know. Please use it for the better.




Greg January 13, 2015 at 11:07 am

Shut up, he is writing this book as a realistic senerio, people use the word retard, get over it. Also do you know what the word retard means??? It doesn’t directly refer to people with disabilities. So be quiet


Lana Rey January 13, 2015 at 5:57 pm

I don’t Know how old you are but nor do i care. Sorry Darling, But Retard isn’t bad. ( Retard: delay or hold back in terms of progress, development, or accomplishment.) Maybe that should help you. Now Boo- Boo if your saying that you don’t like the word Retard because you were called one I’m sorry BUT THAT’S LIFE!! ok hopefully i helped you out with the defition Of the Word Retard For you. Oh Also



Corrine February 12, 2015 at 5:34 pm

Dear Lana, Greg, Animus, Mark, and the others on this thread,
I’m disappointed in you. I hop you don’t consider yourself nerdfighters, because your behavior here is not awesome.

The word in question, “Retard” has not been ok to use in vocabulary since John, Hank, and I were in high school. And yet, it continues to progress. As nerdfighters, and followers, it is our job to call one and other out when we are being full of suck. This word, when used as an insult, is full of suck. Just as gay, pansy, p*ssy, and the c-word are full of suck, because unlike other insults and curse words, they use a human being, or part of them, to develop your insult. When you call someone a retard, you are saying they act like someone who suffers from a genetic disability.

Chelsea is doing what ALL nerdfighters should be doing-she is asking, politely might I add, that the word not be used as a denigration. This is how a word becomes a bad word. People get together and they say, “Hey, you know what, when you call someone this, you being some level of a bad person. We should stop that.” and then they work with others to stop it.

We grew up in a very different world than you are. People did not come out as gay in high school, and rarely college, because their lives would be ruined. Many people still used the n-word in their daily vocabulary, and it wasn’t in rap songs. Retard was as common an insult as gay, and neither of them started to be considered anything less than appropriate until Mr. Green and I were adults. As you say, the movement began in 2008. I would have been 28. Mr. Green is older than me.

I agree, however, and hope the word isn’t use in the movie.

And I hope some of you think about this, rather than react. Sit down, and mull it over, and consider this: Are you prepared to be likened to the people who fought for the n-word, or gay, or any of the others, to be considered as less than anything bad? Because that is where you are standing, right here, right now, in history books.



Animus Voxx January 29, 2015 at 11:48 am

Oh my god. -_- Does it really matter? It’s not like he’s seriously trying to make fun of people with mental retardation problems. It’s a fictional book. You simply overlook it. Or just don’t read it.


Mark Davis February 1, 2015 at 8:52 pm

Hey Chlsea! I have an opinion on this too. Did you write the book? Are you a famous author. I don’t think so! It is a little different to call people retarded, but get over it they are just kids! So shut up because it really is a great book BY JOHN GREEN NOT YOU!


Lois-Anne Monroe February 19, 2015 at 4:08 am

Opinion: A belief, judgment, or way of thinking about something : what someone thinks about a particular thing (Merriam Webster Dictionary)


Anonymous February 5, 2015 at 8:52 pm

I agree that the word retard is not a nice word
But this is John Green’s book not yours I don’t like the heat but some of it is true.


Denise February 10, 2015 at 2:22 pm



Bailey February 17, 2015 at 6:13 pm

I see where you are going with this, Chelsea, but with all do respect, it is his novel, and he is not directing it to any people with a disability. I appreciate that you are trying to stand up for the right of those people, as they are the same as us, but I don’t understand the necessity of making this so open and public. Thanks.


James Smith February 18, 2015 at 6:36 pm

Chelsea you are Entitled to your Opinion but as a Young Reader of his Novels I must Say I was not Influenced by his Use of the Word Retard at All. I’m all for Stopping the Use of the word but Its a Book, a Fictional Book, if it was Possible I’d suggest You talk to the Characters in the Book who USED the Words.


Tess February 28, 2015 at 11:18 pm

Hi Chelsea,
I know this is about a month later but I saw your comment and could not help but reply. It seems as if you are being attacked for voicing a belief of yours by people who think they’re doing John Green an enormous favor by defending his word choice. I would just like to let you know, I wholeheartedly agree, even if John Green was just implying that the character he wrote is the kind of person to use that word in a negative manner. I commend you for having the courage to speak up and not just that, but do so politely. Many thanks.


Byanca January 10, 2015 at 2:17 am

I Literally just finished paper towns and I have to say that you never cease to amaze me and I don’t know what it means but my cat loves to sit next to me when I read. Maybe he knows what a genius you are! The fault in our stars was the first read from you then paper towns and next I plan to read looking for Alaska as does my sister. My whole family knoww what an amazing author you are. I am currently working on a book with four parts seven chapters in each which if I ever finish hope you to read and judge me positively or negativly you are the genius not me. Thanks again! ~Byanca Gallegos Age:12


piper January 11, 2015 at 3:13 am

when is the paper towns trailer coming out!!!!!!!!!!!


Jacyln February 1, 2015 at 6:34 pm

When I ask you!!!!!


Tori January 11, 2015 at 10:51 pm

John Green, you are a god.


Soana January 12, 2015 at 12:12 pm

Hi , I don’t do this so I don’t know hw to do it or anything …so ,
I don’t read much ..but then all my friends said ur books were WOW then the tfios movie released and I found it very touching and wonderful just that the end is extremely tragic and it left in a BIG question mark,but it’s great the way it is….
Then I read looking for Alaska and I found it amazing , as I said I don’t read much but when it got to part two I couldn’t stop myself I got very into the book …..after these experiences I am interested in reading more of your great books… I just wanted u to know , I know u won’t see this mail probably but just wanted to let u know……. and which book of yours do u find best . And I m wondering which book of urs to read next, so what do u suggest…?
Thanks a lot anyway ..


nicole rosenvaig January 12, 2015 at 3:08 pm

this book sucks


Lana Rey January 13, 2015 at 5:59 pm

Nicole rosenvaig is a ass ( cough cough) i meant SUCKS.


michelle slay January 16, 2015 at 11:03 am




Batya January 25, 2015 at 10:42 pm

This comment is very immature. Had you stated your reasoning for dislike, it would have been a comment that could help you grow as a learner and spark a good discussion with other readers, but how you have presented it is spam. An intelligent human being/nerdfighter (which is the basis of population on this sight), would have done it differently; which leads me to believe that you my dear Madame are spamming. Good luck in all of your spamtastic adventures! Just please, take them elsewhere.


Hannah C January 30, 2015 at 11:56 am

This comment seriously pissed me off. Thank you for the amazing nerdfighters that stood up for John. Love you guys. (especially michelle slay)


Q January 30, 2015 at 4:07 pm

Everyone has their opinion, no reason to hate on them for disliking a book. Come on guys, just try to be nice about it?


elena February 3, 2015 at 2:09 pm

Everyone has their opinion, but people should be kind, and imagine John reading a comment like that…He would feel so bad because he put his heart in this story.


katie February 8, 2015 at 12:53 am

no effence but you are kind of wrong. paper towns is probably one of the best books I’ve ever read other than the fault in our star. This is just my opinion so sorry.


Lily Rae March 1, 2015 at 4:31 am

If I thought a book sucked I would move on with my life and not go to the trouble to spread my negativity. Everyone would happily appreciate if you did the same. Go sleep with the fishes.


Mariana Antunes January 17, 2015 at 8:50 am

Green, I just have one thing to say.

This is definitely your best book.


Hannah C January 30, 2015 at 11:54 am

OH MY WORD YES I TOTALLY AGREE!!! Mariana, you are great


Haley January 17, 2015 at 11:39 pm

I haven’t read this book but I can already tell that it is going to be magnificent!!! Everything by John Green is amazing!!!


Lauryn M. January 18, 2015 at 2:02 am

I just recently read Paper Towns and the ending left me with a lot of questions so I made a video expressing how I felt ( Someone then commented on that video telling me that the ending I referred to is not the one she knows. She listened to the book and it went past hour 21 for her. My hardcover copy of this book ended at page 278 hour 21. I have googled how many pages the book is supposed to have and the answer is 305. So my question is have I been cheated out of the ending of this book?? I am very confused and would like an answer/explanation. Thank you so very much.


Diana January 25, 2015 at 3:54 am

The book is supposed to end at page 305 so I guess the copy you have is missing 27 from the story plus the author’s note, acknowledgments, and the discussion questions pages. You’re missing the final chapter-Agloe, which is actually like the best and most important part of the whole book. I would recommend you try to return the book where you bought it from and find the whole thing. Good luck! I hope you’ll get to read it soon!


Diana January 25, 2015 at 3:58 am

The book is supposed to end at page 305 so I guess the copy you have is missing 27 pages from the story plus the author’s note, acknowledgments, and the discussion questions pages on the back. Mine also has a glimpse on the first chapter of The Fault In Our Stars. You’re missing the final chapter-Agloe, which is actually like the best and most important part of the whole book. I would recommend you try to return the book where you bought it from and find the whole thing. Good luck! I hope you’ll get to read it soon!


Olivia January 18, 2015 at 11:50 am

This book is the best book for me. The history is amazing and I can look Margo, Quentin and her friends. I’m very happy because this year the film is on the cinema. I read many books and this, looking for alaska are the best.


Caitlin January 21, 2015 at 3:29 pm

Mr. Green,
Your books have absolutely captivated me. I received your paperback box set, and let me just say, WOW. I absolutely demolished all four books in a matter of days. I like to write, and every ounce of inspiration I can get is appreciated. Your books gave me inspiration and so much more. They gave me understanding, metaphors (which I live for), and a feeling of content.
Thank you so much for being you.


Mattie January 22, 2015 at 3:56 pm

This is my favorite book! john you are an amazing writer and I love all your books! this book is amazing! When is the trailer for the movie coming out??


Giselle January 24, 2015 at 5:09 pm

Mr. John Green,
I have fallen in love with your books. I love them so much. Paper Towns was so amazing, I love the mystery of Margo’s disappearance. The Fault in our Stars stole my heart, as do all of your books. Thank you for writing such amazing books!


Breeanna January 25, 2015 at 3:52 am

I am a huge fan of yours! I love your books!! But I am very sad that you are not writing any new books I’ve been waiting for a new book to come out. I hope you continue writing because I really love your books. I know that you are busy with the new movie that are being filmed but I would love if you kept writing. I love your books more then your movies!!!!!
Love you biggest fan


Gina Willis January 26, 2015 at 5:53 pm

Dear Mr. Green,

First, let me say I enjoyed reading your book, Paper Towns. I am looking forward to seeing the film when it is released.

I have a few questions for you.
Who was your inspiration for Quentin? Who was your inspiration for Margo? Did you have a neighbor like Margo when you were a kid? How do you come up with so many beautiful metaphors? Are you satisfied with the ending? If you could change anything about the book, what would it be? How long did it take you to write Paper Towns? And the ending made me happy and sad at the same time. How is that possible??


Gina Willis


Nikol January 27, 2015 at 9:09 am

Hello Mr. John Green.
I love your books, I read three books, which were yet translated into Czech. I look forward to your next book.
A book Paper Towns intrigued me the most.
This is my favorite book!


Nathaniel Goodwin January 27, 2015 at 10:09 pm

This is by far one of the best books I’ve ever read. The emotion the reader feels for each character is so real. It’s as if Margo, Q, Ben and Radar were all people I knew.


lorena January 28, 2015 at 3:22 pm

Hola! perdon si no se entiende lo que voy a decir, pero hay pocos libros como este, felicitaciones Green, good job!


Kelsey February 1, 2015 at 10:00 pm

This is my favorite favorite favorite book, and I can’t wait to see it in the theater. I’m seeing it opening night, just like I did with TFioS. Thank you so, so much for the amazing book. DFTBA.


Patty brown February 3, 2015 at 1:59 am

How do I get this to goodreads.I’m new at all thisp


elena February 3, 2015 at 2:03 pm

Dear Mr. John Green, I’m an Italian fan, and I’ve read this book in English. I think it’s your best work, you wrote a book which mixes deep thoughts and funny situations, and it’s all I could ask for when I read a book. The best thing about this book is that it’s full of metaphores (and as I read all of your books, I understood that you LOVE them, just like me), and in the end it’s very moving. Thanks for books like that, you make me think that people like Q exist, people who can understand you and make you feel at ease in every situation.
Keep writing, we need some new books from you!


person February 3, 2015 at 9:46 pm

Chuck Norris’ tears cure cancer, but unfortunately he has never cried.


Giulia February 3, 2015 at 10:35 pm

I LOVE THIS BOOK! I discovered you when my history teacher showed a Crash Course video about the Progressive Era and (praise Google) I found your books and Vlogbrothers! I read TFIOS and absolutely loved it. I aspire to be as talented as you are at writing. I read Paper Towns and then Looking for Alaska, and I’m in the middle of An Abundance of Katherines (in your pants). I just wanted to say that you’re a brilliant, hilarious, and charismatic guy, and I can’t wait until the Paper Towns movie comes out. I hope you write more books!


Zulmarie Cabrera February 5, 2015 at 6:22 pm

Dear John Green , a god!
This is one of my favorites by far. I freaking love this book and I have an extra love since I live in Orlando Florida as well. It gives me such a good feeling reading a book and knowing the places that you are speaking of and have been there numerous number of times. I actually went to Winter Park High school and we all absolutely adore and are obsessed with this novel. I currently go to Apopka High School but I don’t know if you know that school but everybody in Orlando and whole world love this book. International Drive is awfully quiet at three in the morning, I partied there after homecoming lol but I love you bye


LD RJ February 8, 2015 at 3:30 pm

Dear John Green:
This book is my favorite in the world.
There are few books like this.
Good job :)


Adrian Kołodziej February 8, 2015 at 8:03 pm

Rewelacyjnie.. Dziękuje Państwu. Zachęcam innych internautów do zapoznania się z treścią artykułu. Mam pytaniedo Ciebie i dlatego proszę o autora bloga kontakt.


Asher February 10, 2015 at 6:37 pm

you should write a book in Margo’s point of view the exact same story line and stuff


Hannah February 11, 2015 at 9:10 pm

This book encouraged me so much. It’s my favorite.


QTheResurection February 12, 2015 at 7:52 pm

You should continue the story it would be great for something else to happen


A Little Lost February 14, 2015 at 9:38 pm

Is this book good? I need book recommendations. Pronto!!


QTHERESURECTION February 16, 2015 at 6:14 pm

This book is amaising


Amelia February 17, 2015 at 8:23 pm

John Green,you are a god. Your books mean the world to me because of the hilariousness, the seriousness, the embarrassing moments for the characters that make YOU feel embarrassed… And the metaphors, the damn metaphors. The depth of the words in the books I’ve read by you (some but not all,) make me want to explode. No joke. So, yeah, cheesiness. By the way, I’m not an octopus with only 4 legs either. Keep writing. The fan-people need you.


Amelia February 17, 2015 at 8:24 pm

John Green,you are a god. Your books mean the world to me because of the hilariousness, the seriousness, the embarrassing moments for the characters that make YOU feel embarrassed… And the metaphors, the damn metaphors. The depth of the words in the books I’ve read by you (some but not all,) make me want to explode. No joke. So, yeah, cheesiness. By the way, I’m not an octopus with only 4 legs either. Keep writing. The fan-people need you.


Amelia February 17, 2015 at 8:25 pm

Woops, seems like I commented more than once…


Fatimah February 19, 2015 at 11:19 am

Loved Paper Towns just as much as all the other John Green books. This man is a legend!


Liv Smith February 19, 2015 at 7:24 pm

I love this book! Defiantly my favorite!


Ruby Hinrichs February 22, 2015 at 1:58 pm

Hey, Just finished Paper-Towns and it was amazing…well, parts of it were. I also read Looking for Alaska this past week. One thing about both of these books that really annoyed me was your listing system. Right in the middle you’d start 1) numbering 2) reasons 3) for the 4) character. Really annoying. But I kept up with it and got over it. The language also got to me–you know, the crude stuff like “s**t” and all that–but I know kids talk that way and I ignored it. Unfortunately, as a church school teacher, although I’d LOVE to recommend your books to some of the kids here at my school, I can’t because of the language. (I can’t wait to get back into Public School teaching!!!!)
SO, one last thing, IF you EVER decide to let ANYone make a movie of Paper-Towns, do NOT let them change a thing about the road trip to find Margo. Seriously. That road trip brought back so many good memories and made me laugh so hard that I didn’t mind the soppy-assed ending…oh, sorry about that last part. I was disappointed the book didn’t end “happily ever after”, but life isn’t like that, so I got over it. But, seriously, don’t EVER let anyone mess with that road trip. It was sheer GENIUS! Thanks for reading an old teacher’s comments. Keep writing. Gives me something to read when I’m bored….


Ruby Hinrichs February 22, 2015 at 2:06 pm

Oops! Didn’t know you were filming Paper Towns. Good luck with that.


nazeem February 25, 2015 at 8:31 am

its d best book !!! i read it 7 times


jbug03 February 27, 2015 at 12:33 am

I love this book. I couldn’t stop reading it. I cried when I reached the end because it was over.


jbug03 February 27, 2015 at 12:36 am

i Love margo’s capitalization In this Book!


emily February 27, 2015 at 6:58 pm
Aud February 27, 2015 at 6:59 pm

hi Emily!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


emily February 27, 2015 at 7:00 pm

hey aud . WHATS UP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Aud February 27, 2015 at 7:01 pm

nm just tacoing to you :)


emily February 27, 2015 at 7:01 pm

i like tacos


Aud February 27, 2015 at 7:02 pm



emily February 27, 2015 at 7:03 pm

lets go get dem tacos what do you think


Aud February 27, 2015 at 7:04 pm

lol kk tots we gonna get dem tacos tho…


emily February 27, 2015 at 7:05 pm

do ya’ll like dem tacos tho???


Sarah March 1, 2015 at 5:43 am

Hi John Green,
To be honest, I only discovered your works last year. I’m glad I did! I’m in love with your novels as they changed my perspective on life. I found out, (while reading your works of course), two things.
First is that sometimes, for a little excitement, I really wish my life was like the one Quinton was having. It seemed so much fun to have a friend like Margo! Second, people like the ones in your books do exist! I found it hard to believe at first but, strangely enough, I found out that so many people act like the characters in your books. It’s truly amazing!
I really do hope that you write more funny, witty, dramatic and cleaver books! (By the way, my favourite happens to be Looking for Alaska). When are you coming to do a book signing in Australia? If you ever did, I’d probably will be hyperventilating in excitement! Seriously, that’s how excited I’ll probably get.
I hope you come out with a new book soon and I hope for the best for you! THANK YOU FOR DELIVERING HEARTWARMING TALES TO THE WORLD!


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