I just finished Paper Towns, a novel by John Green. In the book, the main character Quentin („Q“) searches for Margo who left town after taking revenge on her friends. Q has secretely been in love with Margo for a while now, but while she’s gone, he finds that Margo is not the person he always thought that she’d be. So in her absence and while he tries to find out where she might have gone, he also tries to find out who she really is beside the mystery she has become.
I want to give a book review by talking a little bit about the book and answer some of the questions that have been printed in the book as Discussion Questions.
I really recommend the book because I liked it a lot. After The Fault in our Stars, this is the second book by John Green that I’ve read and I liked it so much better. In the book, you can really see and feel how good John Green is at writing. The next book on my list is Looking for Alaska!
On top of that, the story is very deep and thought evoking. I was recently compared to Margo by a friend who said we had some things in common, so I just had to read the book. Of course, you can only interpret a book or a story on your own perspective. But I really see what she meant by that and it was very easy for me to adapt on Margo’s character and understand what she’s going through.
The book is about the friendship between the characters, and the relationship between Q and Margo is the main topic. Even though she’s absent for the biggest part, the story always circles around Q’s ideas on Margo and finding her.
I am the type of person who highlights in paperback books, and in this one, I did a lot of highlighting (as there have been a lot of amazing quotes and thoughts in there). I also liked the ending, and how it all turned out to be. As the characters are graduating from school, I recommend reading it most when you’re in a comparable situation yourself, because then you can really understand or relate to the consideration of leaving versus staying…
I now want to answer some of the questions printed in my copy of the book. So if you want to read the book or watch the Paper Towns movie without any previous knowledge of the outcome, you should stop reading here to prevent spoilers :) Thanks for reading so far! :)
Why do you think Margo picks Q as her accomplice on her campaign on revenge?
I think Margo picked Q because even though they’re not spending any time together or are really being friends, the time they spent together as kids created some kind of a bond or loyalty between them. I do understand that a lot, for example you would still feel connected to the kids you went to kindergarten or primary school with, even though you’re not seeing them anymore.
Besides, I think Margo picked Q because he’s the only person to take revenge on her friends with. She couldn’t have done that with another friends of hers who is also friends with the people she pranked, so Q is the only option. And in the end, she states that she picked him because she wanted him to be the person to stand up against the others. Therefore, Q is the perfect fit for her mission.
Do you think the characters Margo targets for revenge get what they deserve? Does Lacey deserve to be included?
Somehow the idea is very appealing. Who wouldn’t want to finally show those people who mocked and mobbed others that that’s not the way it should be? Margo and Q don’t do severe damage, so I think the pranks are okay.
Yet I don’t think Lacey deserved to having been included. As it turns out, Lacey didn’t know about Margo’s ex-boyfriend, and she seems to be a good friend because she tags along when Q drives all the way to finally find Margo. There are always two sides of the story and the development of the given relationship between Margo and Lacey is proof.
Do you think Margo wants to be found? Do you think Margo wants to be found by Q?
Yes, I strongly believe Margo wanted to be found. For me, this is the key point of the whole story. I think that Margo desperately wanted to be found or that the people around her cared enough to not let her vanish just like that. I think that it is important for Margo to have proof that she’s important to the others, not by the extend that the whole world has to spin around her but that she can rely on her friends, or at least Quentin.
It seems that she has left the clues for Q to figure them out and to find her in the end. Maybe she wanted to be found as a priority and for Q to find her as the icing on the cake.
Discuss the scene where Q finally finds Margo. How does her reaction to seeing her friends make you feel? Do you believe she didn’t want Q to come after her?
When Q and the others find Margo, she seems to be very aggressive and upset. I think this completes the masterpiece, as Q says himself, that Margo cannot be put into categories and stands out all the time. Her reaction was the least expected, thus it only seems right that it goes along like this. I think it really is how she said, that she’s just very shocked that the friends found her.
Do you think that Margo meant to give her friends a false impression of her true self?
I don’t really think that it’s a false impression. Every relationship is different and you tell every friend other bits of your story. Margo realises that the people around her don’t dig deep enough to see her true self anyways, so why should she open up too far anyways? The people around her have a vision of her, so she just holds it upright without letting anyone inside her private space. I think that’s quite normal because we all try to prevent getting hurt.
What do you think? Leave a comment :)