Overview As we jump ahead to senior year of high school, it seems the mystery of the book is just a chapter away. Review (with Spoilers) To show you how much representation matters, I was dreading this chapter until Radar, Q’s Black friend, showed up and made me laugh repeatedly. Well twice, but still when…

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As we jump ahead to senior year of high school, it seems the mystery of the book is just a chapter away.

Review (with Spoilers)

To show you how much representation matters, I was dreading this chapter until Radar, Q’s Black friend, showed up and made me laugh repeatedly. Well twice, but still when I think of John Green I don’t think jokes. I think of the main character’s love interest dying. Which perhaps should be considered a spoiler alert, at least for his other books. Anyway, this chapter definitely is one which intrigues and sort of makes me feel the prologue should have been scrapped.

Characters & Story

From what it seems, the main characters at this point are going to be Q, who we already know; Ben, who seems to be written as a lovable loser, but overall just seems like the type of kid who would go on a shooting spree because girls have rejected him all his life; and then there is Radar, real name Marcus, who is the aforementioned Black dude who seems to be the only one of the three with a girlfriend. As for Margo, it seems over time she outgrew and distanced herself from Q. But, even with that said, Q’s crush on her seems to have never died even if he has dated other girls.

Leaving us with the plot which simply is focused on the upcoming prom. Q is anti-prom and doesn’t even entertain the idea, Ben wants to go but going solo sounds horrible, and Radar has a girlfriend named Angela so all he needs is a suit and limo. This slice of life chapter though ends with Margo at Q’s window for the first time in years, setting up perhaps what will lead to the great mystery of the book.

Collected Quote(s)

“I liked routine. I liked being bored. I didn’t want to, but I did.”

—           Paper Towns: Page 26

Things To Note

Radar got his nickname from formerly looking like a character named Radar from M*A*S*H, but Black.

Ben has a nickname too, “Bloody Ben.” A nickname given to him after a kidney infection, that lead to a rumor he was bleeding out of his penis due to masturbating too much. A rumor that has made asking a girl out difficult for him, on top of coming off as a douche.

Chapter 2


In another prelude type chapter, Margo hints that in one night she will give Q a wild ride!

Review (with Spoilers)

I am rather unsure why this chapter was so short, but I must admit with Marcus gone I felt a bit bored. If just because Q and Margo seem so much like the characters from Looking for Alaska that I feel a sense of déjà vu. Not even in a good way mind you.

Characters & Story

With Margo showing up at Q’s window it is like one of the final talks they actually had a conversation, except with them being older now and their relationship to the point where even saying they are friends is a stretch. Well, at least in Q’s mind since it seemed Margo may have looked out for him, so that he wouldn’t be bullied, but seemed to not associate with him like she used to.

But, seemingly in one night, she plans to relive the good old days by having Q join her on a mysterious quest. One which may take all night and deals with righting many wrongs and creating justice in their area of central Florida. Something which Q doesn’t seem all that for since with Margo donning Black face paint, it seems like she is asking a bit much for a friendship that has been dormant for years. Yet, be it his old feelings for her, him missing their friendship, or simply him wanting something to talk about the next day at school, he goes for her plan which first will lead them to do some shopping. Which, by the way, will be done with money Margo technically isn’t supposed to be using. Leaving us to wonder what does she have planned that will lead to the first part of the book “Morning” which I didn’t cover here.

Chapter 3


As Q and Margo buy what they need for their night to remember, I decreasingly feel interested in what may happen.

Review (with Spoilers)

As I’m reading this I am also reading Where She Went, the sequel to If I Stay, and honestly I’m regretting not covering that book over this one. If just because I have no love for either Q or Margo since I feel way too comfortable in John Green’s style and these characters just don’t seem to naturally get my attention. If anything Q seems to be written to be so basic he is supposed to be like your virtual reality goggles, and Margo is written to be so interesting, so cute, and so popular, that it seems almost fake in a way. To the point, I feel we are told more about why these adjectives match her person than us actually experiencing it. If that makes sense.

Characters & Story

The fun night has still yet to begin since Margo has a shopping list of stuff to buy, of which includes catfish for some reason. So, all that happens is they go to Publix and Walmart, and Margo continues to be this odd girl who has yet to advance past being some fantasy come real of Q’s. One which seems to have no regards for anyone and is more focused on her revenge plot, using Q liking her to be her driver and having fun at whoever’s expense.

Collected Quote(s)

“Did you know that for pretty much the entire history of the human species, the average life span was less than thirty years? You could count on ten years or so of real adulthood, right? There was no planning for retirement. There was no planning for a career. There was no planning. No time for planning. No time for a future. But then the life spans started getting longer, and people started having more and more future, and so they spent more time thinking about it. About the future. And now life has become the future. Every moment of your life is lived for the future—you go to high school so you can go to college so you can get a good job so you can get a nice house so you can afford to send your kids to college so they can get a good job so they can get a nice house so they can afford to send their kids to college.”

— Paper Towns: Chapter 3 – Page 33

Chapter 4


As Margo’s revenge begins, so does my interest in the book.

Review (with Spoilers)

While the book remains unable to make Q seem like perhaps John Green in disguise, and maybe Margo being his wife, or some girl who he had an unrequited crush on, at least the story is becoming interesting. For while the prep for their adventure was boring me to tears, as they begin to actually go through the plan, and Margo slowly evolves past the pixie girl fantasy, I do find myself becoming slightly interested. For more on Chapter 4, look below.

Characters & Story

As Q gets used for his vehicle, we learn how little they know of each other. For example, Q maybe madly in love with Margo, but seems to not know all she has been going through which essentially led to her showing up at his window. Then, as for Margo knowing about Q, while it seems she has been keeping tabs on him, it is hard to say whether she just made sure he stopped getting bullied, or if she was actively getting information on Q’s life.

But as much as I would like to think of Q as the best friend Margo can always rely on, even if they don’t talk too often, it seems at the end of the day he looks as himself as your stereotypical “Nice Guy” who perhaps is stuck in the “Friend Zone.” Which I say only because he is jealous of Margo’s boyfriend who got to have sex with her, and Margo former friend Becca, and he just seems like the type of dude who thinks he deserves the hot girl for he generally acts nice, but is as boring as a blank piece of paper.

Leading to Part 1 – 5 of 11 which deals with putting that steering wheel lock on Jason’s car, and snitching on Jason by calling Becca’s dad. Then taking a picture of a barely dressed Jason, and leaving a fish for Becca in the basement. Something which pushes Q’s loyalty a bit far for while technically he is not breaking and entering, as Margo states, later on, this is still dangerously close to illegal. In fact, Becca’s dad nearly shoots them with a shotgun when he sees them escape his basement.

In the long run, though, they escape and are off to do #6 which deals with Karin: The girl who told Margo Jason was cheating.

Collected Quote(s)

“It’s a penis in the same sense that Rhode Island is a state: it may have an illustrious history, but it sure isn’t big.”

— Paper Towns: Chapter 4 – Page 40


“That’s always seemed so ridiculous to me, that people would want to be around someone because they’re pretty. It’s like picking your breakfast cereals based on color instead of taste.”

— Paper Towns: Chapter 4 – Page 38

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