Margo and Quentin, who is called Q, have known each other since they were two. When they were nine they stumbled upon a dead man in the park. They found out that he had committed suicide. It’s something that they never forgot.
As they got older, they went their separate ways. Q became friends with the band kids. Margo became popular. They kept to their groups until one night when Margo appeared at Q’s window. Margo has an adventure planned and Q is to help her. They spend the night getting back at all of those who have done them wrong. It is the most amazing night of Q’s life. The next day, however, Margo doesn’t show up at school. She leaves clues behind for Q to find. Q and his friends, Radar, Ben and Lacey, go looking for Margo. They pick apart the clues she left. They have no idea where she is. They have no idea if it is possible to find her. They have no idea if she is even alive.
John Green completely understood the thinking of teenagers. Or at least, this teenager. Margo is the type of girl I always wanted to be. She goes off and has amazing adventures that everyone else sits back and dreams about. Q is the type of boy that you walk past in the hall. You sort of know him, but other than asking for a pencil, you’ve never really spoken to. As the learn about the characters, you discover that although they belong to different social groups, they are very much alike. As Q, Radar, Ben and Lacey try to uncover clues about Margo, they end up discovering that maybe she isn’t who they thought she was. I don’t think Margo even knows who she is. She is trying to find that out. That’s the reason why I loved Papertowns. As we grow up, we are shoved into groups that other people define us by. He’s a band geek. She’s a Pretty. He’s a Jock. She’s a drama kid. But below it all, we’re all just kids. We’re all still finding out who we are below the label. Margo may not have the best approach to it, but she realized how fake it all was. It all was paper. She did everything to tear herself away from that.There’s alot of symbolism in this book, which makes you think. Be on the watch for these metaphors.
A bit of a warning to parents: Papertowns does have alot of mature themes. Suicide, drinking, cussing and sex are all addresses quite often. It’s not quite as bad as some books I have read, but it is there.