‘Paper Towns’ Re-Read: Part One

Welcome to The Young Folks! Today is the first recap of our re-read of Paper Towns by John Green. We’re getting ready for the movie release in just two weeks!

Paper towns cover

This week we read the prologue and part one. These are some of the most important things that happened:

  • The prologue introduces us to Quentin’s and Margo Roth Spiegelman’s past. This includes finding a dead man in their local park and Margo’s investigation into the mystery surrounding him. Foreshadowing to “Maybe Margo loved mysteries so much that she became one” (page 8).
  • Part One mainly tells the story of the eleven things Margo recruits Q to help her with, ranging from revenge on an ex-boyfriend to removing the eyebrow of a bully.
    • Also part of the adventure:
      • Breaking into Sea World
      • Leaving dead catfish in a closet, car, and bedroom
      • Apologizing for Margo’s “shooting the messenger”
      • Visiting the SunTrust building to check their progress
      • Breaking in to the wrong house
  • We are introduced to Q’s friends, Radar and Ben. Radar is the nerdy friend who spends his time moderating the Wikipedia-like “Omnictionary.” Ben is a goofball who provides a lot of “teenage-boy” humor and who has very little luck in the romance department.
  • We learn that Margo’s parents care about appearances, but, according to Margo, they don’t actually care about her.
  • Over and over, Quentin emphasizes how perfect Margo is. At one point he even describes her beauty as “a kind of sealed vessel of perfection—uncracked and uncrackable” (page 50).

One thing that kept jumping out at me as I read was the fact that so many of the lines in the movie trailer are taken straight from the book. The adaptation of The Fault in Our Stars was very faithful to the book, and since the same team of screenwriters adapted Paper Towns, I’m feeling very optimistic.

One of my favorite moments from the trailer (when Q and Margo are checking out at the store with a weird variety of items) even comes straight from the book: “‘This isn’t as weird as it looks.’ The woman cleared her throat but didn’t look up. ‘Still weird,’ she muttered” (page 32).

The big question I’m left with after reading part one is this: in the book, Margo has eleven things she has to do. In the movie trailer, she has nine. We know that the Sea World scene has been cut due to the controversy surrounding the documentary Blackfish. The question that remains is: what else has been cut? Are there things that Margo and Q do that night that aren’t in the book? I guess we’ll just have to find out on July 24th!

Our re-read of Paper Towns continues next week:

  • For July 17th, read part two.
  • On July 22nd, we’re having a Twitter chat at 8pm EST at @TYFOfficial
  • For July 24th, read part three.

And in case you don’t have a copy of your own, we’re giving away one right here. Enter below to win a copy of Paper Towns by John Green!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Lauren is a 20-year-old student living in Northern Virginia. She loves to read YA books and watch movies. Lauren is passionate about many things, but reading has always been a huge part of her life. Ever since she first learned to read, her parents have always had to pry books out of her hands when it’s time for other commitments. Lauren loves everything from The Hunger Games and Divergent, to Percy Jackson, mysteries like State of the Onion, and other YA books, like The Fault in Our Stars, and is always eager to try a new book, author, or series. She also loves music, public health, Harry Potter, and the Washington Capitals. Follow her on Twitter: @LWengrovitz.
  • Autumn

    I really would have Loved to see the Sea World scene, but knew that would never be possible in movie form. But waxing someone’s eyebrow has got to be pretty awesome too.

  • bill norris

    Leaving dead catfish in a closet, car, and bedroom

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