Study Guide

Paper Towns Maps

By John Green


She Misses the Taste of a Sweeter Life

If Quentin knows anything about Margo Roth Spiegelman, it's that she's an obsessive planner. And if someone is planning a trip, what do they do? Well, most people would just plug their destination into Google Maps, but Margo wants to go to a place that isn't actually on the map, so she needs an actual paper map.

When Quentin finds Margo Roth Spiegelman's map in the mini-mall (the Margo Roth Spiegelmap), he's able to trace her path. But since Margo isn't actually leaving Quentin any clues, this, too, is a red herring.

However, it's a map that ultimately leads Quentin to her. Well, a mapmaking technique, to be exact. When he finally finds out what a paper town really means (a fake town a cartographer plots to protect his maps from plagiarism), he pinpoints exactly where Margo is: a town that's not on any map. And really, when you think about it, Margo Roth Spiegelman was never on the map to begin with. She's been playing a part all along, keeping her real self someplace no one can find her.