Study Guide

Paper Towns Part 1: The Strings / Chapter 1

By John Green

Part 1: The Strings / Chapter 1

  • Quentin wakes up late and has to hitch a ride to school in his mom's minivan at 7:17AM. You'd think someone who was so precise about time wouldn't be late…
  • They talk about the upcoming prom on the way. Quentin is anti-prom, unlike his friends Ben and Radar, who are totally Team Prom.
  • Quentin meets Ben at school, and Ben tells him that Radar is going to the prom.
  • While they're talking, Quentin's mind—and eyes—wander, and he sees Margo Roth Spiegelman (we're glad he specified, because otherwise we would have thought it was the other Margo at school) down the hall.
  • She's laughing at something her friend said.
  • They meet up with Radar who confirms that he's going to prom.
  • The next thing they know, school bully Chuck Parsons shows up all 'roided out and demands to know if Quentin knows anything about Margo (Roth Spiegelman) and her boyfriend, Jase.
  • "I barely even know her" (1.1.37). Quentin says. (She's just somebody that I used to know.)
  • Later at lunch, Radar's girlfriend, Angela, asks the boys why Radar hasn't invited her to his house.
  • They know, but they're not telling her.
  • When they tell Radar that Angela was asking, he goes all caps and yells, "IT IS NOT MY FAULT THAT MY PARENTS OWN THE WORLD'S LARGEST COLLECTION OF BLACK SANTAS" (1.1.84). Well, that explains that, then.
  • The rest of the day progresses as usual for Quentin—home, snack, dinner, homework, chatting online with friends…
  • Until Margo shows up at Quentin's window, for the first time since they were nine.