Study Guide

Paper Towns Part 2, Chapter 12

By John Green

Part 2, Chapter 12

  • Quentin returns to the abandoned mini-mall, where someone has patched the hole they kicked in the board last time.
  • But he doesn't need to re-break and enter… He can simply enter. The reason they couldn't get in the doors last time is because they don't pull open… they push open. Genius.
  • Quentin does some more snooping with the Maglite he brought and notices that one of the calendars isn't set to February… it's set to June 1986.
  • He searches the desk and finds some nail polish that is totally Margo Roth Spiegelman's shade.
  • There is a dot of blue spray paint on the bottle, which Quentin decides means that she stayed there the night after their catfish-and-spray-paint spree.
  • In the empty room, he notices nine thumbtack holes on the wall and wonders what Margo hung there.
  • He also finds an empty box of nutrition bars and is sad that Margo just camps out there eating nutrition bars. (It's not like they're even Kashi brand.)
  • Finally, he finds a blanket. He sniffs it, and it doesn't smell like rat turds, it smells like Margo. (Unless she smells like eau de rat turds, then it does smell like rat turds.)
  • Quentin calls his parents and says he's staying with Ben post-prom, and camps out in Margo's Troll Hole.
  • It's boring: "No Internet, no TV, no music" (2.12.29), not a single luxury.
  • However, it gives him the peace needed to study Walt Whitman and talk to the rats, saying "I Am Going To Find Something Here!" (2.12.37).
  • Not wanting to let the rats down after that declaration, he does find something: a travel guide with some page corners folded down.
  • Quentin can't imagine that Margo wants to visit the world's largest ball of twine, but he's glad she's still alive.