How Does the Paper Towns Book End?

Paper Towns, the debut novel by John Green, is a coming-of-age story about Quentin Jacobsen and his mysterious next-door neighbor, Margo Roth Spiegelman. The novel became quite popular when it was first published in 2008, and many people are still curious about how it ends.

If you’re one of those people, then you’re in luck! In this blog post, we’ll give you a brief summary of the ending of Paper Towns.

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The novel Paper Towns by John Green is a young adult mystery/coming-of-age story. The book follows teenage protagonist Quentin “Q” Jacobsen and his high school friends, Margo Roth Spiegelman and Benjamin “Ben” Starling, as they investigate the sudden disappearance of Margo.

While the book has a lighthearted feel overall, it ends on a more serious note as Q comes to terms with the loss of his friend. The ending is both open-ended and hopeful, leaving readers to ponder the fate of the characters long after they’ve finished reading.

Margo’s Disappearance

Margo’s disappearance
Margo Roth Spiegelman is a character in the novel Paper Towns by John Green. She is the object of protagonist Quentin Jacobsen’s affections, and his classmate and next-door neighbor.

Margo is an eccentric and adventurous girl, who becomes bored with her life in Orlando, Florida, and often dreams of running away. On the night of her high school graduation, Margo tells Quentin that she is going to New York City, and encourages him to come with her. Quentin declines, but Margo leaves anyway.

The novel chronicles Quentin’s search for Margo, during which he discovers that she has been leading a double life; while she appeared to be a carefree teenager to everyone around her, she was actually quite unhappy. It is only when he finally finds her that he realizes that she does not want to be found.

The book ends with Margo’s disappearance; she leaves Orlando without telling anyone where she is going or why.

The Search for Margo

Margo Roth Spiegelman is a complex and interesting character, and her story is one that will stay with you long after you’ve finished reading Paper Towns. The book follows Margo and Quentin as they embark on a life-changing night of adventure, and ultimately, as Quentin searches for Margo after she disappears. The ending of the book is both frustrating and satisfying, as Quentin finally comes to terms with who Margo is, and what she means to him.

The Road Trip

The novel concludes with a road trip taken by Quentin and his friends to find Margo. They find her in a small town called Agloe, which she had selected as her destination based on its made-up origins. Margo is living in a run-down house and works at a local gas station. Quentin confronts her about why she ran away and left him without any explanation. Margo tells him that she needed to get away from everyone and everything in order to find herself. She also says that she can’t go back to living the way she was before, and that Quentin needs to let her go. Quentin agrees, and the novel ends with him realizing that he has finally found closure regarding Margo.

The Party

After finding Margo’s “clues,” they arrive at a mini-mart in the middle of nowhere, drunk and exhausted. Margo isn’t there, but Q ends up falling asleep in the backseat. When he wakes up, he’s alone in the car with the doors locked. He eventually walks to a nearby gas station to call his parents, who come pick him up.

The next day, Q goes to Margo’s house, but she’s not there. He snoops around a bit and finds an old letter from Walt Whitman to one of his friends (presumably Margo’s great-grandfather). The letter talks about how Whitman had been thinking about his friend a lot and wanted to see him again. Q realizes that Margo must have left town.

He goes back home and starts looking for clues as to where she might have gone. He eventually finds a map that she had made for him, with all of her favorite places circled. He sets off on a road trip to find her.

Q eventually finds Margo living in Orlando with her mother. They spend some time together and then Margo drops Q off at home. The book ends with Q reflecting on how he will always love Margo, even though he knows that she is not the “paper girl” that he thought she was.

The Aftermath

After Margo and Q part ways, Q is left to pick up the pieces of his broken heart. He spends the summer moping around, wallowing in self-pity. He eventually comes to terms with Margo’s betrayal and decides to move on with his life.

Meanwhile, Margo has disappeared again and is now living in New York City. She eventually gets homesick and decides to return to Florida. Q and Margo meet up once again and finally reconcile. They agree to never lose touch with each other and remain friends for life.

The Truth

The truth is that Margo was never really missing. She was just confused and needed some time to figure things out. She didn’t want to be found because she knew that her life was a mess and she didn’t want anyone to see her like that.

The End

The book ends with Quentin finding Margo’s secret road trip destination: a Paper Town. He goes there, finds that she’s not there, and eventually heads home. On the way home, he realizes that maybe Margo wasn’t meant to be found, and that’s why she made her destination a paper town – so that it would be easy for her to disappear.

What Happened to Margo?

Margo disappears the night of her senior prank, leading her classmate Q on a wild goose chase to find her. Margo had planned to run away to New York City, but she changes her mind and comes back home. Shortly after, Q finds out that Margo has been leading a double life and is actually in love with another man.


At the novel’s close, Margo has disappeared and Q has been left behind feeling heartbroken. He spends days combing the city for clues to her whereabouts, but he comes up empty-handed. Q eventually decides to stop looking for Margo and to focus on his own life. He goes off to college, and although he always thinks about Margo, he never sees her again.

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