Thursday Quotables: Paper Towns


Welcome back to Thursday Quotables! This weekly feature is the place to highlight a great quote, line, or passage discovered during your reading each week.  Whether it’s something funny, startling, gut-wrenching, or just really beautifully written, Thursday Quotables is where my favorite lines of the week will be, and you’re invited to join in!

NEW! Thursday Quotables is now using a Linky tool! Be sure to add your link if you have a Thursday Quotables post to share.


Paper Towns by John Green
(published 2008 )

While I didn’t necessarily love everything about the plot of this young adult novel, I did really enjoy the voice of the main character — especially his inner voice, as he comes to realize that by idealizing the perfect girl next door, he’s failed to understand her basic human essence:

I was sitting back. I was listening. And I was hearing something about her and about windows and mirrors. Chuck Parson was a person. Like me. Margo Roth Spiegelman was a person, too. And I had never quite thought of her that way, not really; it was a failure of all my previous imaginings. All along — not only since she left, but for a decade before — I had been imagining her without listening, without knowing that she made as poor a window as I did. And so I could not imagine her as a person who could feel fear, who could feel isolated in a roomful of people, who could be shy about her record collection because it was too personal to share. Someone who might read travel books to escape having to live in the town that so many people escape to.  Someone who — because no one thought she was a person — had no one to really talk to.
And following up:
Yes. The fundamental mistake I had always made — and that she had, in fairness, always led me to make — was this: Margo was not a miracle. She was not an adventure. She was not a fine and precious thing. She was a girl.

What lines made you laugh, cry, or gasp this week? Do tell!

If you’d like to participate in Thursday Quotables, it’s really simple:

  • Write a Thursday Quotables post on your blog. Try to pick something from whatever you’re reading now. And please be sure to include a link back to Bookshelf Fantasies in your post (, if you’d be so kind!
  • Click on the linky button (look for the cute froggie face) below to add your link.
  • After you link up, I’d love it if you’d leave a comment about my quote for this week.
  • Be sure to visit other linked blogs to view their Thursday Quotables, and have fun!

17 thoughts on “Thursday Quotables: Paper Towns

  1. This was my first John Green about 7 yrs ago – I remember loving the dialogue and the road trip, but that’s about all I can recall. I guess it will get a lot of renewed interest with the movie coming out.

    • It’s funny, I didn’t even realize there was a movie coming out when I first picked up the book. I’ll be interested in seeing how well it translates to the screen. I had really mixed feelings about the plot, but I did find some of the dialogue and introspection really thoughtful and meaningful.

    • Thank you! Reading this one was a slightly weird experience for me — I thought a lot of the writing was terrific, but just didn’t love the plot overall.

  2. Sweet quote! 🙂 funny this morning I was amazed with a part of an audio book I’m listening now: “The Dead and the Gone (Last Survivors #2) by Susan Beth Pfeffer” I thought it was so powerful I typed it to update the status in Goodreads. Today I happened to post the review of the first book “Life as we Knew it” and I thought I’d take part in this wonderful link up. So I just edited my review to add that quote from book 2 and added my link 🙂

    • That’s awesome — I’m so glad you added your link! I actually have read that series… have to go check out your thoughts right now. 🙂

    • For me too, really. I didn’t love the story entirely, but I did love bits and pieces of the writing, like the passages above. Just somehow, the plot itself didn’t really gel for me.

  3. Interesting quotes! I really like the first one. It makes you wonder about the girl more, if her life was quite boring or if she was just misunderstood because she was so lonely.
    Have a great day,
    Amy x

    • Interesting to hear your interpretation of the quotes! The girl is actually incredibly popular and always at the center of the school’s social circle, but the boy comes to understand that behind her public persona, she was a person with secret interests and a hard life that she always kept hidden.

  4. Pingback: Book Review: Life As We Knew It (Last Survivors, #1) , by Susan Beth Pfeffer | Daniela Arks Blog for readers, writers and bloggers

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