Paper Towns

Paper Towns

Margo Roth Spiegelman Character Analysis

Quentin’s next-door neighbor since childhood, a free-spirited girl known throughout their high school for her extraordinary adventures and elaborate schemes. Margo has an unhappy relationship with her parents and feels ill at ease in her Orlando community, which she finds stifling and inauthentic. Consequently, she has a long history of running away from home and leaving clues for her family as to her whereabouts — though, until she disappears at the beginning of the novel, she has always returned home within a few days. Margo is largely incomprehensible to Quentin, who first idealizes her as a carefree wild-child living life to its fullest, but finds as he begins searching for her that she was much more troubled and lonesome than he might have guessed.

Margo Roth Spiegelman Quotes in Paper Towns

The Paper Towns quotes below are all either spoken by Margo Roth Spiegelman or refer to Margo Roth Spiegelman. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Perception vs. Reality Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Speak edition of Paper Towns published in 2009.
Part 1, Chapter 3 Quotes

“Did you know that for pretty much the entire history of the human species, the average life span was less than thirty years? You could count on ten years or so of real adulthood, right? There was no planning for retirement. No planning for a career. There was no planning … And now life has become the future. Every moment of your life is lived for the future.”

Related Characters: Margo Roth Spiegelman (speaker), Quentin Jacobsen
Page Number: 33
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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Part 1, Chapter 6 Quotes

Even though I could see her there, I felt entirely alone among these big and empty buildings, like I’d survived the apocalypse and the world had been given to me, this whole and amazing and endless world, mine for the exploring.

Related Characters: Quentin Jacobsen (speaker), Margo Roth Spiegelman
Page Number: 53
Explanation and Analysis:

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“It’s a paper town. I mean, look at it, Q: look at all those cul-de-sacs, those streets that turn in on themselves, all the houses that were built to fall apart. All those paper people living in their paper houses, burning the future to stay warm. All the paper kids drinking beer some bum bought for them at the paper convenience store. Everyone demented with the mania of owning things. All the things paper-thin and paper-frail. And all the people, too. I’ve lived here for eighteen years and I have never once in my life come across anone who cares about anything that matters.

Related Characters: Margo Roth Spiegelman (speaker), Quentin Jacobsen
Page Number: 57
Explanation and Analysis:

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Part 1, Chapter 8 Quotes

“I didn’t need you, you idiot. I picked you. And then you picked me back … And that’s like a promise. At least for tonight. In sickness and in health. In good times and in bad. For richer, for poorer. Till dawn do us part.”

Related Characters: Margo Roth Spiegelman (speaker), Quentin Jacobsen
Page Number: 70
Explanation and Analysis:

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And I wanted to tell her that the pleasure for me was in planning or doing or leaving: the pleasure was in seeing our strings cross and separate and then come back together.

Related Characters: Quentin Jacobsen (speaker), Margo Roth Spiegelman
Page Number: 78
Explanation and Analysis:

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Part 2, Chapter 4 Quotes

[M]aybe Margo needed to see my confidence. Maybe this time she wanted to be found, and to be found by me. Maybe — just as she had chosen me on the longest night, she had chosen be again. And maybe untold riches awaited he who found her.

Related Characters: Quentin Jacobsen (speaker), Margo Roth Spiegelman
Page Number: 115
Explanation and Analysis:

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Part 2, Chapter 7 Quotes

I refused to feel any kind of sadness over the fact that I wasn’t going to prom, but I had — stupidly, embarrassingly — thought of finding Margo, and getting her to come home with me just in time for prom, like late on Saturday night, and we’d walk into the Hilton ballroom wearing jeans and ratty T-shirts, and we be just in time for the last dance, and we’d dance while everyone pointed at us and marveled at the return of Margo, and then we’d fox-trot the hell out of there and go get ice cream at Friendly’s.

Related Characters: Quentin Jacobsen (speaker), Margo Roth Spiegelman
Page Number: 133
Explanation and Analysis:

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Part 2, Chapter 8 Quotes

Standing before this building, I learn something about fear. I learn that it is not the idle fantasies of someone who maybe wants something important to happen to him, even if the important thing is horrible … This fear is bears no analogy to any fear I knew before. This is the basest of all possible emotions, the feeling that was with us before we existed, before this building existed, before the earth existed. This is the fear that made fish crawl onto dry land and evolve lungs, the fear that teaches us to run, the fear that makes us bury our dead.

Related Characters: Quentin Jacobsen (speaker), Margo Roth Spiegelman
Page Number: 140-141
Explanation and Analysis:

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Part 2, Chapter 9 Quotes

YOU WILL GO TO THE PAPER TOWNS
AND YOU WILL NEVER COME BACK

Related Characters: Margo Roth Spiegelman (speaker), Quentin Jacobsen, Ben Starling
Page Number: 149
Explanation and Analysis:

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Part 2, Chapter 10 Quotes

“Let me give you some advice: let her come home. I mean, at some point, you gotta stop looking up at the sky, or one of these days you’ll look back down and see that you floated away, too.”

Related Characters: Detective Otis Warren (speaker), Quentin Jacobsen, Margo Roth Spiegelman
Page Number: 151
Explanation and Analysis:

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Part 2, Chapter 15 Quotes

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.

Related Characters: Quentin Jacobsen (speaker), Margo Roth Spiegelman
Page Number: 199
Explanation and Analysis:

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Part 2, Chapter 17 Quotes

“I know you want to find her. I know she is t he most important thing to you. And that’s cool. But we graduate in, like, a week. I’m not asking you to abandon the search. I’m asking you to come to a party with your two best friends who you have known for half your life.”

Related Characters: Ben Starling (speaker), Quentin Jacobsen, Margo Roth Spiegelman
Page Number: 211
Explanation and Analysis:

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Part 2, Chapter 19 Quotes

It is so hard to leave — until you leave. And then it is the easiest goddamned thing in the world.

Related Characters: Quentin Jacobsen (speaker), Margo Roth Spiegelman
Page Number: 229
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Part 3, Hour 12 Quotes

I blame her for this ridiculous, fatal chase — for putting us at risk, for making me into the kind of jackass who would stay up all night and drive too fast. I would not be dying were it not for her. I would have stayed home, and I have always stayed home, and I would have been safe, and I would have done the one thing I have always wanted to do, which is grow up.

Related Characters: Quentin Jacobsen (speaker), Margo Roth Spiegelman
Page Number: 268
Explanation and Analysis:

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Part 3, Agloe Quotes

“Oh bullshit. You didn’t come here to make sure I was okay. You came here because you wanted to save poor little Margo from her troubled little self, so that I would be oh-so-thankful to my knight in shining armor that I would strip my clothes off and beg you to ravage my body.”

Related Characters: Margo Roth Spiegelman (speaker), Quentin Jacobsen
Page Number: 284
Explanation and Analysis:

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“People love the idea of a paper girl. They always have. and the worst thing is that I loved it, too. I cultivated it, you know … Because it’s kind of great, being an idea that everybody likes. But I could never be the idea to myself, not all the way.”

Related Characters: Margo Roth Spiegelman (speaker), Quentin Jacobsen
Page Number: 293-294
Explanation and Analysis:

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She can see it in my face — I understand now that I can’t be her and she can’t be me. Maybe Whitman had a gift I don’t have. But as for me: I must ask the wounded man where he is hurt, because I cannot become the wounded man. The only wounded man I can be is me.

Related Characters: Quentin Jacobsen (speaker), Margo Roth Spiegelman
Related Symbols: “Song of Myself”
Page Number: 298
Explanation and Analysis:

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Imagining isn’t perfect. You can’t get all the way inside someone else. I could never have imagined Margo’s anger at being found, or the story she was writing over. But imagining being someone else, or the world being something else, is the only way in.

Related Characters: Quentin Jacobsen (speaker), Margo Roth Spiegelman
Page Number: 299
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non

When did we see each other face-to-face? Not until you saw into my cracks and I saw into yours. Before that, we were just looking at ideas of each other, like looking at your window shade but never seeing inside. But once the vessel cracks, the light can get in. The light can get out.

Related Characters: Quentin Jacobsen (speaker), Margo Roth Spiegelman
Page Number: 302
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

After we kiss, our foreheads touch as we stare at each other. Yes, I can see her almost perfectly in this cracked darkness.

Related Characters: Quentin Jacobsen (speaker), Margo Roth Spiegelman
Page Number: 305
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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Margo Roth Spiegelman Character Timeline in Paper Towns

The timeline below shows where the character Margo Roth Spiegelman appears in Paper Towns. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Prologue
Perception vs. Reality Theme Icon
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...or survive months at sea, but Quentin believes his “miracle” was living next door to Margo Roth Spiegelman. Margo and Quentin grew up together in Jefferson Park, one of the many... (full context)
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Quentin remembers an experience he shared with Margo when they were nine years old. In the memory he describes, he and Margo bike... (full context)
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...night, after Quentin has gone to bed following a comforting conversation with his therapist mother, Margo appears at his bedroom window. Through the screen, she tells him she has done an... (full context)
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Quentin, at a loss for words, removes the window screen. He seems to assume Margo will come into his bedroom, but Margo does not move and tells him to shut... (full context)
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Quentin concludes, narrating once again from the present, that Margo always loved mysteries, and he wonders whether she loved mysteries so much that she eventually... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 1
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Quentin becomes distracted from the conversation when he sees Margo in the hall. She is standing with her boyfriend, the baseball player Jase Worthington, and... (full context)
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...and popular athlete, approaches Quentin and starts to harass him, asking what he knows about Margo and Jase. Quentin knows nothing of interest, since his friendship with Margo has stagnated over... (full context)
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...about being bored. A little before midnight, however, the routine of the day is disrupted. Margo appears at his bedroom window and opens it, something she hasn’t done since the night... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 2
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Margo is dressed in black and wearing black face paint. Standing outside his window, she tells... (full context)
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Margo and Quentin’s conversation comes to a sudden close when Margo’s father appears outside and orders... (full context)
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Waiting for Margo to return, Quentin collects his car keys. He remembers his disappointment when, on his sixteenth... (full context)
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Driving through Jefferson Park, Margo tells Quentin that her parents don’t care about her sneaking out, but are only worried... (full context)
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Quentin asks Margo where they are going. She tells him that their first stop is the grocery store... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 3
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In the parking lot at Publix, Margo gives Quentin a list of items to buy and a hundred-dollar bill with which to... (full context)
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...University, where he plans to attend college, will revoke his admission if he gets arrested. Margo expresses amazement at the fact that Quentin can be interested in things like college, school,... (full context)
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At Wal-Mart, Margo and Quentin buy a device called The Club, which is designed to lock a car’s... (full context)
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Quentin suspects Margo is rambling to avoid his question, and he asks her again why she needs The... (full context)
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A Wal-Mart employee appears and tells Margo she needs to stop blowing the air horn. The employee is visibly interested in and... (full context)
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As the employee walks away, Quentin enjoys the feeling of Margo’s hand and takes the opportunity to put his arm around her. He tells her that... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 4
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...on the highway, Quentin quotes T.S. Eliot, calling them “the visible reminder of Invisible Light.” Margo thinks the words are beautiful, and though she is disappointed to learn that the line... (full context)
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As their conversation continues, Margo reveals that Jase has been cheating on her with Becca. Quentin is dumbfounded, and tells... (full context)
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Quentin wonders aloud why Jase would have sex with Becca. Margo suggests that, since there is nothing pleasant about Becca’s personality, it must be because Becca... (full context)
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As he and Margo continue driving, Quentin meditates on the injustice of the fact that someone as unpleasant as... (full context)
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Quentin and Margo reach Becca’s neighborhood and drive around looking for Jase’s Lexus. When they find it, Margo... (full context)
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Outside Becca’s house, Margo and Quentin use a pair of binoculars — which Margo stashed in the car early... (full context)
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Margo tells Quentin they have to get into the basement while Becca is upstairs getting a... (full context)
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...Becca’s house, Quentin takes pity on him and throws Jase’s shirt out the car window. Margo is furious, and yells at Quentin for helping someone who has wronged her. She punches... (full context)
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...is still pounding from the stress and fear of being chased by Mr. Arrington. Though Margo insists the pounding heart is evidence that Quentin is having fun, he pulls into the... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 5
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When they begin driving again, Margo directs Quentin to her friend Karin’s house, telling him how she verbally abused Karin after... (full context)
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...Casavilla, is full of “big, ugly homes for big, ugly people.” Parked outside Jase’s house, Margo writes Jase a note saying her love for him “sleeps with the fishes.” She tells... (full context)
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Margo admits that the escapade was intense even for her, but assures Quentin that the eighth... (full context)
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Quentin rushes to assure Margo that she shouldn’t lose any weight. He thinks at length about her unusual beauty, which... (full context)
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When they arrive at Lacey’s car, Margo jimmies the lock open. Quentin helps her hide a fish — which, like the other... (full context)
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...using the spray paint can has left a blue spot on his finger. He shows Margo, who raises her own blue finger and touches it to Quentin’s. After a long time... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 6
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Downtown Orlando, which consists mostly of office buildings in skyscrapers, is deserted when Margo and Quentin arrive. Though he is aware of Margo sitting next to him, Quentin feels... (full context)
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Margo directs Quentin to a towering green sculpture, known to teenagers in town as The Asparagus.... (full context)
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Margo tells Quentin that they are going to the top of the SunTrust Building to check... (full context)
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In a conference room on the twenty-fifth floor, Margo surveys the city through one of the floor-to-ceiling windows. Leaning against the glass, she points... (full context)
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Quentin remarks that Orlando is beautiful, and Margo scoffs. He scrambles to justify himself, points out that it is impossible to see the... (full context)
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Still staring at the city below, Margo tells Quentin that Orlando is a “paper town.” She claims that everything about the town... (full context)
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Quentin tells Margo that he won’t take her comments about “paper people” personally. Margo apologizes, saying her experience... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 7
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Back in the minivan, Margo tells Quentin that it is his turn to choose a victim, whose punishment she has... (full context)
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Margo directs Quentin through Chuck’s subdivision, College Park. She does not remember his address, but points... (full context)
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Margo and Quentin climb through the bedroom window and discover, not Chuck, but an old man... (full context)
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Quentin and Margo successfully break into Chuck’s house. Margo spreads hair removal cream on Chuck’s right eyebrow, then... (full context)
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Speeding away in the minivan, Margo relishes their success and Chuck’s impending humiliation. Quentin asks why Margo hates Chuck, remarking that... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 8
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Quentin flatly refuses to follow Margo to SeaWorld. He worries about getting caught, and though Margo agrees that they probably will,... (full context)
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Margo is repulsed by the idea that she needed Quentin to accomplish her plans. She tells... (full context)
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Quentin grudgingly agrees to break into SeaWorld with Margo, but tells Margo that his parents and Duke University will both be mad when they... (full context)
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Driving to SeaWorld, Quentin thinks about Robert Joyner. He notices that the metaphor Margo once used to explain why Joyner killed himself —that all the strings inside him broke... (full context)
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When they reach SeaWorld, Margo reveals her plan to sneak in by wading through a drainage ditch that runs along... (full context)
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While crossing the moat, Margo is bitten by a snake. Fearing the snake is a water moccasin, Quentin tries to... (full context)
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Margo and Quentin wander past a row of tanks, but do not see any animals. They... (full context)
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Margo and Quentin continue walking through the park past the animals’ empty tanks. Margo talks about... (full context)
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Margo and Quentin stop in front of the empty seal tank. Quentin imagines spending the night... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 9
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...drive home in the early morning, Quentin wonders what will change now that he and Margo have shared this experience: whether they will eat lunch together and be friends in a... (full context)
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When Margo and Quentin return home, Margo gives Quentin a hug and tells him she will miss... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 1
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At school, Quentin notices that Margo’s car is missing from the parking lot, but is not troubled. He and Radar talk... (full context)
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...Hard and Put Away Wet.” Quentin gives Ben a detailed account of his night with Margo, but soon finds himself too tired to talk more. He falls asleep in the passenger... (full context)
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After school, Ben drops Quentin off at home. Quentin notices that Margo’s car is not in her driveway, and concludes that she missed school to have another... (full context)
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That night, Ben calls Quentin to report the rumors that have begun circulating about Margo’s absence: that she has moved into a storage room at Disney World, or that she... (full context)
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...he falls asleep, Quentin stares out his bedroom window. He cannot help but hope that Margo will come back to sweep him away on another adventure. (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 2
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At the beginning of the chapter, Quentin writes that Margo was the “queen” of Winter Park High School, and that after she disappeared, there was... (full context)
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...is left meditating on his satisfaction at having kept the popular kids in line during Margo’s absence. Though he figures Margo will be back by Monday, he is proud of having... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 3
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...Saturday, and Quentin comes downstairs to find his parents sitting in the dining room with Margo’s parents and a man he doesn’t recognize, who introduces himself as Detective Otis Warren. Margo’s... (full context)
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Detective Warren mentions that Margo tends to leave clues before she runs away. Margo’s father lists some of the clues... (full context)
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...he does not approve of the Spiegelmans’ parenting, or care whether they are reunited with Margo, but that he does want to know whatever information Quentin has about her. He asks... (full context)
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Detective Warren describes Margo as a tied-down balloon that has been straining against her strings and now has finally... (full context)
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Quentin and Detective Warren return downstairs, and Detective Warren leaves with Margo’s parents to look through Margo’s room. Quentin talks with his parents about the Spiegelmans. All... (full context)
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Glancing out the window, Quentin notices that someone has pulled down the shade in Margo’s room, which her parents raised shortly after she left. He sees a poster hanging on... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 4
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...been upstairs playing “Resurrection” while Quentin and Radar keep watch — and go next door. Margo’s little sister, Ruthie, is reluctant to let them in because Margo doesn’t typically let her... (full context)
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In Margo’s room, Quentin is stunned to find hundreds of vinyl records lining the bookshelves. She is... (full context)
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...disappointed to find that there is nothing inside except the record — no note from Margo, for example. Ben notices that one of the songs listed on the back cover of... (full context)
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...any of the poet’s nieces. He begins searching for a book of Whitman’s poetry among Margo’s things. He finds nothing useful, but Ben notices a copy of Whitman’s book Leaves of... (full context)
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Radar wonders aloud why Margo would leave clues for Quentin this time, when she has always left them for her... (full context)
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...afternoon reading the longest poem in the book, called “Song of Myself.” He notices that Margo has highlighted many lines in blue, but that two are highlighted in green: “Unscrew the... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 5
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...find Lacey waiting for him outside the band room. She has heard that Quentin and Margo were together the night before Margo disappeared, and wants to know whether Margo was angry... (full context)
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...to thank him for the money they’ve received from Jase. He tells one to thank Margo rather than him, knowing Margo gave him the tools he needed to confront Jase. Quentin... (full context)
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At lunch, Quentin finds Ben and Lacey waiting at his locker. Lacey tells Quentin that Margo never allowed people into her room, and that she had no idea Margo owned such... (full context)
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Radar is certain that the two lines in “Song of Myself” that Margo highlighted in green — about removing doors from their jambs —contain Margo’s next clue. He... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 6
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Quentin, Radar, and Ben return to Jefferson Park. Ruthie lets them into Margo’s room, and they remove the lock from her door and the door from its hinges,... (full context)
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Quentin and Radar follow Ben back to his house. They play video games and discuss Margo. Ben insists that Margo has to be in New York. He urges Quentin to go... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 7
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Six days after Margo’s disappearance, Quentin tells his parents about her clues. His father suspects that Margo will be... (full context)
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...soon as he can. He thinks of his own prom fantasy, in which he brings Margo home just in time for the last dance and their peers marvel while they do... (full context)
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Thinking about Ben, Quentin’s mind wanders to their earlier attempt to remove the doors in Margo’s room. Suddenly, a new idea occurs to him: that the doors he was meant to... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 8
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The address in Margo’s note turns out to be that of an abandoned strip mall with boarded-up windows, water... (full context)
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Quentin remembers Margo saying she did not want to be found dead in Jefferson Park, the way Robert... (full context)
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...Radar insists they cannot leave until they have gotten into the building and found whatever Margo intended Quentin to discover. Quentin looks at his friends, and their presence makes his fear... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 9
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...a raccoon. They are relieved to know that the stench has not been coming from Margo. Still, Quentin can’t help thinking about “Song of Myself,” with its many lines about the... (full context)
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Poking around the room, it becomes clear that Margo is not there. Ben notices a patch of wall that seems to have been recently... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 10
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...kind of poem.” He soon becomes anxious, and calls Detective Warren to tell him about Margo’s clues and their findings in the strip mall. He admits his fear that Margo may... (full context)
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...that refers to an abandoned subdivision—a pseudovision — as a “paper town.” He concludes that Margo has decided to take her life in one of the city’s pseudovisions, and has designated... (full context)
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...good. Ben, whom Quentin calls after finishing his conversation with Radar, is dismissive. He believes Margo is alive and well, and assumes her clues are bids for attention. Quentin resents Ben’s... (full context)
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...day, Quentin borrows RHAPAW and drives to Grovepoint Acres. He finds himself talking aloud to Margo, promising he will not betray her trust. He finds this one-sided conversation comforting. In Grovepoint... (full context)
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...tree similar to the one under which Robert Joyner’s body was lying when he and Margo discovered it. He is certain Margo will be dead beneath the tree, and finds himself... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 11
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...to their conversations about prom and other ordinary things. Lacey cries at the thought of Margo committing suicide, but Quentin keeps pushing her to think of places Margo might have gone... (full context)
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...After class, he brings Dr. Holden the poem and points out the morbid trend in Margo’s annotations, explaining his fear that she may have intended it to be a suicide note.... (full context)
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...he thinks of the poem. Quentin admits that he has mostly been reading the lines Margo highlighted, and that he is less interested in understanding Whitman than he is in understanding... (full context)
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...focused on prom. Radar tells Quentin that he will be happy to help hunt for Margo at any point in the future, but that he wants to enjoy this one night... (full context)
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...he has visited, surrounded by finished subdivisions that have been populated with families — but Margo is nowhere to be seen. Quentin considers the possibility that he might never find her,... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 12
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...red nail polish. The color is immediately recognizable to him — this is the polish Margo used to paint her nails during their adventure. Examining the bottle, he finds a smudge... (full context)
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Quentin is convinced that Margo has been staying in the mall, and resolves to stay there until she returns. The... (full context)
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...the wall and finds an empty box that once contained nutrition bars. The thought of Margo, sitting alone on the rolled-up carpet and eating a nutrition bar, makes Quentin sad in... (full context)
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...at the sky through cracks in the ceiling, and thinks how strange it is that Margo, who seemed to hate being bored, should choose to be in a place where there... (full context)
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...the metaphor leads him to think about the different ways he has imagined and mis-imagined Margo. (full context)
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Quentin realizes that the most important question is not what happened to Margo, but who she was. He commits himself to correcting his misperceptions about Margo, and begins... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 13
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...his chutzpah. The sudden warmth and camaraderie feels painfully disingenuous to Quentin, and he imagines Margo suffering through countless parties like this during her time in school. (full context)
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...crowd. He sees Becca and Jase hooking up, and hears Jase accidentally call Becca by Margo’s name. He goes into the nearby bathroom and finds Lacey sitting in the empty bathtub.... (full context)
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...asks Quentin to take her to the strip mall, and Quentin tells her about discovering Margo’s blanket and nail polish. Lacey is certain that Margo is dead, and disgusted by the... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 14
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Radar mentions he been monitoring Omnictionary for activity from Margo’s account and tracking the IP addresses of people who search for the phrase “paper towns.”... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 15
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...Whitman. He begins listening to the same album of Woody Guthrie covers he discovered in Margo’s room, and spends the rest of the evening listening to her favorite music. (full context)
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Listening to his parents’ conversation, it occurs to Quentin that he has never thought about Margo as a person — all his attempts to imagine her have failed to recognize that... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 16
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In the car, heading toward the strip mall, Radar states his belief that Margo has gone on a tour of America’s strangest roadside attractions, like the world’s largest ball... (full context)
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...Lacey recognizes Gus, the security guard from the SunTrust Building, among them. Gus confirms that Margo used to spend a lot of time in the strip mall, and his friend Ace... (full context)
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...explorers, who break into abandoned buildings and photograph them as a hobby. Ace tells them Margo used to explore with them while she was in school, but Gus says she never... (full context)
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Gus remarks that Margo “seemed pretty depressed.” This makes Lacey furious, and she screams at him, cursing him for... (full context)
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...the explorers gone, Quentin and his friends look around the rooms. Lacey says she remembers Margo’s black notebook, though she never saw Margo writing in it. She feels terrible for never... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 17
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...hope after finding the subdivision’s brochure in the strip mall, he finds no sign that Margo has been there. (full context)
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...attend. Ben tells him that they are not asking him to abandon the search for Margo, and that they only want one evening of his time before graduation later that week.... (full context)
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...finds the concrete foundation of a house that was never built. He cannot understand why Margo would have wanted him to see these places. He has now exhausted his list of... (full context)
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...pinned to his wall, and thinks of how fruitless it is to attempt to understand Margo through a map. The enormous amount of space represented in the map only reminds him... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 18
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...in the map as though it has been torn off the wall, and Quentin knows Margo did not intend for them to use this as a clue. They hang it on... (full context)
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...home, Quentin studies for his Latin final and talks with Lacey over instant messenger about Margo’s black notebook. They agree that Margo must have used it to plan her schemes and... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 19
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...category. Ben arrives, saying that he and Lacey spent the night plotting different possible routes Margo could have taken between the five points on her map. He tells them that every... (full context)
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...I myself become the wounded person.” He sees that all his efforts to connect with Margo, he has never been able to become her — to experience the world as she... (full context)
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...do again: loiter outside the band room, eat pizza in the cafeteria. He thinks that Margo must have felt some sadness leaving, just as he does, because she made a life... (full context)
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...process of leaving is difficult, the actual act of leaving feels wonderful. He realizes that Margo is never going to come back to Orlando, that she wouldn’t want to, because leaving... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 20
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Quentin spends that afternoon and the next day trying to uncover some new insight into Margo’s plan. On the morning of graduation, his parents present him with a gift: a car... (full context)
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...in fact, be one person living in Agloe until noon on May 29. Quentin recognizes Margo’s unusual capitalization: words in the middle of the sentence are capitalized, just as they were... (full context)
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...and four minutes. He has 21 hours and 45 minutes until, according to the comment, Margo is scheduled to leave Agloe. He calls Radar and Ben, who are at school waiting... (full context)
Part 3, Hour 9
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...empty interstate feels easy and pleasurable to Quentin, but it occurs to him that, while Margo may have been able to enjoy this drive in solitude, he could never feel so... (full context)
Part 3, Hour 11
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...gas station, and Quentin volunteers to take over driving. It seems only fair, since tracking Margo is his personal mission. Lacey allows Quentin to take the wheel, and lies down in... (full context)
Part 3, Hour 12
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...He admits that he is worried about how Quentin might feel if the reunion with Margo fails to meet his expectations. He talks about the strange experience of learning to like... (full context)
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...and grow up, how sorry he is for endangering his friends, and how he blames Margo for leading them all on this chase. (full context)
Part 3, Hour 14
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...money is nothing compared to the relief and happiness he will feel if they find Margo. Outside, the sun is rising. (full context)
Part 3, Hour 15-18
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...he dozes off, Quentin hears his friends laughing. He decides that, if they don’t find Margo in Agloe, they will drive around the Catskills and find a place to sit, enjoying... (full context)
Part 3, Hour 21
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As they get close to Agloe, Lacey and Quentin begin listing everything they know about Margo, from the make of her car to the color of her hair. Ben points out... (full context)
Part 3, Agloe
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...his friend spot a crumbling barn in the field beside a dirt road. Lacey recognizes Margo’s car parked outside the barn, and Quentin leaps out of the car and runs to... (full context)
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Margo asks for five minutes to finish writing. When she closes her notebook, she offers each... (full context)
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With the others gone, Margo and Quentin launch into a massive fight. Margo is angry at Quentin for coming to... (full context)
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Quentin’s criticisms send Margo into a fit of temper, which has the odd effect of calming Quentin down. She... (full context)
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Lacey calls Quentin’s cell phone, asking to speak to Margo. While they talk, apparently amiably, Quentin explores the barn. He finds Margo’s books: Sylvia Plath’s... (full context)
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Quentin asks Margo to explain her plan, to help him understand what was and wasn’t intentional, and what... (full context)
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Margo tells Quentin that she began planning her final night in Orlando during their junior year... (full context)
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Quentin asks Margo why she would come to Agloe, of all places. Margo explains that she has always... (full context)
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Quentin encourages Margo to come home with him, telling her she can stay with his family until she... (full context)
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Margo borrows Quentin’s phone and calls her family. She has a tense conversation with her mother,... (full context)
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Margo and Quentin walk through the fields outside the barn, and he tells her everything that... (full context)
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Quentin wakes around sunset, and sees Margo digging a few feet from him. He kneels next to her and begins to dig... (full context)
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Margo tells Quentin that she never thought of Robert Joyner as a real person, and instead... (full context)
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Quentin kisses Margo. Margo asks Quentin to come to New York with her, but they both understand that... (full context)
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Margo takes Quentin to the motel where Lacey, Radar, and Ben are staying. They promise to... (full context)