“Margo always loved mysteries. And in everything that came afterward, I could never stop thinking that maybe she loved mysteries so much that she became one.” ”

This quotation from Quentin appears at the end of the Prologue. When Quentin and Margo were nine, they found a dead corpse in the park. They were both horrified, but Margo was also deeply fascinated to find out the answer to the mystery of how he died, and she sleuthed around the neighborhood, searching for clues. Quentin pinpoints this moment as crucial to the development of Margo’s deep-seated need for adventure and mystery. The reader learns at the end of Paper Towns that Margo actually did fantasize about being in a mystery novel. When she was ten, she wrote a detective novel starring herself and Quentin in which they solve crimes and save the world. Margo sees herself as a character in a fantastic version of her own life, rather than allowing herself to be a flesh-and-blood but sometimes boring human being.