Summary: Chapter 14
Quentin calls Ben at noon the next day, and Ben is very hung over. Ben won’t talk to Quentin about Margo, which Quentin thinks is incredibly selfish. Quentin is annoyed at Ben and Radar for not being as invested in the search as he is. He then calls Radar, who’s also hung over, but who agrees to come over and discuss the Margo developments. Quentin tells Radar about the travel guides, and Radar shows Quentin a computer program that can plan an itinerary for any combination of destinations. Radar mentions to Quentin that he’s been searching every day online for Margo, and that he has an alert set if her username on Omnictionary becomes active again. Quentin feels sheepish that Radar has been doing all of this, as Quentin has neglected his friendships since the search for Margo began. Radar tells Quentin to made amends with Ben, and Quentin calls Ben over to play video games.
Summary: Chapter 15
Quentin pores over “Song of Myself,” only pausing to eat turkey burgers with his parents. As his parents psychoanalyze Chuck Parson and his bullying problems, Quentin realizes that he has been idolizing and idealizing Margo, when in fact she is just a human girl.
Summary: Chapter 16
On Tuesday after school, Quentin, Ben, Lacey, and Radar all go to the minimall, and on the way, they speculate about Margo. Each of them has a different theory. Inside the minimall, a group of people wearing masks appears. One of them turns out to be Gus, the SunTrust security guard, whom Lacey knows. Gus and his two friends called Ace and the Carpenter say that they enjoy urban exploring, or wandering around abandoned buildings to observe and take pictures. Margo used to join them, but instead of poking around, they say she would sit down write in her notebook. When Lacey starts to get upset, the Carpenter calls her a bitch and tells her to calm down. Ben punches the Carpenter in Lacey’s defense, but Quentin and Radar calm him down. Gus, Ace, and the Carpenter leave.
Ben and Lacey notice the pinholes in the wall and speculate what Margo might have tacked up there. Lacey says she remembers Margo’s notebook, and regrets never asking her about it. Quentin sees a pile of subdivision brochures that have been stacked into a house of cards, but doesn’t tell his friends. Instead, he writes down the names of the subdivisions so that he can check them out alone.
Summary: Chapter 17
On Friday night, Quentin takes the minivan and drives out to Collier Farms, one of the pseudovisions whose brochure Quentin found in the minimall, but he doesn’t find anything. He drives to another pseudovision, but there’s nothing there, either. Ben calls Quentin and tells him that Radar is having a party because his parents are suddenly going to be out of town that weekend. They are going to Pittsburgh to buy the world’s second-largest collection of black Santas, since the man who held this collection had an aneurysm. At first, Quentin is reluctant to attend, but gives in. When Quentin arrives, they start putting the most valuable black Santas away so they are not destroyed. Ben is anxious because he and Lacey kissed for the first time, and he doesn’t think he’s a good kisser.
At the party, Quentin and his friends reiterate their promise to go to graduation naked except for their graduation robes. Quentin listens to the party chatter but stays mostly quiet. When he goes home, he gets frustrated at all the maps he has pinned on the wall, so he tears them out. As he stares at the pattern of holes in the wall, he realizes that Margo must have had a map pinned up with points plotted by thumbtacks, as that would explain the pattern of pinholes they had found in the wall at the minimall.