(Caution: There will be spoilers in this review. Read at your own risk.)
I love John Green, in the manliest way possible. His books are addicting, his characters are hilarious and his writing is great because 1) it sucks you into the story, 2) it feels like an actual teenager is talking, 3) the writing is simple yet complex (it makes sense, sort of) and 4) he uses this cool ‘1, 2, 3, 4…’ writing technique that I just stole from him.
So, me being me, I decided to review every single one of his books in a single post, each ranked in order from my least favorite to my most favorite. Then we can all discuss our favorite JG books whilst drinking tea and eating the delicious chocolate chip cookies my mom made earlier today.
5) An Abundance of Katherines: If I had one word to describe this book, it would be ‘bland.’ Compared to Green’s other novels, this book doesn’t have much of an engaging plot, a likable main character or a thought-provoking ending. Collin whined too much, Lindsey was cool, but not nearly as cool as Alaska, Margo or Hazel. I did like Hassan, though.
My favorite part of this book is when The Other Colin beat the shit of Colin. I felt like he had it coming, and after that moment, I started to like him, though not nearly as much as his other characters.
On the plus side, this book was hilarious, and I finished it knowing a bunch of useless facts. Rating: 6/10
4) Will Grayson, Will Grayson. This was the hardest book to get into, and by that, I mean it was only a little bit harder than all the JG books. Does this book even count as a John Green book? He only wrote half of this book. Oh well, I’m counting it.
At first I found John Green’s Will not interesting at all and David Levithan’s Will as interesting as it gets. By the end of the book, my opinion had flip-flopped. I know, it’s weird.
This book is definitely the gayest book I’ve ever read, though that’s not a bad thing, since that was sort of the whole theme of the book. Besides, this is the only book I’ve ever read with gay characters. Also, Tiny Cooper seemed like a gay stereotype to me, though I didn’t care. Cam from Modern Family is also a stereotype, yet both characters are hilarious.
I thought the ending was kind of dumb and extremely unrealistic. Seriously, there’s no way all of those Will Graysons could get to the play (if they agreed to do it, which was also pretty unlikely) in time. Hell, Grayson #2 himself didn’t even show up until there was only twenty minutes left or so (It’s been a while since I read the book, so I’m not sure on the details), but it was still pretty cool. Rating: 7/10
3) The Fault in Our Stars. I can never decide which book I like better: TFioS or LfA. Eventually I went with Looking for Alaska due to reasons I’ll explain later on. Anyway, this book was great. Hazel and Augustus were a breath of fresh air for John Green, character-wise. A common complaint about John Green is that his characters are all the same: nerdy guy plus awesome girl. I never really found this to be a problem, since I’ve never felt any deja vu with any of his characters.
People may complain that “No teenagers ever talk like this!” but they should probably know that 1) Hazel and Augustus aren’t normal kids to begin with, 2) Knowing you’re about to die forces you to grow up faster than the average teen, hence the advanced vocabulary, 3) You barely even notice the giant words they use after the second chapter or so, so it’s not that big of a deal and 4) Look, I’m using the ‘1, 2, 3…’ writing style again! See how cool it is? Would I be accused of plagiarism if I used this technique in my future book? If not, I’m using it.
The thing I didn’t like about this book was the trip to Netherlands. It was the one part of the book in which my attention wavered. I did like how the plot resolved, though, and I eventually came to like Peter Van Houten. The plot line just seemed out of touch with the rest of the book. I also thought the plot twist with Augustus getting cancer again was predictable. Not to brag or anything, but I called it twenty pages before it happened. Rating: 9/10
2) Looking for Alaska: This book beats out TFioS primarily because of the fact that I fell in love with Alaska. Seriously, we could have been together, had she not been a fictional character. We could have gotten married and have had smart but wild kids named Nebraska or Vermont. Though to be honest, we wouldn’t have lasted very long due to the fact that she’s emotionally unstable and quite possibly suicidal. Still, it’s worth a shot.
I feel like the title of this book is misleading. At first I thought the book would be about a couple of friends going on a road-trip to Alaska (Dibbs on that plotline, by the way), and then I thought the book would be about Pudge and The Colonel trying to find Alaska, who went missing. Instead, Alaska dies, which begs the question: Why is the title called “Looking for Alaska?” Trying to Find Out if Alaska Committed Suicide or Not seems like a much better title, although it’ll probably be shot down due to the fact that it’s a huge spoiler.
Also, why wasn’t Jake at Alaska’s funeral? That was never explained.
1) Paper Towns: I loved this book. I loved all the main characters, even with Quentin and Margo’s ugly names (no offense to people named Quentin or Margo; it’s just that I find your name extremely unattractive). The book was hilarious with a lot of sadness at the end. The book’s sort of like an episode of Scrubs, minus a deranged janitor.
Plus I love Margo (suck it, Alaska). She may be a little crazy, but everything about her was so fucking cool that it made up for that. She took Quentin on an amazing campaign for revenge that was so perfectly planned out and so bad-ass at the same time. This part of the book had me spending every moment of my Friday night reading–it also inspired me to go on my own mischievous campaign in the middle of the night, in which I ding-dong ditched my neighbor’s house, tripped on the front steps, dropped my phone, forgot to pick up my phone, ran away, fell again, realized I forgot my phone, ran back, got caught, apologized to the neighbor and went home in a bad mood. That was the night I realized I would never be as cool as Margo Roth Spiegelman.
The only problem I had with the book was that the writing randomly switched to present tense at one part in Part 2, went back to past tense, and then returned to present tense in Part 3. This was confusing, but I’m okay with it, since everything else was amazing.
I loved the ending, particularly because I live an hour’s drive from Agloe, New York. And I like how the book shows that you never truly know somebody; you just think you do.
I feel like I should mention Ben, Lacey, and Radar–the greatest secondary characters I’ve ever read about.