Thursday, September 11

Book Review: Thoughts on John Green's Work!

If you stalk people on Whatsapp, there's a huge chance you've come across this author, John Green. The blue and white ‘okay, okay’ written in clouds display picture? Yeah, that one. The guy basically wrote the best book ever written, 'The Fault in Our Stars', a book most now claim to have read because they've seen the movie.

This book has gotten so famous that now people have started disliking it. 'Oh! it's really boring and a little slow, brah!'

I read this book a while back because-

a) I had never heard of it
b) my friends had not heard of it.

Seriously, that makes a lot of difference. Tell someone you've read 'The Fault in Our Stars', they will think you're a hobbyist reader or tell them you've read the English version of 'Bajo la misma estrella' and they'll be like 'oh, look, we've got a freaking scholar here.’ It just makes so much difference, in spite of the fact that both the titles mentioned are translations of the same book. Just the name and Shakespeare was asking what’s in the name?

Anyway, enough of trying to be funny here.

This last two weeks, I decided to be really productive and so I read 'The Fault In Our Stars' (again), 'Looking For Alaska’, ‘An Abundance Of Katherines’ and ‘Paper Towns. This is all of John Green’s work I could find online. And Auckley boy was I impressed!

The Young Adult genre of books, specially about love, gets a lot of flak from everyone because of how it doesn’t contain any real life values and things that could change your worldview. I get it. I really do. It has some base as well, because some of the famous books the genre has churned out don’t contain anything more than a lonely boy meeting a popular girl and then something cute and funny and then marriage. So, when I jumped into this genre with ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ I was really apprehensive. I thought about it a lot. If this book turned out to be one of those books, I wouldn’t even be able to tell anyone how cute it was (I love those books!).

But boy oh boy was I wrong!

a breakdown of all the four books...

The Fault in Our Stars is a story of Hazel Grace, teenager, super smart, has a sleek vocabulary (you’d think she talks in codes, but she’s just too smart for you bro.) It is the story of Hazel Grace’s crazy obsession with this writer and his book because she wants some answers. In pursuit of finding the answers to the questions that haunt her every single day, she meets this really cool guy Augustus Waters, who is really into metaphors. He’s funny and he talks in codes himself. So, these two click. The only problem is? They are both grenades, the funny ones because their safety pins are already removed and they are about to explode anytime. Reading this book should make you understand and really appreciate how lucky you are, sitting comfortably somewhere reading this post.

I was so impressed by the ‘smartness’ quotient of this book that I decided to read all of ’s work. The next stop was Looking For Alaska. This is a story of a guy Miles, who is really obsessed with last words of people. Seriously, he just knows everyone’s last words and it creates such an irony in the end. A devil’s joke. He heads to this new college ‘to seek a great perhaps’. And there he meets this crazy mysterious girl, Alaska (you thought it was about the place Alaska, and how the narrator was without maps?). This crazy girl is friends with another bunch of crazy people and they all do really crazy things together. This really is a drama novel about High School, but again the fact that impresses me is the smartness quotient the book has. The characters are sort of believable and relatable.

I’m being a lazy ass here, both of these books are very nice.

The next one that I lay my hands on was An Abundance of Katherines. A story of a guy, Colin, who is obsessed with dating girls whose names are Katherines and also obsessed with anagrams. Colin is a childhood prodigy who like most of the childhood prodigies, has turned into a normal adult. Obsessed over this as well, he goes on a road trip with his friend who has a weird obsession with the word Kafir (has a nice ring to it, no?). They get a job in some countryside town. They meet Lindsey there who is sort of interesting. This book is a nice read but is really not John Green’s material. I’d rate it 2 on 5. If Chetan Bhagat had written this though, this would totally get a five from me.

After this shaky read, I was not sure about Paper Towns, because it was the longest of all the books and there wasn’t much I had read about it. I gave it a try. It starts a bit shaky, but really gets into your head after a point. Both the leads in this books are crazy and full of mystery, the stuff I LOVE. There’s urban exploring in this book, a hobby the much much cooler version of me has. There’s love. There’s wit. There’s smartness. And just so much mystery. I absolutely love this book and even swear by it. If you had to read one book in college romance saga, pick this. I can’t even talk about this book in a rational way, because I love it so much. It is bound to show.

quotes from the fault in our stars
This is the original design on John Green's Boxset. So pretty!!!

some thoughts on whole…

The biggest problem that many have with John Green’s books is all the characters are sort of same- smart people, dejected and disappointed by the average crowd, so they go out to seek a great. But this also works like magic for me. The characters are really smart. You’d want to think like them (except maybe Colin, he just keeps anagraming). And these books don’t disappoint on the whole love thing as well. There’s just too many quotes to quote. Okay? Okay. ( check the link at the end of the post, some really good quotes!)

Also, the one obsession that all the lead seem to have. Hazel is obsessed with An Imperial Affliction. Colin with anagraming and dating Katherines. Miles with last words. And Quentin with Margo (Paper Towns). I love these obsessions. I love obsessions in general as long as they stay out of others’ way. I love how they draw people into doing things, taking actions, working, striving for goals. I think a little obsession is the difference between average and crazy, and we all secretly want some crazy.  

And then the plots that John Green uses to tell his stories. Paper Towns is the smartest in terms of this. The plot is so smart (I love the book!) that you’d think The Fault In Our Stars is pretty generic. When you think about this, generally, you don’t have many plots to tell a story, it matters then immensely how you decorate them, what moments fill the space created in your story and doesn’t John Green know decorating this vacant space. Except Katherine, you’d really not find anything too generic in the books.

And if all of this wasn’t enough, this books are really witty. I think I am a little obsessed with John Green’s work.

my ratings...

The Fault In Our Stars: 3.5/5
Looking For Alaska: 4/5
An Abundance Of Katherines: 2.5/5
Paper Towns: 5/0 (mathematically, the love is undefined!)

If you have some free time and you need some light reading, I’d highly suggest you pick John Green. Here are my sponsored links to all his books. Here are some quotes to get you interested. Buzzfeed.

The Fault In Our Stars - Flipkart | Amazon
Looking For Alaska- Flipkart | Amazon
An Abundance Of Katherines- Flipkart | Amazon
Paper Towns- Flipkart | Amazon

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