I’ve been reading a lot of John Green’s work lately. (The Fault in Our Stars, Paper Towns, and An Abundance of Katherines.) I love his style of writing. Seriously, the dialogue could be taken from any number of my conversations. It makes for a much smoother read when it’s written how you speak. So before I give my thoughts on each book, I do want to state that I am not trained in this field. I’m just a reader. But I feel like everyone needs to read these books. So I want to let people know what I took away from them.
The Fault in Our Stars: I decided to read this on the fifth anniversary of my grandmother’s passing. She lost a 4 month battle to lung and brain cancer. I also had an aunt who lost a year long battle to brain cancer. This book made me do a lot of questioning. I never really put a whole lot of thought into it. I was 18 when my grandma was diagnosed. I remember when they told me the news. It felt very surreal. Everything gets that dream-like haze to it. You refuse to believe you’re awake and actually hearing what they just said. It takes a few days to really sink in that it’s really happening. I don’t believe in God, but I’ve never prayed harder than I did during those four months. To any higher power that might be listening. Perhaps my message never made it past the beep. Anyways, in the book he spends a lot of time exploring inner thoughts and feelings. Which I never stopped to think about. I mean I knew it had to be really shitty for her, but I never stopped to wonder what she was thinking/feeling at the time. Other than how shitty it was. I realize that everyone is different, and this is a fictional character, but I feel like it really gave me a peek at the inner workings of a cancer patient. The things they worry about, the things they think about. The things they have to accept. It definitely brought a new perspective to the table. I will say, you will need tissues. Lots of tissues.
Paper Towns: This book is my favorite one so far. Without a doubt. This book definitely represents a journey of self discovery. Which is perfect because it takes place at the end of high school. One of those this is the end, but also the beginning moments. When you really have time to play around and figure out who you are and where you’re going in life. There is so much going on in this book. Contrasts, metaphors, life lessons, transformations… I love it. It shows what happens when you hold this image of a person in your head, when you put them on this pedestal, only to find out that’s not at all who they are. Like they say in the book. From afar you see them and create this image of who they are, who you think they are. The closer you get, the less attractive they become. It’s like learning to love a whole new person. That’s exactly true. I’ve been there. With my ex-husband. He was so charming, until you got close. Then you see all the cracks. Sometimes if they’re big enough, they consume you as well. I loved watching (I say watching because I can picture it in my head. This is why I like to read as much as possible before pulling myself out) Q change over the course of the book. I loved watching his thought process change. I definitely recommend this book. Especially if you’re at a very transitional point in life. You’ll appreciate the new perspective, and maybe even learn a little about yourself along the way 🙂
An Abundance of Katherines: I just read this one last night. It ranks pretty high on my list. Again, I feel like I’m biased. I simply love John Green’s writing. Plain and simple. This book is great for after a break-up. I wish I had known about it around the time of my divorce. Again, it’s the whole perspective thing. Who hasn’t randomly, pathetically called their ex to pour their heart out to someone who isn’t listening. Their message never making it past beep. This book explores all the stages of a break up. Though less messy than in real life I suppose. My worst break up was my divorce. I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy. I recall a day in particular when we had decided to give it another try and he moved back in. Something happened that set him off and he decided to leave again. Long story short it ended with me sobbing, alone, on the floor, because I couldn’t stand, not breathing. Feeling like the entire world had been ripped away from me and I was endlessly floating in some dark void. No light as far as the eye could see. Now obviously the 17 year old in the story wasn’t experiencing something quite that harsh, but at the same time. Break ups are never easy. On anyone. Even the dumpee. It was nice to get out of my head for a while and experience it from someone else’s shoes for a change. Now I don’t feel so crazy for having felt the way I did back then.
I only have two books left, Will Grayson Will Grayson and Looking for Alaska. I’m thinking about adding some of his other collaborations to the list. I’ll have to check them out. But I recommend everyone read his work. If you already have, you know what I’m talking about, read them again!!
*Note: because I had three books to write about and didn’t want a super long post, I didn’t get as in-depth as I wanted to. There is so much more to be said about each one of these books.