By Cori Cagide, Publicist
Okay, so you may be thinking I’m late on the John Green train for this one, and I probably am. I first decided to read The Fault in Our Stars earlier this Summer when I found out about the movie coming out starring Shailene Woodley. I was hesitant because, as I’m sure you all know, it’s a pretty heavy topic. It was the start of Summer, and I was looking for a good beach read, not something that would make me burst into tears next to strangers on the subway during my commute.
However, disregarding my gut feeling, I read it anyway, mostly because people WOULD NOT STOP TALKING ABOUT IT. That, coupled with the fact that he brought out the biggest crowd at BookCon immediately following my first BEA conference – I figured the guy knew what he was doing.
I was pleasantly surprised. I am by no means an emotional person or reader. It takes a lot for things to get to me on a deep level. And even though I had to put it down a few times during my commute to avoid losing all control of my emotions, I thought it was a beautifully written book – one that gives a unique yet accurate perspective into a disease that affects so many around the world. I’d highly recommend it, even to those for whom the topic hits close to home. I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I’ve heard John Green was extremely hands-on and very much involved in the book-to-movie making process.
Next, I decided to tackle Looking for Alaska, also by John Green, and also being made into a movie later this year. That’s when I fell in love with John Green’s writing. I loved The Fault in Our Stars but wasn’t sure if it had something to do with the subject matter hitting me on an emotional level.
I liked Looking for Alaska even more than The Fault in Our Stars. I don’t want to give anything away, but I became obsessed with John Green’s ability to make you fall in love with characters who are so totally flawed. Just read it.
Immediately after reading The Fault in our Stars and Looking for Alaska I read Paper Towns and An Abundance of Katherines. I’d still rank Looking as Alaska as my favorite, followed (in order) by: The Fault in Our Stars, Paper Towns and An Abundance of Katherines. I’m still interested in reading Will Grayson, Will Grayson, a book he co-wrote with David Levithan and Let it Snow: Three Holiday Romances, co-authored by Lauren Myracle and Maureen Johnson (who was also at BEA and totally awesome).
Now, I know what you’re probably thinking – this chick is OBSESSED with John Green. And you’d be right. But, I will say that it’s not just his writing that captivates me. I love that he is so interactive when it comes to social media and really in-tune with his fanbase. He’s a YA author. He’s not pretending to be anything more or less than that. He doesn’t act like his work is so incredibly profound that it should be recognized as one of the greatest gifts ever given to literature. Rather, he speaks to his audience, interacts with them, and relates to them on a more personal level.
I especially love that in the newer editions of most of his books, he responds to fan mail and questions. One of my favorites was from a fan clearly trying to get him to answer a question from a book report template, to which Green replied: “Bottom line dude, I’m not going to do your homework.” Genius. In fact, most recently, he posted a picture of himself in a hospital bed, letting his vlog fans know that he would be unable to post a video to the YouTube series he created with his brother, Hank.
If I haven’t done enough to convince you to read one of his books yet, check out his social media and get to know John Green the man, apart from the author. It might just be enough to convince you to pick up one of the beloved titles.
If anything, it’ll allow you to have an idea of what not just one, but 2 books-turned-movies are like before you see them in theaters.