John Green: From Loathe To Love

When I first heard about John Green, it was in 2012 when The Fault In Our Stars was released, and I immediately hated him. Let me explain before you stone me.

I was always on the lookout for young adult books that weren’t vampires, because vampires were getting boring, fast. So here comes this decent author with a book about kids with cancer, and I thought ‘hey, if it’s a good story and it raises awareness, this is going on my to-read list.’

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So with my brand new copy of The Fault In Our Stars, I settle down in my communal living room to start reading, tea in hand and then I hear a screech from my wonderfully-vocal Italian housemate and best friend. I then spent the next two hours receiving a lecture from her about how John Green was profiting from cancer and that the medical aspects of the book were completely outrageous. So the book went on my shelf and hasn’t been opened since.

So four years pass, I get a degree, move back to my home town, get a job, blah blah blah, and then I hear about this edgy indie book with a bad-ass female lead with a weird name and an amazing metaphor: Paper Towns. Three guesses who it’s by, *drum roll* John Green.

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In the four years, I had pretty much forgotten about my hatred for John Green, as I had since learned that my loud friend’s opinion of TFiOS was just that, an opinion. But still with this ingrained fear of reading the book, I skipped it altogether and dove head first into Paper Towns. I finished it in less than a week.

Safe to say that since then, I’ve been pretty happy to hear about John Green’s work, particularly when I realised he is the older brother to Hank Green, and that they co-created YouTube channel vlogbrothers, the world of Nerdfighteria, and are ultra nerds that are so cool and the human embodiment of tumblr.com.

I now spend nearly all of my spare time attempting to catch up on the 10 years of vlogbrothers videos, and am eagerly awaiting payday so I can buy all of John Green’s book and add them to my copies of Paper Towns and The Fault In Our Stars. I’m also desperately searching for a copy of John Green reading TFiOS audiobook.

I have officially become a fan, and I wish I had had the balls to stand up for The Fault In Our Stars when I first bought it all those years ago… and I shall be reading it tonight!

So, I have one thing to say to you John Green and other members of Nerdfighteria (if you’ll forgive my stupidity): Don’t forget to be awesome! 

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7 thoughts on “John Green: From Loathe To Love

  1. I am glad you gave John Green another chance. I’d like to offer a different opinion on TFiOS: I was diagnosed with cancer as a young woman, and though I am surviving and am still here, it made me hate my body and what I assumed my life would be. And that? That made me feel wrong and guilty. Reading TFiOS gave me permission to actually feel the way I did about my diagnosis. It’s actually helped me process some things. TFiOS didn’t make me feel exploited as a cancer kid, it made me feel empowered.

    Just another opinion. One of many you’ve heard now, I expect. I’d wager it’s no more or less valid than that of your friend.

    Having said that, I would love to buy Green’s other books for you. Do you maybe have an amazon wishlist you could add them to/like me to?

    • Hi Stephanie, thank you so much for commenting. The fact that TFiOS has made such a positive, open and lasting impression on readers, particularly those whom have survived cancer, is exactly why I’ve picked this one up again. I was easily scared by my friend’s opinion; she is someone who suffers from chronic pain, so I’m afraid I rather took her word for gospel. But I’m two chapters in and pleased to say I completely disagree with her. It’s a very honest book, and whilst some people think it makes light of the situation, it appears to me that it focuses on the fact that cancer survivors are NOT their illness, it’s just a part of their lives.
      I’ve read Paper Towns, which is amazing, and am just waiting for payday to purchase them. Do you have another favourite of John Green’s books?

      • Hi Melissa!
        I’m so glad you are liking TFiOS. As far as John Green’s other novels, I have to admit, I have a soft spot for An Abundance of Katherines. I actually like all of Green’a body of work, Looking for Alaska being my least favorite. I just feels like he was TRYING to do something big, whereas the others feel more accidentally profound, if that makes any sense. Having said that, I still think Alaska is a great book.

        Also, if you would be so kind as to forgive me any typos. I’m writing on my phone, and I swear it doesn’t have autocorrect, it has autoscrewup.

  2. I think the first of John’s books I read was Paper Towns, but I’ve read them all at this point, including his novella Zombicorns (it’s not about unicorns, but it is under a creative commons license, so you can find it online for free), My favorite novel of his has to be An Abundance of Katherines, because nineteen Katherines, anagrams, interviews, beautiful tampon strings and beautiful math equations. Also, Will Grayson,Will Grayson, because shared names, Tiny Cooper, and bad fake ids. Looking for Alaska is probably the one I’ve read the most, because last words, first loves, incredible pranks and the motherf**king fox. Also, I don’t remember any of the stories from Let It Snow, but I do remember I enjoyed reading it.
    Also, I think John Green has come under a lot of criticism, for this novel, but also Looking for Alaska is one of the most challenged YA Novels right now, and it’s always hard to dare to try an author when you hear criticism esp. from someone you trust on the topic.

  3. I’m not at all surprised you turned away from TFiOS, and it’s great that you re-thought it. Reactions to it are understandably so strong because the subject is just so painful. And yet, it honestly has one of the funniest first chapters I’ve ever read.

  4. Pingback: The Fault in Our Stars | Book Review | Melissa Holden, Author

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