A John Green Duo

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

I feel sad that John Green seems to have this stigma around his books, that they are all teen fiction tales with the same writing style and the same plot. I think he may have worked too hard to obtain that label. Yes his writing style is the same, it's the same because it works, it's poetic and incredibly descriptive. He uses phrases and words such as 'Haphazardly' and 'If people were rain, I was a drizzle and she was a hurricane' God that phrase just makes my heart melt! 

I've read every single John Green now, these two were the last of the pile, I decided to a little mini duo review of both, I hope you enjoy!

Okay, so The Fault in Our Stars actually isn't my fave John Green book (shock horror) I loved it and I cried and all that jazz, but the book that touched me more was Looking for Alaska, I think the reason for this is because it's about a sudden loss, you could see it coming in TFIOS but this one just hits you like a tonne of bricks to your heart, I think the book also holds dear to me because I read it on the plane journey to the big ol' apple New York city on my trip with sixth form and I remember crying silently on the plane and then the pang in my heart when I realised I had left that glorious book on the plane! 

An Abundance of Katherines (2006)

When it comes to relationships, Colin Singleton's type is girls named Katherine. And when it comes to girls named Katherine, Colin is always getting dumped. Nineteen times to be exact. 

On a road trip miles from home, this anagram-happy, washed up child prodigy has ten thousand dollars in his pocket, a blood-thirsty feral hog on his trail, and an overweight Judge Judy-loving best friend riding shotgun- but no Katherines. Colin is on a mission to prove the Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, which he hopes will predict the future of any relationship, avenge Dumpees everywhere, and finally win him the girl. 

The plot revolves around Colin a nerdy teenager who once was a child prodigy and has lost his way. He loves his anagrams and his girls named Katherine. Okay you probably got that from the plot but that's kind of all that happens in this book apart from the road trip they take to one place and then just stay there (not much of a road trip) With all respect to John Green this is probably the worst of his books I have read, I just didn't connect to any of the characters or even the plot. I had to re-read it before beginning this review because I frankly just couldn't really remember what happened! 
The writing style however is once again perfect and, as a little twist John Green pops in some visual mathematical equations which are incredibly clever and fit the plot well, however he did at the end of the book admit that his good friend and mathematician Daniel Biss contributed to the equations, the reason they are so complex. 

Overall the plot of the book is just a little stale for me, I enjoyed some parts towards the end but it did take a lot of reading and hunting trips beforehand, I just didn't seem to care much for the characters which seems a little cruel but true, I did like the all too clever and nerdy equations plonked randomly into the book and the whole concept of the nerdy character looking for his true love using maths but I have to say An Abundance of Katherines didn't really float my boat, sorry J! 

4 Moons out of 10

Paper Towns (2008)

'The thing about Margo Roth Spiegelman is that really all I could ever do was let her talk, and then when she stopped talking encourage her to go on, due to the facts that 1. I was incontestably in love with her, and 2. She was absolutely unprecedented in every way, and 3.She never really asked me any questions... 

Quentin Jacobson has always loved Margo from afar. So when she climbs through his window to summon him on an all-night road trip of revenge he cannot help but follow. But the next morning, Q turns up at school and Margo doesn't. She's left clues to her disappearance, like a trail of breadcrumbs for Q to follow. 

And everything leads to one unavoidable question: Who is the real Margo ?

Now this is more up my street! A misunderstood female protagonist, a lovable bitch that a nerdy boy follows halfway round America to tell her about his love for her.

The character of Margo is so cleverly written, just as you begin to hate her there's another layer uncovered that makes you realise she's not just an attention seeking teenager on the run. I also love the musical and poetic references to Woodie Guthrie and Walt Whitman (now we know why some superfans think Breaking Bad and Papertowns are somehow linked in a weird Illuminati kind of way) The road trip is so much more interesting than the AOK roadtrip, actually the whole plot is more interesting to be honest and I won't spoil anything but I had to have a little cry at the end.The clues that Margo leaves after her disappearance are very, very clever, you feel as a reader that you are on the quest to find Margo along with him and the journey he goes on is kind of your own journey in a weirdly metaphorical, pretentious kind of way but it's true. My sixteen year old self related so much to this book it was unbelievable, it is a little bit too angsty for me but I did fall in love with the characters and the plot.

The fact this book is coming out as a film pretty soon and Cara  Delevingne is playing Margo makes me incredibly happy, role on June 2015!

9 Moons out of 10
I hope you enjoyed my little John Green Duo Review, I feel like he needed to be praised. 


  1. I loved this post and I just found your blog and I love it. It's really helpful because I mean to read Green's novels for a while now. You see, I wasn't too excited with the Fault in our stars and I didn't know about the others.


    1. Aw thank you m'dear. And I completely agree The Fault in Our Stars isn't the best of his books out there!