Author Topic: John Green readers?(The Fault in Our Stars and Looking for Alaska)  (Read 4980 times)

grantmeaname

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Two weeks ago I read The Fault in Our Stars. It was a little slow to get started and I didn't love the protagonist from the very beginning, but I was stuck on an airplane, so I persisted. Holy shit, what a great book! The ending hit me with so much force - not the events, which I saw coming a hundred and fifty pages away, but the message. It's stuck with me to the point that I bring it up in conversation now, and I've really reconsidered my opinion of 'leaving an impact' on the world. I'll leave it at that to not totally spoil the conversation for those who haven't read it, because this forum doesn't have spoilertext.

So of course I went looking for Alaska another John Green book. I settled on Looking For Alaska on the basis of a positive recommendation from a stranger who saw my copy of The Fault in Our Stars. What a deeply uninteresting book! I loved Stars because it taught me more about suffering, love, and loss and allowed me to reexamine my own experiences. In Alaska, the characters are flat and uninteresting, and I saw nothing that made me think, much less anything that made me relive or reexamine my experience with (others') mental illnesses in high school. At least it was over quickly and the pacing was fast.

Anybody else share my ennui with Alaska?

Did anyone get as much out of it as the numerous book award committees?

Where can I find the next Fault in Our Stars?

Lans Holman

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Re: John Green readers?(The Fault in Our Stars and Looking for Alaska)
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2013, 05:51:01 PM »
I don't know if I actively disliked Alaska as much as you did, but it definitely felt like Fault in Our Stars was a big step forward for him in terms of moving past characters who are just sort of quirky and precocious for the sake of being quirky and precocious. 

No similarity between these books at all but the last book that haunted me and affected me to the same extent as TFIOS would have been Room by Emma Donoghue. 

In terms of other creative works that do connect to John Green's stuff, I would recommend checking out his favorite songwriter (and one of mine), John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats.  Not for everyone but his lyrics have a similar capacity for making you rethink what you thought you knew about what's going on in other people's heads, if that makes any sense.

lifejoy

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Re: John Green readers?(The Fault in Our Stars and Looking for Alaska)
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2013, 07:10:24 PM »
I looooove TFIOS!!!! I had a similar reaction. Amazing read.

Have you read "Crow Lake" by Mary Lawson? It blew my mind and made me reassess my thinking. Plus it's well written and set in Ontario. Not as phenomenal as TFIOS, but that's ok.

Also consider "Catch-22".

Yaaaay for reading!

Side note: An Abundance of Catherine's by John Green was underwhelming.

Need a good trad that is just very enjoyable?m"The Glass Castle" by Jeanette Walls.

sheepstache

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Re: John Green readers?(The Fault in Our Stars and Looking for Alaska)
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2014, 08:07:40 PM »
I wonder if you'd like his youtube videos?  He's got a toooon.  Crash Course might be the best known channel; he gives super fast condensed lessons on basic college course stuff like history and science.  And then Vlog Brothers has his random thoughts on all sorts of things, always interesting, often didactic (e.g., https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLMs_JcuNozJYGiolArnu7ACeVc7qOn8Dq)  Personally, I really like Sci Show which is by his brother.

lifejoy

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Re: John Green readers?(The Fault in Our Stars and Looking for Alaska)
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2014, 11:53:29 PM »
Ha... I was all prepared to comment in this forum again. Whoops.

But I'm excited for the fault in our stars movie to come out! Wahoo!

I just read looking for Alaska. Not good, when compared to Stars.

grantmeaname

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Re: John Green readers?(The Fault in Our Stars and Looking for Alaska)
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2014, 05:09:26 AM »
I've talked to a few people who felt the same way.


Does he write any books in which the main love interest doesn't die? I was like "Seriously John Green, again?"

Choices

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Re: John Green readers?(The Fault in Our Stars and Looking for Alaska)
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2016, 12:20:03 PM »
I second The Glass Castle by Walls.
And I add We Were Liars by Lockhart, which is in the process of being made into a movie too.
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Trudie

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Re: John Green readers?(The Fault in Our Stars and Looking for Alaska)
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2016, 08:19:31 PM »
I don't know if I actively disliked Alaska as much as you did, but it definitely felt like Fault in Our Stars was a big step forward for him in terms of moving past characters who are just sort of quirky and precocious for the sake of being quirky and precocious. 

No similarity between these books at all but the last book that haunted me and affected me to the same extent as TFIOS would have been Room by Emma Donoghue. 

In terms of other creative works that do connect to John Green's stuff, I would recommend checking out his favorite songwriter (and one of mine), John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats.  Not for everyone but his lyrics have a similar capacity for making you rethink what you thought you knew about what's going on in other people's heads, if that makes any sense.

I have not read "Room", but I saw the wonderful movie (screenplay also penned by the author).  It was so raw, and deeply affected me.  There are movies that make your eyes mist up a little, and then there are movies that move you to sobs.  This was the latter.

MrsWhipple

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Re: John Green readers?(The Fault in Our Stars and Looking for Alaska)
« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2016, 09:19:07 PM »
I second The Glass Castle by Walls.
And I add We Were Liars by Lockhart, which is in the process of being made into a movie too.
Yeah, We Were Liars is another great YA read if you liked TFIOS. I didn't much care for John Green's style, too hokey for me.

OP, there absolutely is spoiler text available if you want to discuss plot.

grantmeaname

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Re: John Green readers?(The Fault in Our Stars and Looking for Alaska)
« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2016, 11:25:54 PM »
There wasn't three years ago.

arebelspy

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Re: John Green readers?(The Fault in Our Stars and Looking for Alaska)
« Reply #10 on: July 16, 2016, 11:55:15 PM »
I agree on Looking for Alaska.  It was okay, but no Fault in Our Stars.

I liked Paper Towns better than Looking for Alaska.  It didn't have the same impact as reading TFIOS the first time, but there was at least a few things I liked about it, and it was a very quick read.

It has some well written lines.  I really liked the paper towns/paper people metaphor and idea that ran throughout, as a concept.

Spoilers below.

Not sure how I feel about the ending. Felt a little incomplete. I like how it differed from looking for Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars in that a main character didn't have to die--I kept expecting it, and was glad for the change (though had I read it first, before the others, I may have felt differently).
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trashmanz

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Re: John Green readers?(The Fault in Our Stars and Looking for Alaska)
« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2016, 12:22:40 AM »
Anyone read TFIOS after seeing the movie?  Wondering whether it would be interesting enough or different enough from what I've already seen?

justajane

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Re: John Green readers?(The Fault in Our Stars and Looking for Alaska)
« Reply #12 on: July 17, 2016, 06:46:48 AM »
You should check out The Perks of Being a Wallflower. I enjoyed TFIOS, but I liked Perks even better.

Warlord1986

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Re: John Green readers?(The Fault in Our Stars and Looking for Alaska)
« Reply #13 on: July 22, 2016, 07:44:01 AM »
John Green annoys me to no end.

Try Maggie Stiefvater's 'The Scorpio Races.' That book made my heart hurt, it was so beautifully written. Skip the rest of her books, but look into that one.

Jay Asher's '13 Reasons Why' will make you cry your face off.

'Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass' by Meg Medina is a very powerful book that touches on bullying, personal responsibility, relationships between women, and dealing with rotten situations. It's great, and so is the author.

arebelspy

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Re: John Green readers?(The Fault in Our Stars and Looking for Alaska)
« Reply #14 on: July 22, 2016, 04:33:48 PM »
Try Maggie Stiefvater's 'The Scorpio Races.' That book made my heart hurt, it was so beautifully written. Skip the rest of her books, but look into that one.

Jay Asher's '13 Reasons Why' will make you cry your face off.

'Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass' by Meg Medina is a very powerful book that touches on bullying, personal responsibility, relationships between women, and dealing with rotten situations. It's great, and so is the author.

Thanks, downloaded all three!

Looks like all three authors have multiple books, I may look into those if I enjoy their above book.
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arebelspy

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Re: John Green readers?(The Fault in Our Stars and Looking for Alaska)
« Reply #15 on: July 23, 2016, 05:51:49 AM »
Jay Asher's '13 Reasons Why' will make you cry your face off.

Well, my face is intact, but that was a pretty rough book.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with a kid.
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Warlord1986

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Re: John Green readers?(The Fault in Our Stars and Looking for Alaska)
« Reply #16 on: July 25, 2016, 07:15:03 AM »
Jay Asher's '13 Reasons Why' will make you cry your face off.

Well, my face is intact, but that was a pretty rough book.

Oh, God. I sobbed during that book.

His follow-up sucked. I'm pretty sure he's a one-hit wonder, but what a hit.

Maggie Stiefvater's books are very hit and miss. When she's good, she's good. When she sucks....hmm. Her personality doesn't help much either. But 'The Scorpio Races' was a great book.