John Green is a brilliant author and vlogger. Going to see John Green on Oct 27th was incredible! My hopes were high beforehand, as I simply love his books and as a history/government teacher I love his educational videos too, but I was in awe. So, I asked my husband to buy tickets for my birthday; he was more than happy too, even knowing that it inevitably meant he was going to have to go too despite never having read one of his books (he’s a keeper). When we showed up I wasn’t sure to expect, a book reading? We knew we were receiving a signed copy of his new book Turtles All the Way Down, so was it a signing too? It was not either, though he did begin with reading a few pages from the book. He and his brother Hank then went on to toy with our emotions, laughing followed by choking up, followed by more laughing. The ambience John Green created for his audience is exactly why I love his books.
For those of you who may not know, John Green is a young adult fiction author who is able to eloquently address dark topics and connect with young readers (and not so young reader). It’s amazing how an author like John can convey such emotions and thoughts so well through his writing. Every time I read one of his books I find myself engulfed in the story, identifying with the characters and understanding their situations. Here are his books (which you can find on his website):
This book in one work is Dark. It is about a teenage boy who chooses to go to a boarding school (the same one his dad went to) as he thinks he will be able to gain a better high school experience and maybe actually have friends if he goes. The book follows Q’s life in a pattern of days before and after an event. I don’t want to give anything away, but it involves falling in love, taking chances and dealing with loss.
Like many of John Green’s books, Paper Towns involves a teen who is in love and has a problem to solve. One night Quentin’s (Q) neighbor Margo (who he’s been in love with for years, but barely speaks with her as she’s popular and he’s a nerd) comes over to his house and asks him to go on an adventure. After having gallivanted all night, pulling pranks with Margo to get revenge for her, he goes home and Margo disappears. The rest of the book is Q’s quest to solve the mystery of her disappearance by following clues left behind. It’s an exciting story that will keep you on your toes. Also this one is a movie too!
This is actually a co-authored book and is amazingly written! It’s a story about two high school boys both named Will Grayson, one is straight and the other gay. It follows their different stories chapter by chapter, but they merge further in the book. Brilliantly the book also goes on to show the struggles young teens face in high school, like fitting in and friendships.
Turtles all the Way Down is about a high school girl, Aza, who struggles with with OCD, spiraling thoughts and getting trapped in her mind with worries (I think we all experience this at some point or another). I am not done with this one yet, so I can’t tell you the rest, we will all just have to read it to see how it turns out. So far in the book, Aza has been hanging out with her friend Daisy who is trying to plan a way to locate a missing man who is wanted by the police for fraud because she wants the $100,000 reward. Aza went to camp with the guy’s son (Davis) and so Daisy thinks that thats how they’re gonna find him (yeah I’m only 26 pages deep).
Now I just want to take a minute to talk about the Turtles All the Way Down 2017 tour. When John came to Missoula he spoke about how he has struggled with OCD, depression and anxiety, having struggled with depression and anxiety myself at times, I felt comfort in he openness about these topics that are often stigmatized. One moment that sticks out to me is the tribute John gave to his friend who passed away this year. He explained how she inspired him and gave him his first big break. He also explained that when she invited him to come see her talk she spoke about the soldiers in WWI in the trenches wondering what they were doing there, what was the purpose of it all; they began to sing “we’re here because we’re here because we’re here because we’re here” in the trenches. And in that moment he gained clarity, he realized that that’s how life is, we are all here and for no reason, we are here, alone, but not at all. He then went on to have the audience sing along with him “we’re here because we’re here” over and over to the New Year’s Eve song tune. On top of this you can see the passion he has for his work as he speaks, which makes it even better.
I can’t leave out the fact that his brother Hank was also on tour. Hank and John Green compliment each other very well, you can tell they are brothers and it’s wonderful and hilarious to see them interact together. On the stage they preformed a live performance of their podcast Dear Hank and John, and they answered some audience questions.
Just a Side Note (like what I did there?) – this is a great video of John at the Economic Forum that I just found awesome and wanted to share!
I would love to hear from you’ please comment below!
Do you enjoy reading the wonderful works of John Green? Whats your favorite book of his and why? Have you seen his CrashCourse or VlogBrothers videos?