If you like to read, especially young adult (or YA) fiction, you’ve probably heard of John Green. His books have been nominated for multiple awards, and he’s one of the most established authors of YA contemporary fiction. Other popular contemporary authors like Sarah Dessen and Stephanie Perkins write books geared toward girls. Green, on the other hand, mostly writes for boys. But that doesn’t mean his audience is made up fully of males. Your Hattiesburg YA Fiction Examiner is not only female, but largely prefers paranormal and dystopian to contemporary, magic-free books. So if she enjoy John Green, you probably will too. Here’s a run-down of his published novels so far.
Looking for Alaska
Miles Halter heads to boarding school in Alabama, where he earns the nickname Pudge because he’s skinny (gotta love irony). He meets a pretty girl named Alaska Young, and has a crush on her even though she has a boyfriend. Their relationship is friendly but tumultuous, with Alaska sometimes taking our her mood swings on Pudge. Halfway through the book, Alaska dies, and Pudge and his friends have to come to terms with the fact that her death might have been a suicide.
In Orlando, Margo Roth Spiegelman goes missing. Her parents think she just ran away for the umpteenth time, and because she’s 18, there’s not much the police can do. But Quentin Jacobsen, her neighbor who’s also had a crush on her for years, recruits both his and her friends to look for clues about where she might have gone.
Looking for Alaska is one of Green’s most popular novels, but Paper Towns is yours truly’s favorite. There’s an element of mystery to it, with Quentin and his quirky friends looking for clues about Margo’s disappearance (and forming unlikely relationships with her popular posse).
An Abundance of Katherines
Colin Singleton is super smart and even won a game show once. But he’s not one of those nerds who has trouble getting girls. He’s had 19 girlfriends — all of them named Katherine. After being dumped by Katherine # 19, Colin and his best friend head off on a coming of age road trip, where Colin might just meet a new girl who’s not named Katherine.
Will Grayson, Will Grayson
Green co-wrote Will Grayson, Will Grayson with Boy Meets Boy author David Levithan. It’s hard to give away much of the plot without venturing into spoiler territory. But the story follows two teenage boys, both named Will Grayson, whose paths unexpectedly collide in a cosmic coming-of-age experience.
The Fault in Our Stars
Other than Looking for Alaska, The Fault in our Stars is Green’s most well-known book. It follows Hazel Lancaster, a teenager dying of terminal cancer. Her outlook on her short life changes when she meets fellow cancer patient Augustus Waters at a support group meeting.
The movie adaptation of The Fault in our Stars will be released in 2014 and stars Shailene Woodley (who is also in the upcoming Divergent adaptation) as Hazel.
Have you ever read any of John Green’s books? What are your favorites?