The reason I've stuck with John Green over the years is because I like his style as an author. Back when I first read Looking for Alaska (and was thoroughly underwhelmed), I was struck by how easy-to-read his writing was. Green writes like he talks - a bit pretentiously, a bit unrealistically, but intelligently and with a lot of wit. Though I didn't really like the plot or characters in Green's debut, I stayed up until two in the morning to finish reading it, concluding that it just wasn't my style. And so the following year, I read Green's second novel, An Abundance of Katherines, which I quite enjoyed. In my growing, adolescent mind, the differing approaches of the two books made John Green an author worth reading, even if aspects of his writing were bothersome.
I only read Paper Towns, Green's third novel for young adults, after becoming well acquainted with Green's prolific online persona, as I reached the end of adolescence. The fact is that he truly writes like he talks - within the context of his personality, the way his male protagonists behave and the way things happen make it easier to forgive him for common young-adult novel transgressions (like the fact that all of his characters are unreasonably clever and witty and often sound very similar to each other).
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The Fault in Our Stars does a very good job of breaking free of its expected realm. It may be a love story, but it works as well for young men as it might for women. It may be about teenagers, but adults will find as much to relate to as their younger counterparts. It may be a bit too clever, but anyone can feel the powerful emotional punches this book throws. It may seem like a simple story, but the simplicity is deceptive - The Fault in Our Stars runs a lot deeper than would appear.
The Fault in Our Stars is the first book by John Green I've purchased, having checked out all others from the library. I'm glad this is the one I bought. This is his best book so far and though my thoughts are still formulating, I suspect that I'll be coming back to reread it sometime soon.