Best of John Green


If you are interested in reading Teen Romance, I’d say John Green is the king of the genre. John Michael Green is an American author, YouTube content creator, and podcaster. He won the 2006 Printz Award for his debut novel, Looking for Alaska, and has had several of his subsequent books debut at number one on The New York Times Best Seller list.

The uniqueness of Green’s fictions is that they are not just superficial, sugar coated teen love stories, but they often open up a window of thought and urges the readership to peep through into the deeper levels of life. At one point you might feel like you got Green’s formula of writing novels but don’t rush. They all might look similar but each one is extremely unique.

So here are my favourites of John Green. Buckle up, loads of fun, adventure and romance are on the way!

Fault in Our Stars

Let’s start with Green’s most famous novel, The Fault in Our Stars. Probably, you might have watched its movie, but I’d tell you, the novel handles the plot way better. Narrator Hazel Grace Lancaster, 16 years old, is alive thanks to an experimental drug that is keeping her thyroid cancer in check. In an effort to get her to have a life, she stopped schooling at 13, when her parents insisted she must attend a support group at a local church where she encounters Augustus Waters, a former basketball player who has lost a leg to cancer. You can see how their love blooms at first sight and cherishes. They go on a life altering trip full of love and lust to Amsterdam to meet Hazel’s favourite author which leaves much to ponder for the reader. Green takes the readers on a roller coaster of emotions and finally throws into an abyss of tragedy with a plot twist.

“Ours was an epic love story, and I won’t be able to get more than a sentence into it without disappearing into a puddle of tears.” –  Fault in Our Stars

Looking For Alaska

This was Green’s debut novel which introduced him to the world of literature and indeed won several prizes. The story is rather character driven and simple but the portrayal of the characters is beyond being just ‘great’.  The story is basically about 16-year-old Miles Halter, whose hobby is memorising famous people’s last words. Fed up of monotonous life in Florida, he convinces his parents to send him to an Alabama boarding school hoping to “seek a Great Perhaps”. He falls for a girl named Alaska, “the hottest girl in all of human history.” Alaska, Miles and his roommate Colonel have lots of fun together depicting the authentic teen mischief and radical youth. The novel takes an introspective mood soon after Alaska’s tragic death as Miles, with Colonel, tries to solve the mystery of it.

 “The only way out of the labyrinth of suffering is to forgive.” – Looking for Alaska

Paper Towns

Paper Towns steps aside from John Green’s usual type of novels and turns out to be a mystery novel. Weeks before graduating from their Orlando-area high school, Quentin Jacobsen’s childhood best friend, Margo, reappears in his life, specifically at his window and totally blows out his otherwise ordinary life. While having fun, they seem to rebound giving the readership much pleasant anticipation. But suddenly, Margo goes missing, leaving Quentin with quite a shock. He believes that Margo wants him to find her and starts to follow the clues though her parents really give up on her.  Green, through Margo’s character, also seems to voice his philosophies about life while making sure it remains a teen romance or rather a mystery-romance.

Now I am sure that you are wondering why it is Paper Towns but not ‘Looking for Margo’. Well, the first reason is because then it would sound like the second volume of Looking for Alaska. The other reason is that the title image adds more than one layer of meaning to the plot. So, do your research!

“The town was paper, but the memories were not.” – Paper Towns

By Induwara Athapattu