Author: John Green
Genre: Young Adult/ Teen Fiction
I loved it. It seems silly to enjoy teen fiction so much, right now, in my thirties. It feels like I should be chalking it up to a pre-mid life crisis of sorts – but I have an old soul, I already had my mid-life crisis, I think. If I didn’t, I’m screwed when the real one comes around. I’m not sure my brain can handle all that drama.
But it’s not a mid-life crisis. It’s just that despite the fact that people will roll their eyes at John Green because he seems like he’s probably that typical sappy teen coming of age crap that everyone is writing – there’s a reason he’s so popular and everyone else just isn’t.
John Green is an excellent writer.
He doesn’t just write snark – he embodies snark. He has the snark on lock-down. And though people think he only writes super confident teens that we all wish we had been, he doesn’t do that either. The main character of Paper Towns is not confident. He’s nerdy and very un-self assured. He’s in love with the self assured one, and you discover that no one is as self assured as they’d like to pretend to be.
I loved how Green pulled in Walt Whitman’s themes from Leaves of Grass. So much so, that I long to make a pile of Leaves of Grass paperbacks to display next to our piles of Paper Towns at the bookstore. But I haven’t. It’s not my job to do that anymore and I’m trying desperately to only do *my* job and not be the over achiever type A that I naturally am and work my ass off outside my pay grade. I’m not used to be a “regular” employee anymore. Between my previous management experience and writing a character who owns her own bookstore, my brain wants to run things and instead I’m just running the books. Which is definitely relaxing, until I have to keep my perfectionism in check – and then it’s stressful.
Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar makes a sneak appearance as well. I’m always down for a good book that recommends other good books. Margo, though I disagree with half her sentiments, appeals to me. I understand her. I’ve been her. I’m just not her anymore. Though, often, I feel pieces of her tugging at my personality from time to time. Ultimately, I chose to be more like Q. People probably see me more like Q. Although, at that age, I don’t think people really saw me at all.
So now I’m re-reading Leaves of Grass. I couldn’t leave it lingering in my brain that way without tackling it again. I haven’t perused it since high school and it’s long overdue.
Have you read John Green? Do you find him oddly relatable?
And finally, do you plan to or have you seen the movie? I have not, yet.