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I’m the kind of person that has to know what everyone is talking about when it blows up in pop culture. When everyone was talking about Stranger Things, I spent the day binging the series. When 50 Shades was blowing up, I downloaded the eBooks. Both of those are cases where I slogged through, waiting for it to get to the point that makes it worth all the fuss, never getting there. But I keep doing it for all of the Gayle Forman’s and Breaking Bad’s that I discover and can’t get enough of.
When it comes to authors, I give the rockstars of the book world a lot of chances; some would say too many. Me, I say I give them too many chances at about five each. But there is a certain point when I need to put on my big girl pants and admit to myself that our relationship is no longer working. I find them boring, I dread picking them up (off of my nightstand), or, the worst of them are just mean (and kill everyone off in the end). I have broken up with Nicholas Sparks, James Dashner, Jodi Picoult. I gave Colleen Hoover her last chance to win my love with It Ends With Us and–of course–felt like I finally got why everyone eats her up. But she is on thin ice, Without Merit will be her chance to actually redeem herself and I’ll know It Ends With Us wasn’t a fluke.
I started my John Green journey with The Fault In Our Stars and remember really liking it (it has since been spoiled by Shailene Woodley, who I find to be incredibly annoying and ruiner of movies, but I did buy FiOS, so I must have liked it pre-movie). I began to make my way through his collection, reading Looking For Alaska and An Abundance of Katherines. I never made it to Paper Towns, not even watching the movie, because I didn’t want to.
So, with the much anticipated release of Turtles All The Way Down (somehow it has been five years since the release of The Fault In Our Stars), I decided to give ol’ J.G. his final chance. And even with the bar low, he disappointed me with his story of Aza, her compulsions, and her BFF. I powered through the book so I could just be done with it.
You have a main character with an extreme thing about them. Cancer, OCD, just too damn smart. Whatever, they are all the same self absorbed assholes. Yet, even when they are cripplingly shy because of this thing that makes them “different,” they are still full of witty (pretentious) banter when they stumble upon that person that they can finally talk to. The things you come up with that you should have said later when staring at the ceiling reliving the moment instead of sleeping, they are able to say to this super special person that can understand them like no one else.
You know they are so witty because this issue that makes them misunderstood and moody makes them read poets that I read in 400 level college English Classes because they feel a connection with them. Of course. But then these Holden Caulfield wannabes are still nice to their parents. Mom is nosy and so annoying in a charming way, but I love her for all the sacrifices she makes for me. No. These are teenagers, they are the worst; they should be screaming and slamming doors.
And then some mystery always happens, it doesn’t have to even have anything to do with them, and they go a-Nancy Drew-ing. In Turtles, an old friend’s dad goes missing and Aza takes it upon herself to find the man. She has no reason to believe she can do this except that she knew his son years ago and has watched a few mystery movies. Ugh.
I don’t know if he is just not an author that translates well to adults (“YA is for teenagers, blah blah blah.” Plenty of authors are well received by adults; John Green is one that many YA-reading adults roll their eyes at), or if the youths don’t really like him either but are too afraid to say so. But, I’m over him.
Have you broken up with an author? Is there someone you should dump but haven’t yet? Want to argue why you love John Green? Fill me in!
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