If you follow me on Twitter, you know I love John Green’s books. (Side note the first: You also know I’ve been leaving a ridiculous amount of links to my blog…) The man is not just a New York Times Bestselling Author, he’s a nerd. A super nerd. Wait… that doesn’t look right. We’ll try that again: He’s a Super Nerd. There, that’s better. (Side note the second: I’m writing this on Friday night because 1. I’m in work at 10am today and 2. I have plans immediately afterwards so 3. I’m tired and 4. I have to try write something for the blog that’s coherent.)

John Green has three books published by himself, and one with another author – David Levithan. In order of publication (and respective to who wrote them), they are Looking For Alaska, An Abundance of Katherines, Paper Towns and Will Grayson Will Grayson. I have read the first and third and of these books; unashamedly, I cried during Looking For Alaska because there was a very upsetting part in it (Side note the third: I still couldn’t stop reading, though!) and I almost cried during Paper Towns because there was a ridiculously hilarious part in it. I was literally balled up with laughter. Thank you John Green.

There are a few stylistic points of John Green’s writing that I like, my favourite one having already been used in this post: the list method. Lists appear in both of Green’s books that I’ve read, to much comic affect sometimes. I won’t be copying the idea in my fiction, but I like the way he uses them. Just thought I’d share that Nugget of Useless Information. When I master meta-physical alchemy, I’ll turn Nuggets of Useless Information into nuggets of gold.

The books also have a similar pattern, which I love: boy meets girl, boy falls in love with girl, girl likes boy, girl does something to change the very way the boy looks at the world, girl leaves, boy travels with his side-kick friends and one of their girlfriends to find the girl that left, boy’s life is changed for the experience of the road trip and the discoveries thereafter. Beautiful stuff, really, when you’ve actually read it in two different ways and not gotten bored with it. Though I think Will Grayson Will Grayson is a little different… because it’s about two guys called Will Grayson who fall in love with each other. So… no goddess of a girl to change them. (Side note the fifth: I love Margo Roth Spiegelman.)

John and his brother Hank also set up the Brotherhood 2.0 programme; they vlog – that’s video log – on their channel http://www.youtube.com/vlogbrothers to much comic effect, covering things from Vid Con, to Hank’s music (Side note the fourth: I will be writing about Hank’s music on my own blog within the near future, but suffice to say he also helped set up a record company), to John’s Books and to poop in a Nintendo. Hank covers science stuff, John word stuff. It’s lots of fun.

So, how does all of this make John Green a Hero? Well, he’s made me want to 1. Travel a lot, 2. Be myself more often and 3. Work on reducing World Suck for my friends and the wider world so that 4. I can be happier and 5. Maybe I can stop being an absolute lunatic around my friends. Only one other author has given me the same sense of satisfaction in being myself, and that’s the wonderful Darren Shan, who remembers me every time I go to one of his signings. It’s lots of fun.

So, I heartily recommend reading John Green’s books… I really do. I’ve reviewed them on my blog – http://paulcarrollwriter.blogspot.com/p/reviews.html – so if they appeal to you, do go ahead and buy them/borrow them from the library and give them a read. Life changing books, I’m telling you!

This has been Paul Carroll, blathering on about a Hero. Don’t Forget To Be Awesome!

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