What do your stories mean, John Green?

My apologies for the cheesy title. I like rhymes.

I should preface this post by saying, that no, I am not a published author, and yes, I probably would not even finish a book if I started to write one. Still, as an avid reader, I feel I am qualified to review books. Okay. Peace out a-town.

Boy meets girl. Girl is quirky. Boy somehow loses girl, whether metaphorically or literally, and goes on a quest to find her, eventually finding himself along the way.

Such is the formulaic plot line of all of the John Green books I have read. Before you start spewing hatred, let me say that I do like John Green. I think he is a genuinely nice guy, who is extremely intelligent, and has done wonders to my (do I still count as a young adult?) generation in terms of getting people to read.

But after reading The Fault in our Stars, Looking for Alaska, and Paper Towns, I have to say that the emotional intention may have been lost on me. For one, teenagers are difficult to write about. I, as a teenager, was not particularly interesting. I slept in far too later, worked long shifts to pay for the too expensive meals I ate with friends, and sat in my car crying to Taylor Swift songs. But alas, my life an interesting novel does not make.

I guess my frustration with reading his books comes from the formulaic plot. I wanted to be invested, I wanted to cry, but I just couldn’t.

Out of the books I’ve read, The Fault in our Stars was by far the best. Believe me, I sympathized with Hazel, and liked the slow development of her feelings for Gus and eventual breaking down of her “walls” to fall for him.

What frustrated me, though, was that every subsequent book I read by Green followed that same formula. Unfortunately, not every character was as sympathetic or endearing as Hazel or Gus.

Green isn’t the only author with a tendency to stick to the formulaic storyline.

Nicholas Sparks. Boy meets girl, she has a secret, he has a secret, and old flame mysteriously materializes, they all overcome a tragic event, and then we skip to the epilogue, where all our fears that the couple does not get their happy ending are relieved.

I don’t know. Maybe I need to read more books.

This post brought to you by too much coffee and stream of consciousness.

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