Friday, January 3, 2014

A Tale of Two Johns

I happily admit...I am a John Cusack fan. I think I always have been. I know, for a fact, I have been since the first time I saw him in the 1985 movie "Better Off Dead." Yes, yes, I know he was in movies before and after that one - wonderful movies - John Cusack movies,...but I fell in love with him from that one. 

I've had Cusack on my mind recently because of a certain author that I feel writes books with Cusack in mind. I mean, honestly, I don't think there's a better way to to tell you what his books 'feel' like than to say you should just imagine a young Cusack in the lead role.

The author I'm talking about is also named John. John Green.

I recently wrote a review on The Fault In Our Stars by Green, but I didn't mention that I imagined Cusack in the lead role because it was only one book. Now, however, I've read my second John Green novel, Paper Towns, and I'm definitely dreaming of Cusack. 

John Green's novels are young adult novels and, while I'm not a young adult anymore, I certainly enjoy the romp of remembering that age on occasion. It's always nice when authors write novels for young people about teenagers who have depth and honesty and think about something other than how many 'selfie' pictures they can post on social media. Amid all the 'girl drama' books I see cluttering up libraries and school book fairs these days, Green's novels are a breath of fresh air.

In both The Fault In Our Stars and Paper Towns, I recognize people (past and present) that I like...and don't like. Green's main characters are easy to relate to and easy to cheer for. If we'd gone to high school together, we'd have been friends. Weird friends, yes - but friends just the same. (Weird friends are the best, after all. Who wants normal? ;) )

Green's characters are sincere, quirky, witty, smart, and fabulously flawed. Like I said, a perfect 1980s John Cusack movie. Is there a better recommendation than that? 

I'm going to take a break from Green to read a couple of other books, but I already have Looking For Alaska and An Abundance of Katherines on my 'to read later' list. 

"That's always seemed so ridiculous to me, that people want to be around someone because they're pretty. It's like picking your breakfast cereals based on color instead of taste." 

~ John Green, Paper Towns


  1. I knew there was a reason the "The Fault In Our Stars" sounded familiar. My son is reading it now, and I am stealing it when he isn't reading it. My sister read it, and basically it seems to have blown up. Dillion also has John Green's book, "Looking For Alaska" that he plans on reading after he gets finished with TFIOS. He is about halfway through and keeps telling me quotes, and taking breaks from being emotionally drained. ;)

    1. Have you been able to read it yet? I enjoy Green as an author. I haven't read 'Looking for Alaska' yet, but I hope to by spring break...or on spring break. I have a few others I want to read before reading another of his. If Dillon reads it first, let me know what he thinks about it. How did he like TFIOS?

  2. I have read it Kim. I couldn't put it down, except for the times I needed to breathe. I cried throughout the book. I loved it. Dillion read both books. He loves 'Looking for Alaska' even more. I began reading that one, but stopped mid book due to school and just not being that into it. There are so many quotable passages within both books. John Green has a way saying true things in just the right way to hit you one way or another. Paper Towns is now on my summer reading list. All pleasure reading is discontinued until summer at this point. When summer hits, I will be looking through your archived blogs. ;)