When one talks about bestselling author John Green, the first thing to come up would be ‘The Fault in Our Stars’. Most of his books are well-loved by readers everywhere. This Buzzle article gives you a list of the best John Green books in order of publication.
Did You Know?
John Green’s debut book ‘Looking for Alaska’ won the Michael L. Printz Award in 2006. His next book ‘An Abundance of Katherines’ won a Printz Award in 2007. His novel ‘Paper Towns’ won the Edgar Award in 2009. After the success of ‘The Fault in Our Stars’, he was recently named as one of the 100 Most Influential People in Time Magazine.
Despite already being popular on YouTube, Twitter, and Tumblr, John Green’s popularity rose even higher with the success of ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ movie. If you’re a super crazy fan of teenage fiction, which deals with life, love, and relationships, you cannot miss the works of John Green. His novels are superlative page-turners due to his unique style of writing.
Let us now go through the list of his most recommended books, in the sections that follow.
Looking for Alaska
Year of Publication: 2005
This novel revolves around the concept of loving and respecting yourself, so you can love and respect others. It talks about forgiving your mistakes to enjoy a life of acceptance.
Miles Halter ‘Pudge’ has a pretty uninteresting life, and his obsession with the last words of famous people makes him want to find the ‘Great Perhaps’ of his life. When he attends boarding school, he hopes for great friends, fun, and to find meaning to his life. His world is turned topsy-turvy when he meets the beautiful, clever, crazy, and vivacious Alaska Young. For Miles, the sudden outbursts of her sadness is a little tough to handle, but he still can’t help himself from getting in too deep.
John Green takes us through the world of these immensely complex teens with style, displaying youth in all its glory, love, trust, and all the hurt that comes with it, and makes us empathize with Alaska, who just wants a way to move through the world she is surrounded by.
Memorable Quote: “The only way out of the labyrinth of suffering is to forgive.”
An Abundance of Katherines
Year of Publication: 2006
Another popular John Green novel, An Abundance of Katherines is the story of Colin, a former child prodigy, who dates only those girls whose name is Katherine. After being dumped by Katherine no. 19, he takes a road trip with his best friend Hassan to get over his loss. The road trip takes him through a journey of self-realization, where he faces the fears and anxieties faced by most teenagers while growing up.
The deep, yet amusing friendship between Hassan and Colin, where both of them try to help each other in those facets of life, where they themselves are good at, is a very interesting read. Another high point of the book is Colin’s development of the theorem to judge the success of a relationship between two people.
Green skillfully weaves the story to make us think about how the smallest incidences change a person, and that a person is so dynamic, as to never be the same as he was the second before. A good plot and interesting characters make this a pleasant read.
Memorable Quote: “Books are the ultimate dumpees: put them down and they’ll wait for you forever; pay attention to them and they always love you back.”
Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances
Year of Publication: 2008
In this book, John Green has partnered with Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle to create a great winter holiday read, full of humor, drama, love, friendship, and introspection of life. The three stories are expertly crafted by their authors, and come together in the end beautifully.
The first story ‘The Jubilee Express’ by Maureen Johnson, tells the story of Jubilee, a girl whose train is unexpectedly stuck in a snow drift, and her decision to get off the train and go to the nearby Waffle House. Her actions start off events which will have effects throughout the book. The characterization of Jubilee is really interesting and relate-able, while the narrative is quite funny.
The second story ‘A Cheertastic Christmas Miracle’ is written by John Green. It tells the story of three friends Tobin, the Duke, and JP, as they struggle through a snowstorm to make their way to the Waffle House, for hash browns and some cheerleaders who followed Jubilee from the train. The entire trip to the Waffle House is really funny. When they finally reach the Waffle House, John Green gives a new dimension to the relationship between Duke and Tobin, which is dealt with beautifully.
The final story ‘The Patron Saint of Pigs’ revolves around a girl named Addie, who is on an errand for a friend to pick up a teacup piglet from a pet store. Her journey through the blizzard is one of self-realization, which finally takes her to the Waffle House too, where Lauren Myracle brings all the characters from the three stories for a fitting finish. A perfect feel-good read for a beautiful winter day, when you are cuddled up cozily in a blanket with a hot cup of coffee.
Memorable Quote: “Once you think a thought, it is extremely difficult to unthink it.”
Year of Publication: 2008
This book is one of John Greens most popular ones, and is a book recommended by most fans. This is probably one of Green’s most mature and serious works. It is one of those that makes you cry, laugh, rage, and feel many other emotions. A must-read.
Paper Towns is the story of Quentin Jacobson, a boy who has always been in love with Margo Roth Spiegelman, albeit secretly. So, when she suddenly turns up one night asking for his help on a mission of vengeance, he cannot refuse. But the next day he finds that Margo has disappeared. The rest of the story is on how Quentin starts investigating clues that Margo may have left for him, and his quest to bring her back.
Green has done a good job in depicting the relationships between the characters of the story, and has skillfully made use of romance, suspense, and humor, to give a complete feeling to the book. Although the ending is sad, it is easy to relate to. So, if you like thoughtful stories with heart, this one is definitely for you.
Memorable Quote: “It is so hard to leave – until you leave. And then it is the easiest goddamned thing in the world.”
Will Grayson, Will Grayson
Year of Publication: 2010
This time, John Green works with David Levithan to deliver a gem of a book. Will Grayson, Will Grayson is a deep, thoughtful, coming-of-age story, that also has some really strong and very interesting characters, which makes it an absolute delight to read.
The story is about two boys, both with the name Will Grayson. The first is a well-spoken, yet reserved guy, whose part is written by Levithan. The second Will is a relatively depressed and dark character, written by Green. The first Will’s best friend Tiny Cooper is a large, loud, and openly gay person, with an obsession to find the ‘one’ rivaled only by his want to successfully create his own musical. When the three of them meet, it’s initially uncomfortable. The story then focuses on how these boys influence each others lives.
This is one of the few books in young adult fiction which deals with the topic of LGBT so well. With a simple, but well-written plot, the two authors pull their individual stories seamlessly. All the characters are sure to grow on you, and the experience is like a roller coaster; fun and brightly colorful at an instant, and dark and brooding at another. Overall a great ride.
Memorable Quote: “You like someone who can’t like you back because unrequited love can be survive in a way that once-requited love cannot.”
The Fault in Our Stars
Year of Publication: 2012
The Fault in Our Stars is probably the most popular and loved book of John Green. It is a beautifully written story of Hazel Grace Lancaster, a 16-year old girl who is a lung cancer patient. Although she is initially reluctant to go to the cancer support group, she relents and attends the sessions, where she meets Augustus Waters, a charming, bright, boy, who has recently been declared clear from bone cancer. Their collective strength in facing the killer disease, their bittersweet trip to Amsterdam to meet their favorite author, and the heartbreaks, take this book to another level.
It is a great love story which makes you laugh, cry, and displays friendship and courage beautifully. The story also shows how cancer affects, not just the patient, but family, friends, and everyone around them. Green’s mastery over the story will make you cheer for the protagonists at their victories, and leak tears at their losses, and in the end make you desperately hope for the silver lining.
John Green perfectly gives you measured doses of heartbreak, pain, and funny wit, which is sure to draw you in completely. The Fault in Our Stars is a fabulous book, and a sure masterstroke by Green.
Memorable Quote: “You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world … but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices.”
Other Works by John Green
The above books are no doubt the best works that John Green has produced. However, he has written other stories too, some by himself, and others in collaboration with different authors, which are definitely worth a read.
- The Zombicorn Series
- Double On-Call and Other Stories
- Terdellaline: A Free-Spirited, Energetic, Inquisitive Little Girl Gets Lost in the Forest
- Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd
- 21 Proms
- Who Done It?
- Twice Told: Original Stories Inspired by Original Artwork
- What You Wish For: A Book for Darfur
These were some of the top books written by John Green. You can also check out his official website for information on upcoming releases, blogs, preview chapters, and a whole lot more. If you feel that there are other works by him worth mentioning, feel free to post those names in the comments section below.