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John Green's characters - all the same people.

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Emma So I made a comment on this in another discussion, but this is really brothering me.

Has anyone noticed that all of John Green's main characters are all the exact same characters?

(Save for Hazel Grace, who I think is different because she's a girl)

Q, Paper Towns
Will Grayson
Colin, An Abundance of Katherine's
Miles 'Pudge' Halter, Looking For Alaska

All of them are only child's. All of them have the same parents - caring, loving ones. All of them come from Florida, all of them are skinny, all of them are extremely intelligent, and they all have the same personality. To me, they're all boring, because they're all the same .

I'm not trying to upset anyone here - I absaloutely loved Wg,Wg and TFIOS, but this whole same-main-character-in-every-book thing is kind of boring me. What do you think?


message 2: by Sorrel (last edited Apr 25, 2014 08:29AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sorrel I think you're right... I haven't read all of the books you've mentioned but it's something that me and my friends have all commented on.


Emma And I forgot - they all like poems.


message 4: by Sarah (last edited Apr 25, 2014 08:37AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sarah I totally agree. I've read all those books and from every book you get the same kind of vibe and the same attitude because they're all the same. Also I don't really find any of John green's character's very teenagery. I mean I love them and all, but would real teenagers act like that?


Emma I get the feeling that they're all John Green. I know he has a brother, but I also know he loved poems as a kid and he grew up in Florida and he's an intelligent guy. It's like he's writing himself in different stories with different situations :/


message 6: by Amy (new) - rated it 1 star

Amy Thomson Have you ever notices that they follow smiilar plots too? I've only read TFIOS, Paper Towns and Looking for Alaska and they're all about falling in love with someone and then loosing them, with a bit of a twist in the middle. I don't know, just an observation.
His writing is amazing, but his plots are a little tedious.


message 7: by Sorrel (last edited Apr 25, 2014 08:48AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sorrel Another thing is that he seems to try and make all of his characters into really... I don't know "cool" sort of people. Like, they read Kurt Vonnegut and things. He seems to place them in the moulds of intellectuals. And the flaws they have seemed to be planned to that sort of mould. The sort of flaws connected to strength or individuality.


Emma And predictable? I always guessed right what was going to happen. But I guess you do that with a lot of other plots


Emma Yes yes I agree Sorrel


Stacey Hicks lettini I agree. There are all variations on the same personality. I also find not just the characters the same of the stories are all very similar. I do enjoy the books and I think he write well. I think you need to space them out. Also, did it bother anyone else how he used the same convention at the end of TFIOS and Looking for Alaska, where the characters say "I love you in the present tense". I felt it was a rip off to use it again in TFIOS.


message 11: by Emma (new) - rated it 5 stars

Emma I actually thought that was kind of cool... I liked that he did that. It made it more emotional for me :p


Harriet Limpot Yes, you've got a point. But maybe he's doing it to tell us how same people act different in different stories. It's like he's testing the versatility of the characteristics of teenager nowadays. I mean, if you come to think of it, the main characters in his books usually sums up teenagers. So like, he's telling the story of Hazel, Quentin, Alaska, and Pudge in behalf of all young adults in the world.


message 13: by Emma (new) - rated it 5 stars

Emma Harriet wrote: "Yes, you've got a point. But maybe he's doing it to tell us how same people act different in different stories. It's like he's testing the versatility of the characteristics of teenager nowadays. I..."

I am a teenager, and none of my friends or me act as boring and slow as any of John Green's main characters. In fact, pretty much everyone my age are all still immature children, barely any of them are as smart as these main characters :/


Naomi Yes, there is definitely an extremely similar mold in which Green uses for his characters.
This doesn't just apply to his protagonists as well... I find the plot-lines, character arcs, and over-all general feeling of all his novels similar. (Ex. the boy chasing after a girl, quirky/nerdy girl). I always get a sense of deja-vu when reading them.
I love John very much, but not acknowledging his weaker writing skills would be too biased (as many Green fans are).


Harriet Limpot I'm not saying all teenagers are exactly alike the characters of his book, all I'm saying is that there's one particular characteristics that every one teenager has that John Green's characters also shares. I mean, you can't actually make one character possess everything every teenager has. By teenager, I'm referring to young adults as a whole and not as individuals. :)


Lauren I actually never noticed that until you pointed it out. I have read all his books. Even though it is like all characters are the same in those points, I really love his books. I can't help it.


message 17: by [deleted user] (new)

You'll go far.

This sort of lack of self-awareness inspires a deep rage in me whenever I think of John Green, although I've only read this of his works. I did actually talk a bit like the main characters in The Fault In Our Stars do when I was a teenager. I told my sister to stop being obsequious when she wouldn't stop arguing with me and I told my ma to stop prevaricating when she tried to get me to do something. I used "vague" and "somewhat" incorrectly (insofar as "incorrect usage" exists). They laughed at me, and now I laugh about it.

It's like Green's never read Bukowski or something, though. If you're going to be a deplorable human being, go all in; womanise, drink too much, and belittle yourself from the point of view of the society you are the dregs of. Don't annoy me with the many-faced demon that is your collection of fictional teenagers based on your own ingenuous intellect.

The fact that he has such a devoted following makes me angry too. I realise I'm coming off like one of those "this is popular so I hate it" sort of blokes, but I think I have reason to be so vitriolic about it. Does it not smack of a money-making scheme to you? I know a novellist is a genuine profession, but he does take the piss enormously.

As a teenager I might have said "rant over", but I'll never be finished in my hatred. Sometimes I go on topics about this book on Goodreads even though it makes my blood boil.


Reyhaneh Maybe she is doing this on purpose. He might have this greater thing planned later on. Or maybe he is predicting how one person can react to different situations. I also like the idea that someone else metioned. that john green is putting himself in the stories as the main character.


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