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Turtles All the Way Down
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Turtles All the Way Down > Question #1: John Green

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message 1: by [deleted user] (last edited May 22, 2018 03:42PM) (new)

John Green is an award-winning young adult novelist whose previous work includes The Fault in Our Stars, Paper Towns, and Looking for Alaska. John and his brother, Hank, also collaborate on many other initiatives including multiple YouTube channels (vlogbrothers, Crash Course, Sci Show, etc.), events (VidCon), and podcasts (Dear Hank and John).
Are you familiar with any of John’s work, literature or otherwise?


Jaime Grover (jaimborainbow) | 23 comments Mod
I have read all of John Green's novels. It's a bit funny, because his books are probably some of the more "mainstream" things that I read (otherwise I dive more into sci-fi, fantasy, graphic novels, and usually prefer adult over YA fic but not overly picky about it).

Something about the way that John writes teenagers really intrigues me. A lot of people find his teens to be too philosophical or to speak too much like "adults." I've always appreciated that he doesn't dumb down teen characters because that would imply that they don't have as deep or complex thoughts as grown adults...which is simply not the case. I love that he does what he can to break some of the stereotypes that many adults associate with teenagers, and now with Turtles All the Way Down is helping to address a lot of the stigma surrounding mental health from the perspective of a teenager.

I'm also familiar with his other work - I watch John and Hank's vlogbrothers videos, and really love the Crash Course literature and history ones as well. The Dear Hank and John podcast is something I occasionally tune into and John actually also has a new podcast on his own called The Anthropocene Reviewed in which he just reviews random things (such as Canadian Geese and Diet Dr. Pepper, for example) which I have yet to check out.


message 3: by Rocio (new)

Rocio (rociofarrell) | 64 comments I read the The Fault in Our Stars and Paper Town, but I am not familiar with any of his other work. I find his writing easy and accessible and as Jaime says, I find the characterization of teens quite real. I am looking forward to reading this new book.


message 4: by Deanna (new) - added it

Deanna | 3 comments Mod
Reading Turtles All the Way Down is only my second experience with John Green’s work, I have previously read The Fault in Our Stars, which I really enjoyed. Prior to reading that novel I had heard of John Green, but I was not familiar with his YouTube channels, podcasts, or other social media. I certainly think, from what I’ve read, that John Green’s books would appeal to a variety of audiences, but especially young adults, due to the style and ease of his writing. I also agree with Jaime and Rocio that his writing is easy and accessible, but at the same time deals with deeper topics, such as mental health, which is really great. So I am excited about reading Turtles All The Way Down this month, and continuing on to read more of John Green’s work.


Jaime Grover (jaimborainbow) | 23 comments Mod
Rocio wrote: "I read the The Fault in Our Stars and Paper Town, but I am not familiar with any of his other work. I find his writing easy and accessible and as Jaime says, I find the characterization of teens qu..."

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on Turtles All the Way Down throughout the month, Rocio!

I also absolutely agree with yours and Deanna's points about John's easy and accessible writing style. I find his books are such a nice, satisfying change after reading something with very dense world-building and lore (Lord of the Rings, for example) as they are based in our very own world, and while they certainly make for a quick, easy read - still deal with important/deep topics (as Deanna mentioned) while maintaining a really nice balance between light-heartedness and being very serious/emotionally charged.


message 6: by Kelsey (new)

Kelsey (mustyunderwood) | 2 comments I'm super new to John Green (this will be my first experience with his work) but I'm really excited to delve into this book. Especially now that I have learned that he writes teenagers to have the complex thoughts and feelings of adults. I think it is important to show respect and to validate teenagers in this way. I'm looking forward to reading this book!


message 7: by Olivia (last edited May 03, 2018 07:48AM) (new) - added it

Olivia | 13 comments Mod
Kelsey wrote: "I'm super new to John Green (this will be my first experience with his work) but I'm really excited to delve into this book. Especially now that I have learned that he writes teenagers to have the ..."

Hi Kelsey! Thanks for joining the discussion!
We're glad you're excited to read John Green and I'm looking forward to hearing how you reading experience goes!

It's great to have some new John Green readers to explore this book with! I've only read 3 of his books, so it will be interesting to see if first time readers have different experiences than those who have read his other works.


Susan (susanopl) | 472 comments Mod
I've read The Fault in Our Stars and Turtles All the Way Down. I was not familiar with all the other things John Green does, but when I see the list, I am impressed! He is multi-talented and doing very important work. I think it's so great that he featured someone with mental illness in his book so that he could share his personal experiences. I admire him very much.


Dana (dkmckelvey) | 51 comments Well said, Jaime! He does get a lot of criticism for his portrayal of teenagers, but I really enjoyed TFIOS, even if it was a little cheesy!

The only other book I've read is Paper Towns, which I didn't care for all that much, but it was still very readable.

Just started this one on audiobook, so far so good.


Natalie I'm a big fan of John's! I've been watching his vlogs with his brother for 9 years, which is how I discovered his books. I've read all his books and I've also listened to a bunch of his Dear Hank and John podcasts. I'd love to meet him, but I unfortunately live in Canada and he never tours here :/


Jaime Grover (jaimborainbow) | 23 comments Mod
Natalie wrote: "I'm a big fan of John's! I've been watching his vlogs with his brother for 9 years, which is how I discovered his books. I've read all his books and I've also listened to a bunch of his Dear Hank a..."

Thanks for joining us, Natalie!

Yes, I also wish he would be able to do a book tour or something here, but alas, the "insufficient funds" predicament from his youth! Hopefully one day he'll be able to get here hassle-free.

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts about Turtles All the Way Down this month!


Jaime Grover (jaimborainbow) | 23 comments Mod
Dana wrote: "Well said, Jaime! He does get a lot of criticism for his portrayal of teenagers, but I really enjoyed TFIOS, even if it was a little cheesy!

The only other book I've read is Paper Towns, which I ..."


I think I feel similarly to you about both The Fault in Our Stars and Paper Towns. TFiOS I just love. Paper Towns is one that I feel I learned a lot from and carry the overall message with me every day (don't put people on pedestals, people are complex and have depth, etc.), but have found it less impactful after a re-read - I think I've come to feel more indifferent towards the characters than I initially did for whatever reason.

I'm interested to hear about your reading (or in this case, listening) experience with Turtles All the Way Down, Dana!


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