The official student news site of Algonquin Regional High School in Northborough, MA

THE ALGONQUIN HARBINGER

The official student news site of Algonquin Regional High School in Northborough, MA

THE ALGONQUIN HARBINGER

The official student news site of Algonquin Regional High School in Northborough, MA

THE ALGONQUIN HARBINGER

Polls

What is your favorite summer beverage?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...
Support Us
$1541
$2000
Contributed
Our Goal

A donation of $40 or more includes a subscription to the 2023-24 print issues of The Harbinger. We will mail a copy of our fall, winter, spring and graduation issues to the recipient of your choice. Your donation supports the student journalists of Algonquin Regional High School and allows our extracurricular publication to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

Book Talk: A Ream of John Green

Sports Editor Laney Halsey shares her thoughts and recommendations on books by author John Green. (Laney Halsey)

As the end of the school year is just starting to become visible and the flowers start blooming, nothing beats taking advantage of the warming weather than relaxing with a book. John Green is notable for his abundance of realistic fiction feats that do their best to connect themselves with their audiences. My favorite aspect of his writing is his constant use of metaphors and figurative language as well as references to any number of outside sources. Although his characters may not behave realistically, the lessons and entertainment they provide make up for it. Here are five of my favorite Green books that will delight and enlighten you on a bright spring day.

The Fault in Our Stars

It would be impossible to talk about Green’s books without including his most critically acclaimed and popular: The Fault in Our Stars. The protagonist is Hazel Grace Lancaster who is a 16-year-old girl with cancer. She’s disillusioned and lost until she meets Augustus Waters, another cancer patient, in a support group. The spell-binding love and emotional rollercoaster that follows this initial encounter cements this book as a modern classic. It’s brilliant and touching, written with language that is easy to grasp, leading to a direct and impactful delivery. I recommend reading the book first before you watch the movie that accompanies it, however, both are certainly worth enjoying. 

An Abundance of Katherines

The best way for me to describe this book is that it is a lovely, weird read. This assessment is partially derived from the book’s premise; Colin Singleton is a boy who only dates girls named Katherine, and they always dump him. He then proceeds to embark on a quirky road trip to prove his theorem about Katherines and to finally find love. Overall, it’s utterly silly and is written in such a way that perfectly encapsulates Green’s versatility and goofiness. The sheer absurdity is evident in the format of the pages themselves: there are footnotes, math equations, parabolas, anagrams and tons of capitalization. As for the characters, Colin is not very likable in the beginning, yet through his journey of self-discovery and the aid of some essential side characters, he achieves significant character growth. It doesn’t reach the same levels of introspection as some of Green’s other novels, but the story is enjoyable, and I found it delightfully engaging.

Paper Towns

Quentin Jacobsen has always been in love with his next-door neighbor Margo. A classic story takes a surprising twist when Margo goes missing. Margo can be classified as a “manic pixie dream girl”, a term used to describe a one-dimensional, eccentric woman whose only purpose is to teach or support the male protagonist. Green really struggles to write fleshed-out young women and this book is the greatest example of this weakness. The entire story feels very “Thirteen Reasons Why” as Margo leaves clues for Quentin to find her. Her whole role and character leave much to be desired due to its lack of substance. Regardless, it’s not completely bland as Quentin’s voyage is an interesting mystery that makes for a fun ride.

Looking for Alaska

I would classify this as Green’s most adult book. When Miles Halter meets a friend of a friend named Alaska, his life changes forever. The best way to describe their dynamic is that Miles is searching for François Rabelais’ “Great Perhaps” while Alaska craves to understand the nature of “the labyrinth of suffering” that Simón Bolívar described. In the end, they both find the answers to their questions in vastly different ways. Green’s rich storytelling is prominent throughout as the entire storyline is incredibly entertaining and binge-worthy. I came to really like the character of Miles, and through his eyes, I saw the way one life can transform the trajectory of another. 

Turtles All the Way Down

16-year-old Aza Holmes is grieving the loss of her father while simultaneously searching for a fugitive billionaire and building a connection with the billionaire’s son. It’s a creative plot, a staple of Green’s, and it is enriched by insights and perspectives on living with OCD and anxiety. Aza’s journey with mental illness was incredibly thought-provoking, and I later came to learn that they were based on Green’s own struggles. I truly recommend this book for anyone looking to learn more about these deep topics in an unstigmatized, heartfelt manner.

What is your favorite John Green book?

Loading...

Sorry, there was an error loading this poll.

Leave a Comment
Donate to THE ALGONQUIN HARBINGER
$1541
$2000
Contributed
Our Goal

A donation of $40 or more includes a subscription to the 2023-24 print issues of The Harbinger. We will mail a copy of our fall, winter, spring and graduation issues to the recipient of your choice. Your donation supports the student journalists of Algonquin Regional High School and allows our extracurricular publication to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Laney Halsey
Laney Halsey, Sports Editor
Laney took Journalism her junior year and has since become an Editor-in-Chief. One of her favorite things about working on the Harbinger is being able to share her writing with the community. In her free time, Laney enjoys playing field hockey, track and the saxophone as well as hanging out with her friends.
Donate to THE ALGONQUIN HARBINGER
$1541
$2000
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All THE ALGONQUIN HARBINGER Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *