Let's Talk About John Green This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

June 16, 2014
The year was 2013, and I was in my natural habitat: Barnes and Noble. I don’t know, even if I wasn’t buying any books, I loved to wander up and down the carpeted aisles and run my finger along the smooth spines of all the books. It was my heaven. Books, books, everywhere. It was my place.

I extended my index finger and let it slide along a row of young adult novels, none of which were catching my eye. Suddenly, my shoelace decided to free itself from the military knot I’d laced it into and trip me. I gasped and grabbed the nearest shelf, a desperate effort to keep my face from breaking, and took a book down with me. Luckily, I landed on my elbow, which didn’t hurt much, with said noble book laying next to me. I sighed in relief, thanked God for letting me live, and picked up the smooth, blue hardcover beside me.

The Fault in Our Stars.

I squinted, I was completely perplexed. “The fault in our stars,” I remember whispering to myself. What the heck does that mean?

Now, you’re probably going “What!? You didn’t know what The Fault in Our Stars was in the year 2013?”

No, I didn’t. I pretty much lived under a rock.

Anyway, this piece of literature was around sixteen bucks. But I couldn’t walk away from it, the title was too interesting, and the author was too new to me. So, I shelled out all the money in my wallet and bought it.

Little did I know it would change my life forever.

I’m not going to talk about how sad it was, and how I cried for six days after I finished it, or how beautiful it was. Nope. We’re not going down that road. Not today.

Instead, I’m going to talk about the author.

As a lover of books, quirky things, and truth, John Green and I became friends rather quickly (well, at least his books and I did). After reading TFIOS, I picked up Looking for Alaska, An Abundance of Katherines, Paper Towns, Let it Snow… you name it, I have it. I stacked them in my arms and hobbled up to my bedroom trying to decide which one to read first.

But, the thing is, I didn’t love Green’s work for the reason everybody else does. Yes, it’s comical, deliciously raw (that sounded better in my head), beautifully written, and romantic. I love it because this guy gets it.

You’re rolling your eyes, aren’t you? Just hear me out.

Ladies and gentlemen, I truly believe that Green understands what we all need to understand, and he tries to show us through his writing. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’ve never met the man (although if Mr. Green happens to come across this, I hope he agrees with me). But something inside me is poking at my brain and telling me that it’s true.

John Green knows that life is fleeting. He knows that people die whenever fate wants them to, that your girlfriend whose name may or may not be Katherine could dump you whenever she’s tired of you, that people are going to walk into your life and leave just as quickly as they entered, leaving you breathless and missing them terribly.

I’ve read all of Green’s books, and of course I am captivated by the romance, the characters, and other things that should be noted. But, I’ve only learned one thing.

I really need to live. Because I don’t control everything.

I can’t stop my loved ones from dying. I can’t force someone to love me forever. I can’t grab someone by the hair and drag them back into my life when they want to leave. I can only enjoy them while they’re here.

As a rising high school senior, college is already giving me anxiety. I’m starting to feel as if my GPA, SAT and ACT scores, and resumé define me. But, Green tells me that they don’t. He somehow, through his writing, manages to assure me that I’m going to make it through this lifetime just by living it to its fullest. Living for the perfect day, every day.

I only get one life, and many people don’t realize this until it’s too late, but it’s not very long. TFIOS patted my shoulder and convinced me to just close my eyes and take the leap when I fall in love. Paper Towns laughed, tousled my hair, and told me to travel to the world’s end for the people I care about. Looking for Alaska sat down next to me with a solemn face and reminded me that I don’t control this world, and I need to cherish all the people in it.

I don’t know if John Green is ever, ever going to randomly stumble upon this, wherever it ends up. But if he does, Mr. Green, I want you to know something.

I was in a bad place in the year 2013. I was in a bad place that was the aftermath of a bad thing that almost tore someone I love more than anything else in the world right out from under me. You showed me that I could pull myself into a good place, even if it took an army of friends and a ton of crying, punching pillows, and running to do it. I want you to know that you inspired me. That you’re an extremely important person in my life, or at the very least your words are.

And it pains me, sir, that I don’t know how to thank you for that.

Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!

Site Feedback