Don’t forget to check out our competition to win SIGNED copies of The Fault in Our Stars at the bottom of this blog post!
Young people don’t always get a fair deal in modern Britain. Often they are misrepresented and misunderstood in the news; marginalised, or even demonised as being at the root of many social ills. Unemployment is running high, particularly among young adults (22% and rising according to the Spectator) and many have spoken of feeling let down by a lack of support from adults.
Against such a backdrop it is perhaps not surprising that one of young adult fiction’s biggest stars, the best-selling and hugely talented novelist John Green, flies under the radar of many within the mainstream media. While some are quick to characterise young adult fiction as largely the domain of vampire romance, John Green’s books are bestsellers because he produces unflinching and beautifully written novels. Grounded in reality and confronting complex emotions and issues head-on, his writing refuses to condescend or pander to readers because he shows a rare understanding of the world young people navigate today.
John Green has amassed a huge number of ardent fans – just search for #Nerdfighters to find his 1.1 million twitter devotees at work. He has over 200 million views of his youtube videos http://www.youtube.com/vlogbrothers Right now, the buzz is all about his latest novel, The Fault in Our Stars which hit the top-ten best-seller list in the UK and continues to gather devoted support from fans all around the world.
(Dutton, £12.99, h/b, 9780525478812)
For those of you not yet in the know, the story follows a young woman, Hazel, who was diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 12. Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs. For now. Two years post-miracle, 16 year old Hazel is post-everything else too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission and shockingly to her – interested in Hazel.
“John Green deftly mixes the profound and the quotidian in this tough, touching valentine to the human spirit.” – The Washington Post
“[Green] shows us true love … and it is far more romantic than any sunset on the beach.” – The New York Times
Anyone moved to tears by The Fault in Our Stars (just a quick search of the massive online reaction to the book shows that thousands were) should check out two of his earlier works which earned him his incredible reputation with readers today.
An Abundance of Katherines
(Dutton, £6.99, p/b, 9780142410707)
The book follows the adventures of Colin Singleton, who it is fair to say is interested in a certain type of girl: exclusively those named Katherine. Having been dumped 19 times to date, he embarks on a wild road-trip to prove The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, which he hopes will predict the future of any relationship and avenge Dumpees everywhere.
Hailed as “Fully fun, challengingly complex and entirely entertaining” by Kirkus Reviews, it adds up to be a surprising and ingeniously layered comic novel about reinvention.
John Green continued his winning streak in his collaboration with fellow Young Adult writer David Levithan on Will Grayson, Will Grayson.
Will Grayson, Will Grayson
(Dutton, £6.99, p/b, 9780142418475)
In which teenager Will Grayson crosses paths with… Will Grayson! Two teens with the same name who move in very different circles suddenly find their lives thrown together, ultimately leading them to team up to produce the most fabulous musical ever to grace the school stage. It’s an awesome and uplifting read – the story of two completely different Wills coming together feels authentic because the two authors created their own Will Grayson and wrote the first three chapters for each character without consulting each other. It’s a testimony to the strength of Green’s writing that he can create a character believable enough to cope with being thrown alongside the entirely unanticipated creation of another author, but he pulls it off with style.
“Funny, rude and original” – The New York Times
For your chance to win a SIGNED hardback copy of John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars tweet this blog and #nerdfighters to @turnarounduk