Tag: John Green

How John Green Saved My Life

“Your now is not your forever”. – Aza, Turtles All The Way Down.

I didn’t understand what was happening to me. I had no inkling of what was wrong with me. I was down the rabbit hole and it seemed like nothing ever would change. I stayed in the rabbit hole for a very long time. No sign of light. All I could feel was a coldness around me while I lay stark naked. Some days I still find comfort there. In complete darkness. There are nights where I feel like I’m the only person in the world. When I was drowning in my emotions, the only thing that kept me afloat was John Green.

John Green is a lot of things to a lot of people, but to me, he is the light at the end of the tunnel. When I didn’t even feel like getting out of bed, his books were what kept me awake. When I didn’t understand what was happening to me, I found solace in his writing that illuminated my life with the answers I needed.

I remember the first time I read his book The Fault In Our Stars. My mom got me a copy and I devoured it in 4 hours. I laughed, I cried, and the book was like the best friend I never had. The therapist that reminded me “That’s the thing about pain. It demands to be felt.” And the realisation that “Oblivion is inevitable, and that we’re all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust, and I know the sun will swallow the only earth we’ll ever have.” It was a love story. But to me, it was what gave my life a new perspective.

I quickly looked him up and other books by him. This time, I decided to read him chronologically.

His very first book, Looking for Alaska is really underrated. It’s the one that pulled me out of my void. It’s the book that I keep going back to every time I spiral my way into oblivion. “You spend your whole life stuck in the labyrinth, thinking about how you’ll escape it one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present.” But at the same time, it gives you the strength to know that, “We need never be hopeless because we can never be irreparably broken.” If I weren’t scared of needles, I would have this tattooed on me.

Image via John Green Books

The best part about reading John Green books is that the characters are flawed just like we are. Just like his flawed characters are worth loving, it’s a constant reminder that we are too. It’s not about being perfect; it’s about being worth loving despite the flaws. We are what we are, and in that we are whole. And chances are that when you are feeling what you do, you’re never alone. Somewhere out there is thinking and feeling the same. Even if they are just characters in a book.

Whether it is his first novel Looking for Alaska or his latest one Turtles All The Way Down, Green’s books teach you what it means to be human. How you can live your life in the best way possible. That your mental illness is just a small part of you and no matter what you’re going through right now, it’s not going to last forever. “Thoughts are only thoughts. They are not you. You do belong to yourself, even when your thoughts don’t.”

I wish I had read books by him growing up, as I came across them much later in my life. I love how all of his books have an element of normalising mental health. When I first read Turtles All The Way Down, I made a point to give a copy to everyone who was close to me so they could understand what anxiety feels like. Of course, mental illnesses show differently on different people but I finally had the right words for what I felt. “The thing about a spiral is, if you follow it inward, it never actually ends. It just keeps tightening, infinitely.”

But wait. What’s a 20-something doing reading coming-of-age novels? Aren’t these books meant for teens? NO! These books are meant for anyone and everyone who has ever struggled with any mental health issues. They transport you to a time where these issues are normalised. They make you believe that there isn’t anything wrong in feeling what you feel. And that’s exactly what you need sometimes. He saved my life. If you haven’t dug into John Green’s books, there’s no better time than now to start reading!

 

Featured Image: The New York Times

You Decide: Did These Adaptations Get It Right?

The ongoing debate about whether the book or the movie/show is better, is never-ending. In some cases the movies/shows do a better job than the book – though those cases are rare. Sometimes, both are equally good because the movie/show compliments the book well. Usually, though, the book reigns supreme, like the Harry Potter books. Here’s what we make of some of the most popular adaptations of late.

  1. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Image via FandangoNow

The Hunger Games trilogy, is a great read about a young girl, Katniss, who volunteers in her younger sister’s place to compete in the annual Hunger Games. Little did Katniss know that her volunteering would lead to her being the face of change, and the leader of a war for a better world. The movie does a good job of complimenting the books, Katniss is portrayed by Jennifer Lawerence and Josh Hutchinson is also in the film, portraying her love interest, Peeta, who helps her win the Hunger Games. Lawrence really showed how much Katniss struggled and how the pressure of being the ‘Mockingjay’ took a toll on her. Both of these actors did an amazing jobs bringing these characters to life, as well as the other actors. In this case the books and movies are both great.

You can watch the movies here.

 

2. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Image via IMDB

The Hate U Give, is an amazing novel about a young girl, Starr, who witnesses the wrongful murder of her friend by a police officer. Starr struggles to deal with the aftermath and does everything she can to do the right thing for her friend and for her family. Amandla Stenberg, who just so happened to have played Rue in the Hunger Games, portrayed Starr and she did an outstanding job, she really embodied the character. The movie itself really complimented the book and told the story the way it was meant to be told. Again, both the book and movie did an excellent job telling this story.

You can watch the movie here.

3. The sun is also a star by nicola yoon

Image via IMDB

The Sun is Also A Star follows two characters, Natasha and Daniel. Natasha and her family are about to be deported and on her way to fight her family’s case she meets Daniel. Daniel is college-bound and very eager to ditch his college interview to spend the day with Natasha, being that today is the only day they have. I am not a fan of this novel but I am definitely not a fan of the movie. The novel had some depth to it and gave background information to Natasha’s life and gave reason as to why she was being deported. The movie left out that crucial information and just focused on two teenagers falling in love within the twenty-fours they’ve known each other. Why would Daniel give up his college interview for a girl he just met? Come on! So, in this case, the book is better.

You can watch the movie here.

 

4. Looking for Alaska By John Green

Image via Hulu

Looking for Alaska, the novel, follows Miles Halter, who falls in love with the mysterious Alaska. When Alaska turns up dead, Miles does everything he can to learn the truth. It’s not as exciting as it sounds, and to be honest I was hoping the show would be good, but I didn’t make it past the first fifteen minutes. The novel starts off well, and it pulls you into the mystery of Alaska. Then somewhere in the middle, the novel stalls, and then it starts moving again. All I can say is I didn’t finish the show but I did finish the book, so in this case the book is better.

You can watch the series here.

5. A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket

Image via Youtube

A Series of Unfortunate Events follows the Baudelaire orphans who lead a very tragic life after the death of their parents. Each novel shows the Baudelaires going to live with another distant relative, or them ending up in a dire situation. To make matters worse, Count Olaf is after the children and their fortune and will do everything he can to get his hands on them. The books are great, and the show does a great job of bringing the characters to life. Neil Patrick Harris is HILARIOUS as Count Olaf and does a great job of making him evil and cooky. The three Orphans, Violet, Klaus and baby Sonny, are portrayed by newcomers who really have the same look and portray the orphans well. Their quick wit and intelligence shine through on the screen, just like in the books. In this case the books and TV show are amazing. However, back in 2005, there was a movie adaptation of the first three books, and though it was decent, the show does a better job.

You can watch the series here.

Featured Image via CultureWhisper

 

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