Book List

6 Books for the John Green Fan

November 16, 2017
Jainita Patel

If you like Turtles All the Way Down….

Turtles all the way down

….. try Obsessed by Allison Britz


Similar elements: mind health, narrative style

It’s no secret that Turtles All the Way Down deals with OCD and anxiety in a way that is all too real. Another book that’s similar to this is Obsessed by Allison Britz. Both protagonists suffer from mental illness in a way that’s shocking yet heartbreakingly relatable for many teenagers today. The narrative style is similar in that both characters constantly argue with the thoughts in their head. Though Obsessed is non-fiction, the beautiful narrative style and engaging story of Allison’s life will keep you hooked, especially if you found some comfort with the experiences of Ava in Turtles All the Way Down.


If you liked Looking for Alaska…

Looking for alaska

…. try The Chaos of Standing Still by Jessica Brody


Similar elements: Time, grief, loss, friendship, unlikely settings

John Green’s debut novel is a hard one to live up to, but there are a few books out there that deal with similar elements. Mainly, The Chaos of Standing Still deals with grief, just like (spoiler) the second half of Looking for Alaska does. The two books are also connected because they both value time as a central element of the story. If you want something a little warmer than the gut-wrenching pain you feel at the end of Alaska but that still deals with heavy topics, then this just might be the book for you.


If you liked Paper Towns

Paper Towns

….try Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman


Similar elements: Identity, road trips, strong female character, healing and moving on

Paper Towns deals with one boy’s obsession to find a girl he fell in love with. He builds her up to an idea and upon finding her, all of his ideas of her are destroyed and he sees her for what she is: a person. Starfish takes this idea of identity and takes it to a whole new level, removing the almost fantastical elements of Paper Towns and replacing them with the brutal honest of heavy topics like racism, abuse, and suicide. Just like Paper Towns, Starfish involves the themes of friendship, love, and experiences as a means of healing but uses them in a different context. If you’re ready to delve into a whole new level of “who am I?” after Paper Towns, then Starfish is the book for you.


If you liked The Fault in Our Stars…

the fault in our stars

try Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz


Similar elements: love, friendship, unlikely meetings

Let’s be real—The Fault In Our Stars was a beautiful tear-jerker that left you thinking about Augusts Waters almost as much as Hazel thought about him. If you want a story that’s just as beautiful, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe might just be for you, though (spoilers) I promise the ending will leave you shedding tears of only happiness (Augustus why?). Both of these novels deal with some tough issues that surround the central pairing and because of this, I sometimes hesitate to call either a love story. Both deal with the emotional growth of the main character and help show that you can find happiness even in the most difficult of circumstances.


If you liked Will Grayson, Will Grayson…

Will Grayson

…try Winger by Andrew Smith


Similar elements: male friendships, unlikely friendships

Will Grayson, Will Grayson is one of John Green’s books that often falls into the shadow of his other, more popular titles, but once you start reading it sucks you in just like his other work. It deals with an unlikely friendship while following the lives of two Will Graysons. Winger deals with a similar development of friendship, including themes of toxic masculinity and identity put into the context of the main character sharing his room with a bully. Though Will Grayson, Will Grayson has an element of musical theatre, and Winger is centered on a sports team, both stories will win your heart, no matter where your interests lie…though, unlike the ending of Will Gray, Will Grayson, the conclusion of Winger may shock you.


If you liked An Abundance of Katherines…

An Abundance of Katherines

…try Essential Maps for the Lost by Deb Caletti

Essential Maps for the Lost

Similar elements: getting lost, the impact of strangers, persistence

If you like persistent and unrelenting main characters, Colin from An Abundance of Katherines probably won your heart at some point or the other. And Billy from Essential Maps for the Lost might just do the same. Both books have to do with getting lost to find what you’re looking for—either emotionally or literally. Romance and forbidden love are a large part of both books. If that isn’t tantalizing enough, the writing is what makes both of these stories. So if you enjoy John Green’s devastatingly gorgeous writing style, then Deb Caletti’s Essential Maps for the Lost should already be next on your reading list.


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