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Looking for an Abundance of Paper Stars

By Guest Writer Taylor Birk

I never thought that I would laugh at a book about cancer patients. Yet, this past spring, I found myself laughing until I was crying at "The Fault in Our Stars." I’m not new to John Green novels. I read his first book, "Looking for Alaska," back in 2010. So, I shouldn’t have been surprised he would be the guy to make me laugh while reading a book about a serious subject.
Now, I didn’t laugh the whole time, of course. The book was very serious at times. In fact, I cried more often than I laughed. To be specific, I started crying during chapter eleven and I didn’t stop until the book was over. I felt so many emotions while I was reading that book. Green took a serious subject, made it a lighthearted story, but didn’t make it completely unbelievable. He kept the not-so-pretty aspects of dealing with an illness and just wrote an amazing novel.
I think it’s safe to say I love John Green (not in the same way I love Tom Hiddleston, but he’s definitely up there). His stories usually have similar plots in that they involve some kind of love story, but they are so different from each other that it works. You always know you’re reading a John Green book, but it doesn’t feel like you’re reading the same John Green book.
Green decided to be a writer after he worked for several months in a children’s hospital. Seeing children with life-threatening illnesses is what inspired "The Fault in Our Stars." He’s said, in interviews, that he tried to write "TFIOS" so many times, but it never felt right. I don’t know about some people, but I would have waited a million years for that book.

Of course, just when I thought John Green couldn’t get any better, he did. Not only has he written some of my favorite books. Not only has he made me laugh until my sides hurt. Not only has he made me weep uncontrollably for days (damn him for that last one). He also happens to be very hands-on in interacting with his fans.
Back in 2007, Green and his brother, Hank (also hilarious), started a vlogging project called Brotherhood 2.0. The idea was that the brothers would communicate for an entire year through videos instead of using any text-based communications. However, when the project ended, the two decided that they would continue vlogging. Thus, the Vlogbrothers was born.
I wish I could describe a Vlogbrothers video for you, but I really can’t. It’s something you need to just watch for yourself. All I can say is that the videos are hilarious and I usually have to rewatch them because I missed what they said due to my hyena laughing.
But they aren’t just funny. They cover a wide range of topics and they’re interactive. They have question Tuesday where they answer questions that fans can submit. Someday I’ll submit a question. I’m waiting to come up with something really witty (I’ll be 80 by the time that happens).

On top of his vlogging, Green is also an active Tumblr user (his username is fishingboatproceeds for anyone who wants to follow him). I love this about him. Not only is Tumblr one of the fastest-growing blogging sites, but it’s the perfect way for him to reach out to his fans and really connect with them (a common game on Tumblr is to try and get John Green to respond to one of your posts. It’s really hard, but when he does it, it’s always funny).

Besides leaving random comments on people’s John Green posts, he also posts some useful information on his Tumblr for aspiring writers. I’ve seen him post about publishing, editing, and other aspects of the writing business. He doesn’t know it, but Green has been way more helpful than some of the professors I had in college.
I read my first John Green book because a friend recommended it to me, and I’m so glad I did. I was introduced to not only a phenomenal writer, but also a hilarious human being. I’m proud to call myself a Nerdfighter (a.k.a. a follower of the Vlogbrothers. “We fight for awesome.”)
I’m dying (like usual) to see what Green decides to do next. I’m guessing it might be a while since he’s currently on paternity leave (although he Tweets an awful lot for someone who is staying away from the interweb), but I have no doubt that it will be made of awesome.
For those of you that are interested, I’ve included a list of his books because I believe everyone should read at least one John Green book in their life time. Seriously. Read them (all of them). I highly doubt you’ll regret the decision to do so. I’ve listed them in chronological order because it just looks snazzy that way.

- "Looking for Alaska" (2005)
- "An Abundance of Katherines" (2006)
- "Paper Towns" (2008)
- "Let it Snow: Three Holiday Romances" – with Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle (2008)
- "Will Grayson, Will Grayson" – with David Levithan (2010)
- "The Fault in Our Stars" (2012) 


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