Rad Reads

A non-definitive ranking of *every* John Green book


We all know John Green—author, vlogger, podcaster and Crash Course co-creator; or maybe you know him as brother to TikToker Hank Green. Although multi-talented and on many platforms, our personal fave way to absorb all of John Green's brilliance is through his novels. He has authored six books to date (not including the ones he has co-authored!) so buckle up, because today we're rating them (spoiler alert—they're all ah-mazing). 

6. Turtles All the Way Down

Barnes & Noble, $12

Aza is a 16-year-old girl just trying to navigate high school and friends...and the disappearance of a local billionaire. Sounds easy enough, right? On top of all this, Aza struggles heavily with OCD. This novel gives a unique insight into the effects of mental illness on her everyday life from a unique perspective—John Green himself has spoken out about his own OCD and how it's affected his life. The book is interesting and captivating but does have heavier themes

5. An Abundance of Katherines

Barnes & Noble, $10

An Abundance of Katherines follows Colin Singleton and his best friend Hassan on a summer road trip. Colin's summer goal is to create and prove a theorem that can predict the success or failure of any relationship. His relationship experience? He's dated 19 girls, all named (you guessed it) Katherine. The anagram-packed novel introduces us to versatile characters and tells a wonderful story, but lacks the same adventure and twists as other Green works.

4. Paper Towns

Barnes & Noble, $12

Weeks before graduation, Margo Roth Spiegelman enlists Quentin's help in a secret midnight mission. The next day, Margo is missing, and all Quentin can do is search for meaning in the cryptic clues she left behind. The journey that ensues will keep you reeled in until the novel's close (and for at least a week after you finish it). You're in luck because it's been made into a movie and John Green did a TEDTalk all about it.

3. The Anthropocene Reviewed

Barnes & Noble, $24

This collection of essays is John Green's latest release. Spanning topics from Viral Meningitis to The Notes App, the author manages to bring deep meaning to the mundane facets of life. You're guaranteed to learn something new in every chapter. Fun Fact: The Anthropocene Reviewed began originally as a podcast that rated the aspects of the current human geological age, the Anthropocene, on a scale of 1-5 stars, and essays from the podcast have been adapted and expanded for the book.

2. Looking for Alaska 

Barnes & Noble, $13

Miles Halter is captivated by famous people's last words, so much so that he can recite them at the drop of a hat. For his junior year of high school, he's attending Culver Creek, a boarding school in Alabama. Readers will come to love the dynamic cast of characters Miles meets along the way. Like any teenager, he balances studying, romance, oh, and he and his friends try to solve a mystery. Looking for Alaska (John's first book!) tackles big questions but disperses them among real high school experiences.

1. The Fault in Our Stars

Barnes & Noble, $13

Arguably the most well-known John Green book (and movie, too!), TFIOS checks all the boxes—romance, big ideas, adventure. Truly an emotional rollercoaster, you're not going to want to put this book down once you start it. Hazel Lancaster spends her days waiting for her terminal illness to claim her life. She has come to accept this and doesn't feel the need to get overly excited about anything. Forced to go to a support group, Hazel meets Augustus Waters and considers that maybe life is worth living after all.

Which John Green book is your fave? Tell us what you think on Twitter @girlslifemag.

Slider Image: @sugarspicewhatevernice


by Riley Yates | 9/16/2021