I first heard of John Green my sophomore year of college, when a friend introduce me to the frankly wonderful vlogbrothers videos that he does (go look them up, I’ll wait). When I wanted to start reading his books, she recommended that I start with this one, maintaining that it was better than Paper Towns and Looking for Alaska.
So I read it, and I have to say I quite enjoyed it. And since, at the time I read it, I had been watching vlogbrothers videos for several months, it felt less like I was was reading some random book and more like I was reading something written by someone I actually knew. Which, I’ll be honest, was a little weird.
The book is fun, kind of silly, full of very interesting footnotes and math, and pretty damn funny. Some other reviewers have complained about the main character, Colin, but I always enjoy a socially handicapped former child prodigy. And if that socially awkward former child prodigy happens to have dated (and been dumped by) eighteen girls named Katherine and insists at one point “Love is graphable!”, so much the better. His narration is also very fun.
“When he exited the bathroom, his parents were sitting together on his bed. It was never a good sign when both his parents were in his room at the same time. Over the years it had meant:
1. Your grandmother/grandfather/Aunt-Suzie-whom-you-never-met-but-trust-me-she-was-nice-and-it’s-a-shame is dead.
2. You’re letting a girl named Katherine distract you from your studies.
3. Babies are made through an act that you will eventually find intriguing but for right now will just sort of horrify you, and also sometimes people do stuff that involves baby-making parts that does not actually involve making babies, like for instance kiss each other in places that are not on the face.
It never meant:
4. A girl named Katherine called while you were in the bathtub. She’s sorry. She still loves you and has made a terrible mistake and is waiting for you downstairs.”
Verdict: four out of five stars