John Green

American Author

John Green is a noted Young Adult fiction writer, perhaps best known for his booksThe Fault in our Stars’ and ‘Paper Towns,’ adapted into successful movies. He is also a high-profile social media user. He uses his platform to educate and provoke thought about contemporary issues.

Life Facts

  • John Green was born in 1977 in Indianapolis.
  • John is married to Sarah Green, who has been jokingly given the nickname “the yeti” as she is seldom seen on camera.
  • Green suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder.
  • Due to the pressure it was putting on him, John Green took a year away from social media in 2018.
  • John has a strong friendship with his brother Hank, a writer who collaborates on their many YouTube projects.

Interesting Facts

  • Before becoming a writer, he was training to become a priest.
  • John Green is a soccer fan and has a stand at AFC Wimbledon named after him due to his “support” for the club. Although he is technically a Liverpool fan.
  • Green has talked about how being bullied at school made his life miserable.
  • The inspiration behind Green writing ‘The Fault in our Stars’ was his time working in a hospital with terminally ill children.
  • Before making it as a writer, Green also worked as a prolific book reviewer.

Famous Books by John Green

Green does not have a massive back catalog of novels. While he is known for his writing, a great deal of his time is taken up with his various social media projects. That being said, what he has written has been highly successful.

The Fault in our Stars

Perhaps Green’s most famous work. This is partly because of the film adaptation, but it is fair to say the book was a sales phenomenon long before it was brought to the big screen. This was Green’s 6th novel and detailed the life of two teenage cancer sufferers. One of them, Gus, is in remission but lost a leg due to his cancer. The other, Hazel Grace, looks certain to die from her lung cancer. The two are pretty different in terms of outlook but fall in love and try to seek out their favorite author together. The novel is a real tear-jerker and worth reading even if you have seen the film.

Paper Towns

This is a classic coming-of-age/road trip story about Q, the nerdy boy who falls in love with his neighbor, wild child Margo Roth Spiegelman. They go on a wild revenge mission together before Margo vanishes. Q and his friends then attempt to track Margo down and travel across the country, searching for clues to do just that.

Early Life

Green was born in Indianapolis, Indiana. His parents were Mike and Sydney Green. Soon after being born, they moved to Michigan, Followed by Birmingham, Alabama, and finally Orlando, Florida. The experience of living in these different areas has informed Green’s writing.

He was a successful student, although he endured a problematic school career facing bullying issues. This did not stop John from achieving a double major in English and religious studies.

After graduating from college, he began training to become a priest. He enrolled in school to train but never actually attended. During this period, he spent five months working in a children’s hospital in Ohio. This was to become the inspiration behind ‘The Fault in our Stars‘.

Green then moved to Chicago, where he worked as a book reviewer. While doing this, he set about writing his first novel.

Literary Career

Green began his career with a bang as his first novel, ‘Looking for Alaska‘, published by Dutton Children’s Books, became an instant hit. Among his merits for the work, Green received a Michael L. Printz Award. The novel was praised for its literary content and signified a move away from YA fiction being themed around the supernatural.

Green’s second novel was ‘An Abundance of Katherines‘ and was nominated for but didn’t win a second Michael L. Printz Award.

Green then collaborated on a novel with two other YA authors. The book was called ‘Let it Snow’ and contained three interconnected stories. This was adapted for the big screen, thanks to Netflix. Shortly after this, Green’s third solo effort, and one of his best-known works, ‘Paper Towns, was produced. It earned him several awards and made the Times bestseller list as well as being adapted into a movie.

Green’s next book was another collaboration. This time with David Levithan. Together the pair penned the fantastic ‘Will Grayson, Will Grayson’. This spent time on the bestsellers list and was nominated for several awards. It was especially acclaimed for LGBTQ themes.

In 2012, he produced ‘The Fault in our Stars’. It spent two weeks at number one on the New York Times children’s bestseller list. He and his brother hank personally signed 150 thousand copies of the novel (the entire first print) These two were adapted for the big screen and proved a massive movie hit as well.

Green went through a period of struggling with his writing. He cited the pressure of expectation for these struggles. His next project would not come to fruition until 2017 when he released ‘Turtles All the Way Down‘. This, too, will be adapted for the screen.

Green’s sixth book is a non-fiction piece based on his podcast show and carries the title ‘The Anthropocene Reviewed’.

Hank and John

Fans of John Green are more often than not fans of his brother Hank by proxy. The pair have a lot in common and carry similar personas. Hank has also become a writer, and the two regularly collaborate on projects together. Included in these projects are the brother’s YouTube channels. Crash Course involves “mini-lessons” covering everything from world economics to European history. There is also the channel “vlogbrothers” where the pair record regular videos aimed at one another detailing their thoughts on the world, life, or whatever happens to be in their heads at the time.

Influence from other Writers

Green cites Toni Morrison as being a significant influence on his career. He stated he has always wanted to be a writer but considered books to be something written by people who were no longer alive, so having someone alive and writing books was a huge source of inspiration to a young Green.

He also points to J.D. Salinger. The influence of Salinger’s ‘Catcher in the Rye‘ is obvious in Green’s writing.

Literature by John Green

Explore literature by John Green below, created by the team at Book Analysis.