Moons ago on my first Free Thursdays (note to self: should bring back Free Thursdays) I linked to a vlogbrothers post from YouTube by John Green.

For those who are unaware of the nerdfighteria concept, Mr. Green (who writes young adult literature for a living) and his brother Mr. Green (who is a giant nerd) record weekly video blogs… ostensibly for each other, but they’re really a gimmick to address the general audience.  They both were fans of ZeFrank, and the manic delivery style of their video blogging reflects this.  They’ve also branched out into a number of other YouTube channels about science and nerds doing nerdy things.

Needless to say, I like them both quite a bit.

John Green recently released his new novel, “The Fault In Our Stars“, which hit #1 on both Amazon and Barnes and Noble bestseller lists, as well as the NY Times.  I was a preorder (signed copy!) but I only got around to reading the book last week.  Review: a really good treatment of a pretty bleak topic (young adults with terrible cancers, some terminal).  Minor spoiler: if you have children, or have a very large amount of affection for nieces or nephews (official or friend’s kiddos), or if you’re a sappy type, you will have a hard time not bawling your eyes out for a number of chapters, plural.  This is a melancholy book, albeit a very life-affirming one.

Like most books targeted at the young-adult market, it’s a fast read.  I devoured it in a night and Kitty finished it the next day, so if you like books that make you think about things like death and cancer and lives that are too short, I think this is a worthy pickup.


Patrick is a mid-40 year old geek with an undergraduate degree in mathematics and a master's degree in Information Systems. Nothing he says here has anything to do with the official position of his employer or any other institution.


  1. I love him, but didn’t pounce on this one because I had a horror of books about kids dying slowly based on all the melodramatic examples of such my (female) friends read when we were in junior high…

    Will be less reluctant now:).

    • It’s not melodramatic. It’s certainly dramatic. I’ve gotten a lot sappier in my old age but not so much that I’d get teary-eyed over melodrama 🙂

      There are a couple of glossed-over “that’s convenient for the plotline” moments, but they’re suitable for a young-adult genre book, and the plotline itself is really well done.

      Almost everyone in the book is somewhat impossibly individually awesome, but this is reflective of John’s general view that people in general are individually awesome. He’s very “up” on people.

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