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Op-Ed: Why John Green’s Looking For Alaska Needs A Film Adaptation

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I was on the Huffington Post Books section when I saw this article about the film adaptation of the teen fiction book The Fault in Our Stars  and thought I’d spread the word and say my two cents on here.

As much as I enjoyed John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars, I’m only half-happy about the filming. After all, The Fault in Our Stars isn’t my favorite John Green book. That honor goes to the very first John Green book I ever read: Looking For Alaska.

While The Fault in Our Stars is impactful to anyone dying of any disease and the people affected by them, Looking For Alaska is impactful for anyone learning to live in the moment while discovering the truth about themselves and others. Both books deserve to be made into films, but Looking For Alaska is one of those books that can define many generations of young people.

Nowadays, teens are more pressured than ever to be something they’re not for acceptance. Miles Halter, Alaska Young, and Takumi,  the main characters of Looking for Alaska, could care less about it for the most part. Yet, looking for acceptance involves so much more than just doing a dare, doing drugs, or drinking to be “cool.” Looking for Alaska shows that acceptance can be sought simply by putting up a front and what happens when that front breaks a person.

This is a message I rarely see in today’s teen fiction and movies. You’d have to go back in time to films like The Breakfast Club  to see it more often. It it important that a good film adaptation of Looking For Alaska be made so that people  can read the book and see each other in a more honest, if raw, light.

Written by Serena Zola

January 31, 2013 at 11:06 AM

Book Review: The Fault in Our Stars

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  From the moment she was diagnosed with cancer, sixteen year old Hazel Grace thought that death was the only thing her future contained. She was content with just going to college classes, reading An Imperial Affliction over and over, and watching America’s Next Top Model until her dying day. Then, her mother makes her attend a cancer support group. There, she meets the gorgeous prosthetic-legged Augustus Waters and her future is forever changed.

One of the best things about this book are the main and supporting characters. The main characters completely contradict how the world sees cancer kids. Hazel and Augustus are intelligent, funny, and vulnerable all at once. As for the supporting characters, the parents are just as good as the kids. In particular, Hazel’s mother is almost an adult clone of her daughter. She has Hazel’s sense of humor mixed with her own random and caring nature.

Another enjoyable thing in this book was that it is laugh out loud funny at times. Humor is found within most of the teens and adults and is not confined to a particular group of people. For instance, Hazel’s mom asks her daughter, “Did that boy give it to you?” Hazel replies, “By it, do you mean herpes?”

Some powerful features of this book are its themes of being remembered, being loved, and leaving a mark on the world. John Green uses many things including books, poetry, and people to convey  messages. They come together with John Green’s signature writing style to create something that  stirs the mind, heart, and soul.

Overall, this was a fantastic book. In fact, this has to be John Green’s best work since his debut novel Looking For Alaska. It is recommended to anyone being deeply affected by cancer, disease, death, and life.

Written by Serena Zola

July 2, 2012 at 6:40 PM

Book Review: Geektastic

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  Geektastic: Stories from The Nerd Herd is a collection of geeky short stories by some of today’s most prominent young adult authors. Some of them include John Green, Sara Zarr, David Leviathan, and Holly Black. A sample of story topics include Star Wars versus Star Trek, RPGs, and comics.

One of the best things about this book is how the stories go beyond the geeky passions and go into the personal lives of the characters. A good example from the book is “The Truth About Dino Girl” by Barry Lyga. In the story, a geeky girl has a crush on a popular guy. At the same time, she wants to be the world’s greatest paleontologist. Yet past memories and an uncertain future make Dino Girl feel alone and like nothing.

Another good thing about this book is the comic illustrations in between the stories. Done by Brian Lee O’ Malley (creator of the comic Scott Pilgrim VS The World that the movie is based on) and Hope Larson, these comics are funny and geeky. They catch the eye with headlines like “How to Look Cool and Not Drool in Front of Your Favorite Author”.

In the end, it all depends on personal taste. If you are a geek and a certain type of geek, then you will enjoy these stories. Even if you aren’t a geek, you might know someone who is and so will be able to understand them better if you read a story or two. Either way, this book is worth reading.

Written by Serena Zola

May 3, 2012 at 9:17 PM

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