The John Green Formula

The John Green Formula

Spoiler alert

We all have our favorite places and ideas that we like to reside in, and authors, like the rest of us, return and frequent the same ones. After reading "The Fault in Our Stars" for the first time and rereading "Looking for Alaska," I started noticing where John Green likes to frequent and his “formula” for writing. By formula, I mean the elements that Green frequently included in many (satisfying) plot lines. Spoiler alert: don’t read on if you don’t want "The Fault in Our Stars" or "Looking for Alaska" ruined.

1. Pain and catharsis

"The Fault in Our Stars?" Two cancer kids. "Looking for Alaska?" Death and its aftermath. One might ask Nicholas Sparks the same question that we should ask John Green… how does he get away with killing off so many characters? Well, Green deals with it. While writing to such a young audience, Green first provides the pieces of how to grapple with death, and second, he puts the puzzle together. In both "The Fault in Our Stars" and "Looking for Alaska," Green lets the characters' worlds shatter, but slowly pieces them back together.

2. Alive characters

They prank. They cry. They laugh. They make up ridiculous nicknames. They are loud. They go on road trips. They are real and palpable unlike many young adult dystopian protagonists. I believe that Pudge and Gus are going through painful stuff, and it is painful stuff I can relate to more than getting chosen for the Hunger Games. Even though I love reading "The Hunger Games," sometimes I need to slip into a character that has personal problems instead of societal problems.

3. Allusions allusions allusions

Green makes me want to be well-read. Every book challenges me to go research someone, reread that Shakespeare play or skim that dusty biography. In "Looking for Alaska," Alaska obsesses over Simon Bolivar’s labyrinth and Francois Rabelais’ Great Perhaps, which become metaphors for Alaska’s own escape and Pudge’s journey through suffering. And of course the awful, ironic faults in Hazel and Augustus’ stars… the cancer. The unfortunate realization that unlike Cassius, who says man’s downfall is because of himself, their downfall is written in the stars (which always struck me as sad cross between "Romeo and Juliet" and "Julius Caesar").

But why does “The John Green Formula" work? Why are teens and young adults so in love with his writing? Because 1) he is not afraid to push us to be avid readers so he can write beautiful prose. Green doesn’t settle to be at my level; he challenges me to read up to his level. And 2) he writes about real teen issues, like death and self-confidence. Because sometimes we don’t need another love story, we need more books to teach us how to be strong, to grieve and to forgive.

Cover Image Credit: Play Buzz

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6 Things College Girls Can Do To Get Over That Boy That Does You Wrong

Boys can do you wrong, here's how to get over it.

How to get over that guy that’s just not That into you– or he could be into you, but not enough for your satisfaction or worth.

Unfortunately, I think we have all been there. You meet someone. You hit it off. You talk to them from time to time, or maybe all the time– you may even become top friends on Snapchat and earn the sought after yellow and then red heart. You may even hang out a few times and go home with each other after a night out. You talk about dating and liking each other– which if you’re like me, is not something you do often.You think things are going great, until they are not.

He may give you signs that he’s not that into you by casually pulling away. He could possibly ghost you, which if you don’t know (like I didn’t a few weeks ago), ghosting means just disappearing from your life with no warning. He may also continue to lead you on until he decides it’s convenient for him to tell you how he’s feeling. For me, I was in bed with him when he drunkenly confessed to me he was torn between me and another girl. LOL, BOY, BYE.

I was caught off guard, just like any other person who likes someone would be if they out-of-the-blue tell you that they don’t feel the same way or that they are into someone else. It sucked. At first, I was hurt. Next, I was pissed. After that, I quickly realized that I deserved better, or at least deserved someone who respected me enough to tell me in an actual sober conversation. I did the “two girl situation” in high school. It’s not fun. Worrying about whether or not someone will choose you is stressful and emotionally trying. I am in college to stress about homework and exams, not boys.

Things I have done that helped me, which could help you:

1. Cry

I am a crier. I hate to admit it, but I am. This is the best thing to do first if you’re like me. Go home, get in bed, and cry it out. Crying in your own bed will be much more comfortable than outside a bar at 1 am– yup, I did that.

2. Talk to a friend

I am not one that enjoys talking about my personal life with people; however, if this situation happens to you, talk to a friend!! If you have a guy friend, he’ll offer to beat up the guy for you, and if you have a girl friend, she’s going to empower the hell out of you until you realize you are better off.Both will make you feel better.

3. Realize it’s him, not you.

Cliché, but totally true. If a guy doesn’t want to be with you, it’s his own fault. He either doesn’t see your worth, doesn’t see you for all the amazing things you are, or could even be afraid of just how wonderful you are. It’s important to acknowledge that those are all his problems– not yours.

4. Hook up with someone else

I am saying hook up lightly. If you want to go mess around or have sex with a guy to get over the boy, you do you. Hooking up could also just mean meeting someone out. Go grab food with someone, dance with someone else or friends at a bar, just do something to distract yourself from the other boy. Honestly, this could either be successful and help you forget him, or make you miss him more, but it is worth a shot.

5. Remember it's okay to be sad

Depending on the situation, it could take you a little bit to be okay with the circumstances. Just remember that it is okay to feel whatever emotions you may feel. Slowly, it’ll start to get better.

6. Listen to an "ef boy" playlist

Seriously, get on Spotify, or whatever music source, and listen to music.

I found a play list called “f*ck boys”, and it was the best damn thing I have ever listened to. For real, music can make you feel all the feelings– and it can make you realize you are a strong, independent person who does not need anyone. (Personal favorites to jump start your playlist: ‘How to Be A Heartbreaker’ and ‘Lies’ Marina and the Diamonds, ‘Shout Out To My Ex’ Little Mix, ‘Picture to Burn’ Taylor Swift). Just find some music that channels the inner Beyoncé in you and forget about that person that did you wrong.

Cover Image Credit: Personal Photo

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California Girl Didn't See That Coming Now, Did She?

Rural has some new rules and I count them.

So, for most of my life, I lived in a small city in Southern California. The population was about 33,000 and compared to the surrounding cities that's is pretty low average. In August of 2017, I moved to Maine to attend the University Of Maine, Orono, which has an approximate population of 10,362. I knew there were going to be differences of course. I wasn't going to have a taco shop around every corner nor have the convenience of Disneyland only two hours away. Since it's a college town I expect some diversity, but not a whole lot. To my surprise, a lot of little things were astounding to me. Both good and bad, here are the weird differences that really stick out to me.

1. The bus schedule is ridiculously slow. You have to wait an hour or two for a bus when back home the next bus would be there in 15 minutes at most

2. Heavy Traffic in Maine is nothing compared to the morning rush in California.

3. The Dunkin' Donuts is basically like the Denny's chain in California. Every couple of miles and *BOOM* another one

4. The weird regional divides of northern, down east, and faux Massachusetts is weird, but coming from California to northern, southern, and bay area. I get the concept.

5. Whoopie pies and Moxie are not that great. I said it. Don't @ me

6. The number of people who want to go-live in a city. Why? I came here to escape. To each their own, but I'll never get the appeal of cities

7. The sheer beauty of the landscape honestly took my breath away. How awing is it to look out and see so much nature right outside?

Yeah, but living out here so far is amazing. I've met some pretty amazing people. Even though, it's a bit different from where I grew up. I'm sure I'll get the hang of it...eventually.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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