If you like YA, you’ve probably heard of these 2 authors. John Green is of course famous for books like The Fault in Our Stars and Paper Towns, which are both now movies, and Rainbow Rowell has the extremely popular Fangirl and Eleanor and Park. And while they are similar, both writing contemporary, there is just something so different in the way they write.
For me (please don’t be offended) I have never been obsessed with John Green. I read The Fault in Our Stars when I heard it was becoming a movie. And of course I thought it was good (4 stars) and sad, and cried but just his writing style of making his characters so sophisticated was not my favorite. The dialogue his characters have just never seems real enough for me to believe. The conversations, ideas, metaphors all felt a little forced to make these teenagers seem like so much more.
So I read Paper Towns when I heard it was going to be a movie and I thought it was even worse. At least in TFIOS I could kind of believe they may be pretentious because all Hazel ever did before she met Gus was read. But in Paper Towns I could not stand Margo. And honestly I did not think reading about looking for her clues was that interesting. Just the way she talked about “paper towns” and how everything was fake did not appeal to me and was only a 2 star read for me.
Now please don’t hate me, again TFIOS 4 stars. But then I found Rainbow Rowell and I was just blown away. Like Green her both books I read touched on really serious issues. In Fangirl it’s being abandoned by 1 parent, being raised by a single dad, having a parent with some mental illness, too much drinking and partying by her sister. In Eleanor and Park it’s even more serious themes. Poverty is something we see Eleanor struggle with, and she’s living in an abusive household, plus body image, and body shaming. But then we see Park struggle with his dad for acceptance, and racism, and gender roles (eyeliner scenes). But for me there is just something so real about her characters. All their dialogue and thoughts are so relatable. With Cath she was easy to relate to since the entire premise is she’s a Fangirl, but even in Eleanor and Park, while I’ve never been in Eleanor’s exact situation it was still so easy to really understand and get a really good feel for her character.
Now again, this is not me saying John Green is a bad author. It’s just two authors who really write such similar style books, they’re just so different and for me Rainbow Rowell is 5 stars for both Fangirl and Eleanor and Park which is why Rainbow Rowell is easily my favorite contemporary author and one of my top 2 favorite authors of all time. I can’t wait to see what she writes next.
Thanks for Reading