First of all let’s define who James Breakwell because thanks to Tumblr/Youtube/Fault in Our Stars I am pretty sure everyone knows who John Green. James Breakwell is a father of four who tweets what his children say (@XplodingUnicorn). He’s a pretty popular guy and I was introduced to him by the wonderful people of Pinterest who screen shot his tweets and then pin them. I just recently got into Twitter and so I started following James and I haven’t regretted it yet. He’s a funny guy who has a great Twitter presence unlike some people who aren’t original and just retweet stuff all the time, oh yeah…that’s me. When I heard James was publishing a book I was like “cool for you” and didn’t think much of it. Just recently however James started a competition where if you pre-order his book by August 1st and tweet it to him he will put your name into a drawing to have a conversation with him. I don’t know why, maybe the fact I have no social life and spend all my time reading tweets by some middle aged dude about his little family of four, but for some reason I really wanted to enter this competition so I pre-ordered James’ book.
What does of any of this have to do with John Green? Well James’ book comes out the same day as John Green’s new novel Turtles all the Way Down (I honestly don’t know if this is the title nor I do I really care enough to look it up). I dislike John Green’s pitiful attempts at writing a young adult novel. He has a great Youtube channel: Crashcourse in History. It’s fun and I’ve watched it several times in some of my classes (high school and college). John is a great guy he just cannot write a young adult novel. However, I cannot lie…I did like Fault in Our Stars. Out of the four books he has written he got lucky one time. I have read three of his books, Looking for Alaska, Paper Towns, and Fault in Our Stars. I couldn’t bring myself to read another one of his books so I never did read An Abundance of Katherine’s, though I did have a friend named Katherine read that one and she didn’t like it.
I read Paper Towns when I was in middle school. It was new and a requirement for book club. Well, not really a requirement but if I read it and ten other books I would get a $20 gift card to Barnes and Noble. B&N! B&N people! I would have read the dictionary cover to cover to get a gift card to B&N. I actually have a twenty dollar limit when I go there because I would spend a $100 on four books and not regret it. Anyways back to how dumb the ending to Paper Towns was. I actually liked the plot but then I got to the end and it left me so angry it didn’t matter whether or not the plot was good because without a solid ending it just left me empty. As an author you cannot create this really strong plot and send these kids on an epic road trip and just have it fizzle out at the end because there really is no climax just a sad bunch of kids and disappointed readers.
The book that would have turned me off from John Green permanently, and did, was Looking for Alaska. If I had read this book before I read any of his other books I wouldn’t have read Paper Towns or Fault in Our Stars. I HATED Looking for Alaska. First of all, the characters were flat, boring, not likable and just frustrating. The main character made me want to punch all prepubescent boys in the crotch. He was sad, whiny and really just needed to grow up. Don’t even get me started on Alaska. She was a tease of the worst kind. She didn’t deserve to die and that is not a spoiler because the whole book is a countdown and you know it is coming. In fact I didn’t even finish the book because by the time I got to that point I was so done, I just quite. Why is Pudge looking for Alaska, I don’t know because she isn’t worth it; you are too young to know what love is and you all suck as characters!
Fun fact: I read this class for a book club in college. Half my book club liked, the other half hated it and one kid just walked out when the yelling match started.
The point of this story is that James Breakwell is a great guy and even though I haven’t read his book yet and it’s not YA, I know it will still be better than anything John Green will write. So pre-order his book instead and help support a family man instead of a middle aged man who thinks he can write about teenagers.