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Rediscovering John Green As An Adult: The Anthropocene Reviewed, Reviewed

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCLA chapter.

Some of the first novels I really loved as a young adult were by John Green: The Fault in Our Stars, Paper Towns, Looking for Alaska, etc. I remember buying The Fault in Our Stars on my hand-me-down Kindle, refusing to put it down for hours, and finishing the whole book in just a day. I’d never been so enthralled by reading in my entire life, and it was a truly electric feeling.

But as I’ve gotten older and moved on from traditional young adult novels like Green is known for, it’s been a long time since I’ve come across one of his books. Until recently, when I was gifted The Anthropocene Reviewed, and I have once again been introduced to the wonderful world of John Green literature. 

Picture of John Green\'s book \
Kalysa To

The Anthropocene Reviewed is basically John Green’s memoir. It’s witty, insightful, thought provoking, and gut wrenching all at the same time. His raw vulnerability and clever word choice somehow managed to produce reactions of both belly-aching laughter and also uncontrollable tears as I read it. To make it even better, the way the book is broken up into sections of no more than five to ten pages each makes it digestible and a super easy read.

Rather than the traditional memoir style I’ve seen from other authors, Green picks things he finds perfect, imperfect, rather mundane, and everything in between. He gives context to the topic, especially for the more niche and obscure references, making it unexpectedly educational and adding lots of new trivia to my repertoire, then seamlessly weaves in a narrative from his own life. Green then finishes out each chapter by rating its subject out of five stars.

When writing the memoir, it’s clear that Green (for lack of a better phrase) didn’t give a fuck about what he chose to write about. The chapters span everything from Diet Dr. Pepper, to the Penguins of Madagascar, to the QWERTY keyboard. Although they seem random and disjointed to the reader at first glance, they’re really not. This mismatched amalgamation of things tells the story of Green’s life and what has shaped him into the person he is. I think that because of this, when I first began reading the book, I truthfully wasn’t all that invested. But by the time I got to his review of sunsets, I was absolutely transfixed and had to finish reading. So stick with it, I promise it’ll be worth it.

The Anthropocene Reviewed really pushed me to reflect on my own past life experiences: the good, the bad, and the mundane. Not only that, but it has given me a new perspective where I have tried to look at my life through a different lens going forward. It has made me want to fall in love with life again and it’s one of the few books that I truly think everyone should read.

I give The Anthropocene Reviewed five stars.

Ciara is a third year UCLA student from Oakland, CA who is majoring in Public Health. She loves to travel and explore new places; especially when there's any kind of ocean involved. When she's not busy workshopping her next Her Campus article, you can find Ciara sipping her morning coffee somewhere sunny, relaxing in her hammock, or chasing a sunset.