MOMI RECALLS| Intellectually dense John Green

Jan 12, 2017 | Likes, Only Berlin

I am cleaning the small house.  Before the month ends, we will leave this house and transfer to my mom’s place.  I need to throw want needs to be disposed of and keep those we could give to others.  Then I find myself in front of our bookshelf.  As I brush the dirt off the books, I flip a few pages and read.  I am holding my Firstborn’s John Green box set.

I remember Firstborn placed 4th in an interschool Math and Science Quiz Bee last 2014.  He asked for John Green’s “Looking for Alaska” as his congratulatory gift.

Intellectually dense John Green

Back then when I was still working, I asked a friend about the title since she enjoys book as much as I do.  Though I am quite familiar with John Green, I am not that sure if his “Looking for Alaska” is appropriate for an 11-year old boy.  This friend stressed that John Green is an author of youth-adult fiction and his works are best suitable for teens.  She dismissed the thought of me getting one.

I could perfectly remember.  I went to National Bookstore to check the book for myself.   Green’s literature, as I read the back cover, contains controversial content.  The book suggests some sad parts, though the author also injects wit and humor to lighten some scenes.  I still bought “Looking for Alaska.”  I purchased the box set.  Other titles include “An Abundance of Katherines,” “Paper Town,” and “The Fault in our Stars.”

Now, as  I turn the pages, I find myself smiling.  A vivid scene of this mom asking his son how was John Green flashbacks.   Firstborn’s earnest answer was “Looking for Alaska” is an “intellectually dense” book.   I was puzzled by his reply.  My Second son, on the other hand, got curious and read the book but did not appreciate it that much.   He found it boring and too emotional.  “They are just looking for a dead person,” he told me.

Those memories.

Until now, I haven’t read “Looking for Alaska.”  I have finished John Green’s two other books  “Paper Town” and “The Fault in our Stars.  I have seen the movie adaptation as well.  And this momi is left curious.  After my cleaning and as I nurse my  17-month old son, I will read this “critically acclaimed, award-winning modern classic” by John Green.  Let us see then what “intellectually dense” meant.



  1. Michi

    Good to know that your kids love to read and I was amazed at the choice of books too. I haven’t read those books but I was able to watch the “The Fault in our Stars” movie. How I wish my son will find joy in reading books too.

  2. ROBERT LEE | Amazing Life Daily

    I am wondering too, what the heck does he mean by “intellectually dense”? LOL. So please, go read and please write about it too. I love reading books as much as the other book lovers do. Although times have changed as I do not read as much, I am still attracted to my favorite genres.

  3. Sam Coronado (@followyouroad)

    I’ve read Fault in Our Stars and Looking for Alaska. I remember crying at 4AM because of Fault in our Stars because I can’t put the book down, and it’s heartbreaking. With Looking for Alaska, it’s more of the same story with different characters. Same with Paper Towns (which I only watched as a movie). I guess John Green has a thing with people getting lost or dying. Sounds grave, but the storytelling is humorous. 🙂

  4. Nilyn Matugas

    Maka-intellectually dense naman si Gab! It’s too deep, I kenat, I kenat! haha! But seriously, I’m happy they’re such great readers. ah, they’re really smart kiddos! I’m confident na malayo ang mararating nila. As for me, well, I’m not so much into reading so, I haven’t read any otf these. But I watched The fault in our starts movie. Super sad. Ayoko ng sad ending e. lol.

  5. Stella the Travelerette

    Nice to read one of your posts after awhile away! I do not know what intellectually dense means though! I have heard of The Fault in Our Stars, but I have never read it. I am not a fan of romances. I do know the title is a quote from Hamlet!

  6. Swayam Tiwari

    We have a World Book Fair on in Delhi and the first thing I am going to do is look for John Green.
    “Intellectually Dense” will be the catechism of 2017, courtesy your Firstborn (pun intended).Probably, it means too intellectual to handle. Happy reading, dear Firstborn.

  7. Kcalpesh Ajugia

    For readers, I presume that’s a good collection of books to have. I’m not much of a reader though. Can’t seem to gather the required patience. But yes, I’ve read 2 books so far in my life and I’m feeling content. However I think I must go back to the basics in terms of gathering knowledge despite the fact that, internet and google have put up information at your disposal and easy find and easy access.

  8. Ree love30

    Intellectually dense? Weird! I too would like to know what it means. You know it’s never even crossed my mind that there were books in the youh-adult fiction category but then again I guess I wouldn’t as I dot have any kids yet. I hope you enjoy the read and looking forward to finding out what intellectualLydden see means! Ree love30

  9. Jerny

    I’ve read quite a few pages in The Fault in Our Stars. I do not know other books he created except for the Paper Towns. You must try and read them and let us know what you think. If you’re gonna get the same meaning, or a different appreciation.

  10. Alaine

    Wow. I am impressed with parents who still buy books for their children instead of gadgets. The next generation should still be encouraged to read hard copies of books. I remember reading the Fault in our Stars back in 4th year high. I am not much of a love story fan but this book is a gift of pain and love.

  11. Kathy Ngo

    I threw away 2 balikbayan boxes of books that were eaten by mites and gave away 3 boxes that were okay to friends. I have been decluttering as well but I find that as soon as I let go of one, more come. It’s a blessing I know but it’s a crazy blessing 🙂

  12. Martine

    I believe “intellectually dense” means that there is a lot of processing for some readers, when they look at the deeper context of Greene’s work. For instance, The Fault in Our Stars’ obvious theme is that love may be destiny, but it can be imperfect (because, well, death happened). But the deeper context would be in the readers’ perception of the characters, which may be different depending on the reader.

  13. Maan

    Wow! “Intellectually dense” is an intellectually dense comment coming from a kid! I won’t be able to come up with that kind of criticism in a million years lol! I’ve read John Green’s books, and though he’s honestly not my writer of choice, his books are surely enjoyable.

  14. elle mystique

    Your kids are awesome, momi B! the fact that they’re just 11 and below but was able to read and comprehend, that’s seldom now adays. i could say you’re a real great mom. 🙂
    about John Green, i haven’t read any of his books but i’ve watched TFIOS and i could say its a pretty good movie. never expected it would end that way. so now, i also got curious about that “intellectually dense” so i guess i’m also up in looking for that book, so i could find Alaska too. lol! 😀

    • momiberlin

      Haha. Kids can really be so honest about reviews and sometimes their vocAbularies are quite impressive. Should read John.GreeN’s book so I could understand him fully.

  15. Liana

    I’ve read of the John Green books when I was younger and it was thrilling, sad but also incredible when you need to be open minded and learn more about the world and the life you’re expected to live. I guess, I would definitely made them read to my children because it’s so important to read the Fault in Our Stars for example! It’s the saddest and I cried a lot but it was overwhelming in the good sense! Thanks for sharing!


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Motherhood, as I live it, is a gift not everyone can appreciate until she learns to truly live it. More musings and realizations, fun discoveries, and mommy tips at Momi Berlin's blog.

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