I know that I must have mentioned at some point in time that I am a big reader. I always have been. As a little girl I had a favourite doll, Baby Bright Eyes*. I loved her because when I would squeeze her hand her big blue eyes would light up enabling me to sneak-read in bed under the covers. It was the perfect ruse. If only they had invented a Baby Blow Hole that I could have used to help me with ventilation under all those covers.
When I was young and passionate (a.k.a. snobby) about my reading it was only fine fiction for me. Don’t get me started on books made into movies. Why can they never seem to do them justice? The Life of Pi being the one huge exception that I can think of.
So last night my son dropped a bomb on me when he told me that The Fault In Our Stars is being made into a movie. This could be on the same level of bad as when they tried (with minimal effort it would seem to me) to make A Prayer for Owen Meany into a movie. I still shiver just thinking about it.
Last March break when we were away on a family vacation one of my twins wanted me to read The Fault in Our Stars as he had just finished it and thought I too would like the book. We read a lot that holiday, passing books amongst us as we finished them. So I read the book. I read the book and I cried. I cried and I cried. I went back to the hotel room and I cried in private. I read next to the pool and I cried in public. My other son read the book and while he did not cry he understood my tears. He understood them so well that he was able to quote lines from the book that would choke me up. My sons were amused and I was embarrassed. As a parent it is a crushingly sad book. But it is the strength and the brilliance of the characters that make it such an beautiful read. It is an important existentialist novel that is not just meant for teens. However, it does introduce existentialism to teens in an easy to understand manner without speaking down to them. The characters are intelligent without being condescending, they are filled with pathos without being pathetic.
I don’t know John Green but I love him for giving the world this book. I only hope that the movie does him proud.
*I tried to find an image of Baby Bright Eyes to insert into this post, I wasn’t successful and now I need to sleep with the light on – there are some very creepy dolls out there!