I’m setting out on a paper adventure.
I have not read The Fault in Our Stars. I have not seen the movie either.
I’m reviewing it anyway. Daina reads John Green books as if Guy Montag himself is about to storm our house to burn them.
Every once in a long season, a book gets you feeling evangelical again about the power of a good story. You marvel at the author at whose hands you find yourself feeling both helpless and superhuman at the same time.
By the end of that book, a strange thing happens: someone else’s words form within you something so perfectly inexplicable that you suddenly have none of your own. You’re left empty and full all at once.
In that long season, wherein you have this sudden gift, you understand how words can break a person. You want the entire world to read them anyway because you know that an important part of being human is being breakable. Without books like these, we risk being unbroken for too long. We risk our ethical periphery someday shrinking to the size of a balance beam. We risk finding ourselves seeing only ourselves and an occasional other exactly like us.
I know The Fault in Our Stars does this because I’ve seen it in my thirteen-year-old daughter. I am torn between reading it because there are lines separating the goodness of things you believe in so much you start selling them, the goodness of things you value so much you don’t trust that others could ever care for them or understand them the way you do, and finally the goodness of things you call sacred.
Until I’m sure I’ll get that right, I’m leaving it to her.by