Last week I read The Fault in Our Stars. I’m guessing that those of you who have read this book understand why I don’t offer any other explanation. It is simply not necessary for, or even worthy of, the magnificent book that John Green has created. Don’t expect to feel uplifted and happy about life’s troubles after reading this book– it is a “cancer book,” after all. But about the human spirit? Absolutely.
As much as I enjoyed reading the book, today’s post is not going to focus on the fictional teenagers at its center. As I started researching the movement around John Green and the seemingly endless praise for his work, I realized something very remarkable. So many of the comments on his website and Twitter feed are from teenagers. A generation that we, productive adults, have counted out as lost. Kids today, we say, they just don’t get it. We complain about their sense of entitlement. We complain about their lack of personal responsibility. We even complain about their communication, their text-speak. But, reading the comments of these tweens and teens, it struck me how much we have been missing about who that generation really is. We overlook the fact that they feel entitled… to choices and opportunity, and are willing to correct situations that don’t offer them. We don’t see that they take responsibility… for their own expression, doing whatever they can to find out who “me” is. And as we are shaking our heads at their LOLs and YOLOs (by the way, TFIOS=The Fault in Our Stars–it’s a thing), we fail to realize that they are communicating… to each other and the world at a rate never before available or seen.
Go over to John Green’s website or follow him on Twitter, @realjohngreen to find out more about him, his work, and his amazingly wonderful readers.
Book club questions coming tomorrow!