I am not, just to confirm, a fan of hype. The Fault In Our Stars, people, is a greatly hyped book.
I was reluctant, at first to read it, because if everybody hypes it to be so great, it probably isn’t. And besides. I’d never heard of John Green until one of my cousins mentioned his name. My cousin, by the way, though well-informed on what’s up in the modern literary world, only manages to find the weirdest books.
But I had a chance to visit Barnes & Noble (for a book-lover who has lived her whole life in Ghana, a place where a bookstore is hardly bigger than a moderately-wealthy person’s living room, a beautiful place) and I saw on display, ta-da! The Fault In Our Stars. And I said to myself, “Ah, why not?”
So I picked it up. And I fell in love with John Green before the book started. His author’s note alone got me hooked.
“This is not so much an author’s note as an author’s reminder of what was printed in small type a few pages ago: This book is a work of fiction. I made it up.
Neither novels or their readers benefit from attempts to divine whether any facts hide inside a story. Such efforts attack the very idea that made-up stories can matter, which is sort of the foundational assumption of our species.
I appreciate your cooperation in this matter.”
Seriously. What more can I say? I love this guy.
And I loved his book.
This book caused me a lot of emotional conflict and pain. It is also now my favourite book.
And I wonder, about the people who like this book, why exactly they like it, and how much they were forced to think profoundly after it. I refuse to share what I learned from this book. It’s kind of personal. I don’t think anyone should ever share what they learned from this book. I believe it to be something that should stay personal and intimate. But I do think that it’s a must-read novel. Forgive me for being cliché, and for indulging in the hype that I honestly do dislike, but I think this is worth it.