Have you read The Fault in Our Stars? (No-check out my review). People from 13 to 53 have been captivated by John Green’s story about two cancer kids looking for love.
I was a John Green fan before this winsome story hit the scene, as were many others, for his funny and spot-on portrayals of teenage life, but The Fault in Our Stars hit a whole new mark. In my opinion, it’s because Hazel Grace Lancaster and August Watters captured people’s hearts in a different way. As I much as I loved An Abundance of Katherines (and I really did), there’s an edge to it and John Green’s other works — more hard language and older teen behavior — that prevented me from recommending them to all audiences, including my daughter and other younger teens.
As the trailer shows, this book is not void of all questionable teen behavior, but neither is 85% of anything that is geared to teens on TV, movies, and in print. I am still uneasy with some of that behavior being “normalized,” especially since young teens read it and watch it so much, but I also cannot deny that it’s completely realistic.
[stepping off weird soap box now to continue]
I did love this book. My daughter loved this book. I’m looking forward to the movie. If you’ve read it, what do you think of the trailer? Leave a comment and let me know. Feel free to let me know what you think of my weird rant as well.
Some if it is absolutely perfect — like the scene with the lights outside — but I’m thinking I need to do a reread of the book pronto. I think I’m already getting the “This is never going to live up to the book” feeling, which doesn’t plague me like it does some people (Ahem — Dawn). But a re-listen is in order, or I might even pick up the book which we also now own.
If you haven’t heard the audio, I loved it, and it’s worth exploring. It won the ALA’s Odyssey award in 2012 for best children’s/YA audiobook. and when I reviewed it, I pointed out how much I enjoyed the audiobook.
Jen E says
I’m so on the fence about this one – I adored the book but I have seen enough book to movie adaptations to know the odds of this one living up to my expectations are slim, not that it will stop me from seeing it, but I remain unconvinced it’s going to live up to the book. The cast is good but not remotely like how I pictured them, which ok, that’s fine but this may be one instance where I preferred keeping them in my head, you know?
I so agree! My 15 year old daughter is really excited. She’s even softer on adaptations than I tend to be. I reloaded the book on my ipod, so I’m going to start listening. It’s been a while for me. I want to get it out of the way now, and hopefully I’ll be able to just enjoy the movie by its own merits in June.
This is such uncharted territory for me. I really enjoyed the book, but I am in no way okay with the teenage sexuality/promiscuity (or lots of other issues). Yes, I know many would point out that their behavior isn’t promiscuous, but like you, I have a problem with “normalizing” this behavior at all. I have a lot of thinking and praying to so before my girls get old enough for YA stuff. Yikes.
Oh it’s hard….I read a lot, and we discuss a lot. My particular teen has a good head on her shoulders, and at this point, she has the maturity and discernment to process, I think. She still self-edits when content (either language or sexual or whatever) makes her uncomfortable, for which I am thankful.
I think Dawn made a good point in her comment that the “normalization” is not as much an issue in this novel, since Augustus and Hazel are not “normal” teenagers.
Love the “ahem!” 🙂
I am actually quite excited about this movie, for even though I tend to be (hyper)critical on adaptations, I’m often insanely hopeful beforehand. That’s the case this time, because I just got such a perfect feeling from the trailer, and John Green has been so vocal about his own happiness with the project. These actors do look the part to me, and there’s a certain gravitas to even the short bits of their portrayals shown in the trailer.
I think I have a differing opinion on the sexual content in this book than some, so I’m not concerned about the normalization of it in this story, since there’s just about nothing “normal” in either Hazel or Gus’s lives. But, my oldest is only 13, so he hasn’t read this one, nor will he be seeing it with me, at least not for a couple years. 🙂
I think I first read it when Amanda was 8th grade, and I was thisclose to sharing it with her. I think she read it when she was 14 and in high school, but most of the 8th grade girls I teach at church are reading it or have read it (along with Hunger Games, which I know you haven’t).
I think it’s interesting that you wouldn’t give it to JAM, even though you don’t have a problem with the sexual content per se. That said, I totally agree with your thoughts that it’s not a “normal” situation at all. Great assessment.
Yeah, he’s just “not there” yet, which is fine by me. 🙂