Oh, John Green. I’ve never been the John Green fangirl that everyone else seemed to be, and I definitely see the issues with “sick lit,” but I remember being really moved by the book and crying during the movie–but I can’t imagine you don’t feel that way. Side note: When I was getting my library degree, a lot of people in my YA lit course kept talking about John Green as if he was the only author teens wanted to read, and maybe that was true in 2014, but that is far from the case in 2020. Doesn’t mean we can’t appreciate a well-mad sob fest of a movie though!
Now, let’s talk about the book. From Amazon:
Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.
TFIOS is a cute book. Yeah, it’s sick lit, it has those problems, but it’s not a badly written book. It’s compelling to read, you’ll cry, you’ll yearn for certain characters. TFIOS was also the first of the real “sick lit” books I read, and I think it was also one of the first books I remember reading with cancer as a main element that wasn’t a Jodi Picoult book or something, ya know? I also HATED Paper Towns, so maybe that makes me like TFIOS even more? His most recent book, Turtles All the Way Down, was a good read for me.
Onto the movie:
Very all-star teen cast of the time. Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, Natt Wolff, even Laura freaking Dern and Willem Dafoe. Wow. Anyway, I think I saw this movie in theatres, and I probably cried like a baby, but I haven’t really seen it since. Lots of merch got made with the whole “okay? okay” thing, but there hasn’t been a BIG cultural impact of the movie. I might watch it again? Maybe do a YA book club/movie thing, not sure. I just don’t think John Green had as much staying power with teens as a group as opposed to maybe a certain set of teens at the time. Oh well.