Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The Grown-Up's Guide to The Fault in Our Stars


While I'm a full grown woman I confess to being a fan of the YA phenom The Fault in Our Stars by John GreenI've got a TFIOS dedicated page on this site you can check out and I'm pretty jazzed to see the film based on Green's book although I probably won't see the movie this opening weekend with the rest of the crying teenage girls. I'm not such a huge fan of crowds and I prefer to do my sobbing a little more privately, thanks. For those of you not quite aware of the The Fault in Our Stars and its' nerd fighter fan base, I'm sharing Elizabeth Donnelly's Flavorwire article "The Grown-Ups Guide to the author John Green."  It tells you all you need to know.  Plus I've pasted the trailer below.


If you are an Adult Human Being and you go to the movies this weekend, you will likely be choosing between two big new releases in most markets. In witty counter-programming to Tom Cruise’s so far well-received Groundhog Day-as-videogame riff, Edge of Tomorrow, there is also a film aiming at that ever-elusive teen-girl demographic:The Fault in Our Stars.

The Fault in Our Stars, for those who are unfamiliar with it, is a movie adaptation of a mega-bestselling YA book about two teens who have cancer and fall in love. That’s the easy summary. But it’s a book about a lot more than that; it’s about happy endings, and love, and the anger you can feel at the way life can be cut short, and the beautiful moments that we have despite all that pain. It is a book that has had legs, and it’s been on The New York Times bestseller list for 100-plus weeks (which is a crazy amount of time). It is also the latest YA book that adults who don’t read young adult fiction have started to read and even admit to having read, behind closed doors. (The others are The Hunger Gamesand Twilight. I still can’t explain Divergent, though.)

A big reason why the movie will have legs, however, is this: the man behind the books, John Green, is a bona fide phenomenon. With excitement for the movie cresting, and an appearance at this weekend’s BookCon in NYC that elicited borderline teen-girl hysteria, Green has also achieved the imprimatur of being a legitimate cultural figure that you should know about: there is an excellent profile on him and his work by Margaret Talbot in this week’s New Yorker.

So, how did it happen? And why should you care? Here is our quick guide to understanding John Green and his work, so you can discuss it with the hordes of wet-eyed teenage girls who will be swamping the movie theaters come Friday.

First: John Green has been a young adult author for quite some time — a critically acclaimed one, in fact, who had won some awards prior to publishing The Fault in Our Stars. His first two books, Looking for Alaska (2005) and An Abundance of Katherines (2006), both had boy narrators besotted with mysterious, brilliant girls, and teenage hijinks happened around their pursuits of love. They are lovely books for too-smart kids that won and were honored by the Printz award, respectively, with an abundance of literary references (the protagonist in Alaska collects “famous last words”), and they don’t speak down to their audience. Green has a gift for writing books that make you, the reader, feel smarter just by reading them. The most frequent criticism that he gets is that his female characters are, often, “manic pixie dream girls.” Your mileage may vary regarding that trope.

Green had an audience, however small. Then in 2006, he decided to spend a year using the then-nascent YouTube to “speak to his brother Hank everyday.” This stunt was called the Vlogbrothers, and it was inspired by Ze Frank. The brothers Green were creating slang and secret codes, stuff like DFTA (“don’t forget to be awesome”), and in early 2007, John, stuck at the airport, misread an arcade game’s name as Nerdfighters. He elaborated, imagining a world where nerds fought the jocks and nerds won, etc., etc. He had, in his delirium, created a thing. His online fans took to the term “nerdfighters” as an ethos and as a code word for the community springing up around the Green brothers. As Talbot puts it,

Nerdfighters weren’t against anything; they were simply proud to immerse themselves in interests that others might find geeky or arcane. Indeed, the nerdfighter community is strikingly civil and constructive for an Internet subculture. Through an annual charity event, the Project for Awesome, nerdfighters have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for one another’s favorite causes. Their comment sections, on YouTube and elsewhere, are filled with earnest suggestions for further reading and mock complaints that Green has made them care about a distant war that they’d been ignoring. Rosianna Halse Rojas, a pioneering nerdfighter, recalls the moment the concept caught on. “It was like the formation of a nation,” she told me. “Only we weren’t fighting anybody to do it.”

You could be a nerdfighter, right now, if you wanted to be. Basically. But this is the type of thing that nerdy teen girls — the type idealized in Green’s writing — can cling to like a life raft when the world seems lonely and cruel.

So Green had kind of done the impossible, as he created an Internet subculture that benefits his career as an author. His books were getting better, too: 2008′s Paper Towns is a tricky mystery about a girl, the title referencing fictitious entries in references and maps. 2010′s Will Grayson, Will Grayson, co-written with David Levithan, was a split-down-the-middle novel about two boys named Will Grayson.

While he did this, he maintained a lively profile online. He vlogs regularly. He’s become friends with the Harry Potter fan community, who first caught wind of the Vlogbrothers when Hank did a song called “Accio Deathly Hallows.” He goes to Harry Potter events like LeakyCon, and he’s active in YouTube conventions, as well. He met and brought attention to his friend, a nerdfighter and teenage girl dealing with thyroid cancer named Esther Earl, whose example, friendship, and spirit helped The Fault in Our Stars come together as a book.

And with 2012′s The Fault in Our Stars, he wrote a really good book: For a change, the narrator, Hazel Grace, is a girl, and she’s fierce and funny and angry, all with an omnipresent canula in her nostrils and an oxygen tank she has to carry around. Her love affair with Augustus Waters is sweet and charged, but it’s not the gloppy focus of the book — rather, she’s obsessed with a book called An Imperial Affliction, and the idea of what happens to the characters after the book.

The setup sounds sappy. It’s easy, too, to say that the story is like if Ellen Page’s Juno fell in love with Boy Juno and they both had cancer. The love story can be a bit of wish fulfillment. Gus tells Hazel she’s beautiful quite a few times, and it could be irresistible transference if you’re a certain type of teenage girl. But the anger and questions at the core of the book are remarkably effective in eliciting strong feelings. Reading The Fault in Our Stars lets you wonder why we are here, what should we do while we are here, and what’s our responsibility to the people that we love. They’re big questions, wrapped up in the very palatable hook of sick kids. (Lurlene McDaniel hasn’t written 70 novelsabout sick kids for nothing.)

A combination of work — imagine, eight years of video blogging — and books, and timing, and generally being a sweet, nerdy, honest guy have made John Green into a “thing” amongst a demographic (teen girls, the best demographic) that, when they love something, they love it openly and honestly. It is why The Fault in Our Stars movie will do wonderfully this weekend, box office-wise, and it will endure throughout the summer. (I’ve seen it, full review to come, but suffice to say it could be Titanic/Love Story for the millennial generation, to say the least.)

Do you, adult person, need to read John Green’s work? Sure. Try Looking for Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars. Find out firsthand why he’s basically the new John Hughes for teenagers, writing stories about smart kids that those same smart kids eat up with a spoon.


2 comments:

  1. +2347030759636, An International Lost love spell caster , Spiritual healer and Traditional doctor In Albania,Andorra,Armenia,Austria,Azerbaijan,Belarus,Belgium,Bosnia&Herzegovina, Bulgaria,Croatia,Cyprus,CzechRepublic,Denmark,Estonia,Finland,France,Georgia,
    DR PAYBACK +2347030759636, African native traditional healer has powerful love spells to help in relationship problems, Love is an important part in our lives which creates a bond between a male and the female,
    We are completely caring and understanding to your situation.
    100% privacy. We do not sell or rent any of your private information and communicate only with you.

    LOST LOVE SPELL
    This Spell helps in reuniting between the two parties, if your partner has separated from you and you need him or her back into your life , this Lost Love Spell is designed to bring back your lost love unconditionally.
    ATTRACTION SPELL
    Do you want someone to be attracted to you? This powerful spell will help you.
    TURN A FRIEND INTO A LOVER
    this spell helps to make your friend into a lover like you have never been friends.
    . Is your friend not accepting to become your love?
    . Are you shy to tell him or her that you love him or her?
    FERTILITY SPELLS +2347030759636
    This spell helps women who have difficulties in giving birth or women who are infertile but want to have kids. Don’t just sit back and wish what you cant meet dr PayBack is here to make it happen for you as soon as possible.
    KEEP YOUR PARTNER FAITHFUL
    This powerful spell will help to keep you and your partner faithful and trustworthy to each other. if you feel you're not secure about your partner and you cant control him or her in your absence then this spell suits your situation. +2347030759636, quickrevengespell@gmail.com purchase the break them up spell.
    email:quickrevengespell@gmail.com
    homepage: www.quickrevengespell.com
    call Dr. PayBack now +2347030759636

    ReplyDelete
  2. If you are WOMAN and you want to Get Your Ex HUSBAND Back In Your Life then use our black magic to get your ex boyfriend back service and get your ex boyfriend back again in your life in 3 days by natural way.
    If you are MAN and you want to Get Your Ex WIFE Back In Your Life then use our black magic to get your ex girlfriend back service and get your ex girlfriend back again in your life in 3 days by natural way.
    There is no color in life without true love relationship with girlfriend and boyfriend. At the present time nobody can live without Love. Get My Love Back By Black Magic is a big problem in new generation.
    Really you want your Ex WIFE/HUSBAND Back Your Life In 3 Days, if u really love HIM/HER I help you finding this one. So call to Dr. PayBack, He will solve your problem +2347030759636
    I Want To Get My Husband Back In 3 Days
    I Want To Get My Wife Back In 3 Days
    I Want To Get My Ex Girlfriend Back In 3 Days
    I Want To Get My Ex Boyfriend Back In 3 Days
    Lost love
    Love Triangle
    Save my marriage
    Relationship strong bonding gestures
    Enhance your lovers mind and control
    Return /reunite to me
    Reclaim my lover soul
    Revenge
    Last chance
    Portion, charms, talismans, magical powders
    How Do I Get Sole Custody in Divorce?

    I Want To Get My Ex WIFE/HUSBAND Back By Black Magic Spells
    www.quickrevengespell.com, Email: quickrevengespell@yahoo.com, +2347030759636

    ReplyDelete

I love that you're leaving a comment! Thanks.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...