Disclaimer – the thoughts expressed below are simply mine. Agree or disagree. And there are no spoilers here, incase you have not read the book.
It’s one of those big words that you cannot walk away from. Objectivity. To be objective. To think for oneself. To read or view something without prejudice, to form one’s own opinion on the matter.
I’m not terribly good at being objective. I don’t like to be the voice in the wilderness. I enjoy fitting in. Agreeing with people. Life’s so much easier that way, right? But I try to be objective. Try to draw my own conclusions despite knowing what others think. But sometimes I find it difficult to be objective when I’m reading something that has sparked a movement. Something that I know so many people across the globe are resonating with.
This book, for example.
I hadn’t read it. Haven’t seen the movie. I knew what it was about and I wasn’t sure I wanted to go down that road. Because I knew I’d probably like it. And I didn’t want to.
But yesterday, I started the book. And finished it at around 11pm last night. So I’m mulling. As I was reading, I felt my objectivity slipping away. I was all like, yeah, I get this. I see why this is so popular…and I did. The writing is good. There were lines that I read over a few times and truly enjoyed and sort of wished I’d written myself…and then there were parts of the story that I read and just went, Huh.
I’d been told this was a book of hope. I didn’t get that. I’m not going to go all spiritual on you and start spouting Scripture, but…for me…if you’re dying and you have no idea what lies beyond this earthly realm…where is the hope in that? Whether your faith lies in God or a statue or the big oak tree in your backyard…you’ve got to believe in something. There was a gaping hole in the story in that regard. Maybe I’m taking it too seriously. Maybe I’m nitpicking. But the only mentions of God and Jesus were seemingly in jest. And that’s unfortunate.
While I enjoyed the book, I’m not quite sure what it’s purpose is. Other than to make the author an extremely wealthy man. Yes, it was a sad story. Yes, I admit to shedding tears. Yes, it was well written. But. Is it really shedding light on kids with cancer? Helping those families who have no idea if their child will live to see their next birthday? Or has the world already stomped over that grim reality in lieu of the Hollywood version of two star-crossed lovers who look good on the big screen?
Part of me thinks that sadly, this is exactly what has happened. There seems to be a sort of cult movement involved here, and I don’t like that. On the other hand, the fact that I’m sitting here this morning pondering these things, is perhaps the point Green intended to make. Any author worth their due wants to make their reader think. Feel. Reach beyond the known and dare to ask what comes next. If he did that, then good. I’m glad.
But I think, being married to a pediatrician, having seen children with cancer, knowing the sufferings and the agony and the finality of some of those situations…I’m wary. I don’t like the hype. The glamour. The fame and fortune being made off of the portrayal of a disease that takes lives too soon. I don’t know John Green personally. From what I’ve heard, he’s doing some good in the world with the money he makes. Yet, still…and I can’t put my finger on it exactly…something just doesn’t sit right with me.
I have to conclude that there is a fault in The Fault in Our Stars. Something is lacking here.
I’m afraid I am the voice in the wilderness this morning.
And I’m okay with that.
I’d love to hear your thoughts if you’ve read the novel or seen the movie. Am I missing something here?