Friday, June 6, 2014

Reading like a Teenager and The Fault in Our Stars

It was my plan never to read The Fault in Our Stars, afraid that I would find it maudlin and contrived and unable to hide my cynical critique from the teenagers who populate my life and home and car. Teenagers love John Green's book, and they love it with an unreserved adulation, a wholeness of feeling, an uncritical embrace that seems by turns charmingly and irritatingly naive. It's also slightly surprising, especially in the light of media reports that the younger generation hardly reads anything much longer than a status update anymore, and as a result is in danger of losing the capacity for empathy that novelistic reading provides.