My mom is currently dying of cancer. I looked up John Green and it told me merely that he wrote a book with a character who has cancer. If you are emotionally comfortable with explaining your Green-related feelings, I would appreciate it. Stay great!
This is only my opinion. No insult is intended to those who are fans of his, or those who have been helped through his works. If it works for you, it’s all good, and bless you!
That being said, my problem is in many ways less about John Green and more about how the establishment has fallen over itself to laud John Green for CHANGING THE FACE OF YA.
YA was a genre that was dominated, for a very, very long time, by female writers and female readers. Having worked in libraries and bookstores for my entire adult life before heading into banking and finance, I saw this firsthand. The YA shelves were filled with books by girls, for girls, the icons of those shelves were female oriented and female structured, and to no one’s shock, they were therefore regarded as, well, ‘girl things.’
John Green wrote a book about teens with cancer. And suddenly, it’s like the YA section is SAVED. There’s something WORTHWHILE over there! It’s no longer a CESSPIT OF SILLY GIRL THINGS, because JOHN GREEN.
See, the thing is? I grew up with Lurlene McDaniel.
Anyone? Anyone know who Ms. McDaniel is? You might. She wrote about eighty novels for young adults, almost all about girls, almost all about teenagers dying. Dying of cancer. Dying of AIDs. Dying of Leukemia, that was a big one. My best friend Angela had all of them. ALL OF THEM. I never understood the appeal, but they served a purpose.
They let kids, especially girls, feel. They gave an outlet for all those confused, tangled emotions that teenagers undergo, and that society frowns on. Girls are accused of being hysterical, or irrational, or the best one, ‘that time of the month.’ emotions make people nervous. But Angela could read this book, about a teenage candy striper in love with a boy dying of AIDs, and cry as much as she wanted.
Fic serves the same purpose, for many of us. Find yourself some angst, and feel something.
But John Green does ‘kids dying of cancer’ and it’s a frickin’ literary CAUSE. It’s the second coming. And it frustrates the heck out of me.
Also we are coming up on the anniversary of my mother’s death and I’m a cynical bitch who doesn’t want to hear any more about “Our Fault is in the FLIPPING Stars”