Friday, March 29, 2013

The Fault in the Hype

What is it about an author or a book that catches people? It's hard to say and I think of it again with my first John Green experience, The Fault in Our Stars. I love the title, a play on Cassius' line in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar: "The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,/But in ourselves, that we are underlings." The idea that it is the human condition that drives men to the lengths to which they will go. John Green switches it up and blames fate for the problems and unfairness of this life.

I cannot say I am absolutely enthralled by John Green and this book. It was a good book and I will read more of him. I will also buy his books for my classroom because I know my student readers love him and those I've talked into trying his books have loved him. (Yes, I recommend books I've never read based on perception, what I've heard, read,'s one of the many talents of being completely absorbed in the book world.)

So, overall, not top of my list. I'm not sure why, but my guess is that I heard too much hype about it before reading (and YA authors have to be tip top to catch me, as it's one of the genres I'm edgy about). I fear hearing hype about books sometimes (although I don't generally fear hyping the books I've already read and love). It builds expectation and you have a 50/50 chance that the book is worth it. And yet, I'd rather my trusted reader friends give me their hype than not. I'd rather take the chance than miss out on a great read. I even have friendships that started from the suggestion of a book and continued as true friendships. And besides, I want to be in the know about the current trends in the reading world.

So never fear all who hyped The Fault in Our Stars to me. I enjoyed it. What I enjoyed most were John Green's many dazzling one liners. I like that in a liners that make me stop and think. My favorite in this book: "The pain was always there, pulling me inside of myself, demanding to be felt." The main character suffers from a terminal form of cancer, so at that moment she is talking of physical pain, but I think this applies to all forms of pain. Pain is so hard to fight because it demands your attention. Great thought in one little sentence.

Which hyped books have you read? Were they as good as everyone said


  1. I haven't read The Fault in Our Stars yet.

    Want to know a hyped book I did not enjoy? Eat, Pray, Love.

    Boring and overrated!

  2. I saw the movie on that one...Do you think that some books would be better if you hadn't heard all the hype first?