When the movie adaptation of this John Green novel was making its debut, the book of course became hugely popular as well. Being a fearful mom at the time (remember rules vs. reason) I completely rejected the story, even after my almost 18 year old both read the book and watched the movie. I didn't trust her enough to really hear her regarding its content and how she experienced this profound story. Needless to say, that was not my proudest moment as a mom. All I could hear were the rants of other fearful Christians in my peer group saying the movie was glorifying teenage sex as a way of satisfying the needs of the hurting teens depicted in The Fault in our Stars.
This could not be further from the truth.
I have now read the book myself. Profanity & sex, yes, you will find that in this novel however it is far from the main point of the story and not at all the focus of the story. This book is full of beautiful literary references, international travel, and the very real fact of life that people are terminally ill with no answer or explanation for it. This book takes you on a delicate yet powerful ride through support groups, hospital stays, homes and hearts of those suffering from terminal illness, their friends and family.
You will laugh and fall in love with Augustus Waters and Hazel Grace. You will feel like you know Isaac. You will be challenged to read some Shakespeare, learn about Anne Frank and you just might learn something about yourself. There are many references to God in this story as well as many questions about faith.
It is my humble opinion that we (believers/Christians) should not be afraid of these questions but be willing to face them with our children instead of futilely attempting to keep our children from questioning anything.
My "Christian Mom" overall review of this book is excellent. I highly recommend it for teens, young adults and parents. As we walk with our children, boldly facing the reality of the life we live in our fast paced, technology driven, "coexist" society we can take a story such as The Fault in our Stars and use it as a starting point for discussions about life, God, sexuality, relationships and why bad things happen to good people. We can allow this well written story to ignite a passion for literature and travel. We can allow this picture of life to establish in us a new confidence and courage to offer support to those around us facing the hard reality of terminal illness.
Happy Reading - or in this case "mixed emotions" reading...
More about profanity and sex in an upcoming Raising Girls post.