Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014
As umbrellas went up and trendy festival goers assembled onto the muddy fields of Glastonbury this weekend – I chose not to stand in the rain. Instead, I chose the cosy velour of the cinema. Last week saw the UK release of The Fault in Our Stars, the film adaptation of the chart-topping YA novel by John Green – my favourite read of 2012. ‘But you’re not a young adult!’, I hear you cry. No, unfortunately I’m just the wrong side of 17 (by ten years) but The Fault in Our Stars is not just for teens – it’s for anyone who’s interested in realism as well as a bit of tear-jerking romance.
Brimming with literary references from Gatsby to Ulysses, as well as recitals of songs and poetry – the story follows two cancer-stricken teenagers who can quote from Shakespeare as nonchalantly as they can fire-off a text message. That for me is the brilliance of this story. Any book that promotes reading to teenagers deserves applause and the film only accentuates the influence that literature has on the star-crossed lovers Hazel and Augustus: text message graphics start popping up all over the screen displaying Gus’ panic over an abrupt ending as he finishes reading Hazel’s favourite novel An Imperial Affliction. The pair even travel to Amsterdam to find the author in the hope he’ll supply them with a more satisfying ending.
If you read the book before watching the film (which I sincerely hope you do) do not make the mistake of saving the final pages to a time when you’re sitting amongst complete strangers. Uncontrollable weeping will both unnerve and horrify the unfortunate couple sitting next to you on a plane.
Lydia Riddle, Editor