Years ago, my husband and I passed a household rule that prior to watching a movie, you had to read the book. The goal was to help our kids appreciate the value of the written word. (And also, we wanted them to recognize that what your mind creates is almost always better than a produced movie.) Through the years, there were a few moans and groans from the kids, but mainly acceptance. And occasionally, we’d miss the fact that a movie actually began as a book and all earned an immediate pass.
Earlier this year when The Fault in Our Stars movie trailers were released, the book started getting a lot of attention. Several of my daughter’s friends recommended that she read TFIOS. And since my daughter wanted to see the movie, she asked for the book. TFIOS was quickly devoured during Spring break.
And then she started the “you need to read this” campaign. You see, I’d been there, nestled on a chair, reading one of John Green’s books before. It was last summer when I stumbled upon Looking for Alaska. I’d never heard of John Green at that time, but loved his book. But I pushed back on reading The Fault in Our Stars. It’s not that I didn’t want to read his work, but John Green had already reached into my heart and tampered with my emotions until they bubbled up to the surface, demanding to be felt.* (TFIOS reference)
As the release date for the movie grew closer, my daughter started asking me when I was going to read. I continued to put it off, saying I’d get around to it. All the while, I was buying myself more time. And then she turned the tables on me. She wanted to go see the movie with ME and she wanted to talk about the book.
Alas, I couldn’t circumvent a rule we’d established. So this week, I read TFIOS and today, she and I are going to see the movie.
I’m not posting a book review because I would be one of thousands singing the praises of John Green, but I am glad that he’s writing books that my daughter wants to read. (and me too)
Do you like reading the book before you see the movie? Do you ever read a book after you’ve seen the movie?