Jo Knowles’ Truth & John Green’s THE FAULT IN OUR STARS

If you read Jo Knowles blog (and you should), you’ll know the importance that truth holds in her writing–not just in what appears on the page, but in the truths she explores and pushes herself to look at, as she writes. Her commitment to these truths is so clear in all her books. And I’ve been thinking a lot about this kind of truth as I work on my WIP, and the fact that, if I find my truth in the story, it’s probably (hopefully) going to resonate as some truth to my readers. Even if those truths aren’t the same.

I’m not going to go into a deep review of John Green’s latest book, The Fault in our Stars, because, honestly, I don’t want to take apart what, for me, was just a pretty pure emotional reaction of absolutely loving the story, the characters, and the writing. I do want to say, though, that if you’re looking for a wonderful example of what I think Jo is talking about, go read this book. Are all the facts real? Who knows, although, in Green’s acknowledgements, he does say “I cheerfully ignored [expertise on medical matters] when it suited my whims.”

And, really, it doesn’t matter. What does matter is this story Green tells, a story of cancer in so many layers and ramifications it could easily have become heavy and overwhelming, and yet it is light and warm and funny and…true. True to the characters, so, so true to the narrator, and true to me. I have to admit, I had one of those reactions I seem to be having lately, along the lines of, how in the world did this man get so wise, so young? And so talented, so able to magically write that wisdom into an absolutely non-lecturing, non-preaching book?

However he did it, he did. And I’m holding this book up, along with Jo’s, as something to keep pushing myself toward.

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