The phrase ‘never judge a book by its cover’ needs to evolve. It needs to encompass more than binding – it should include other people’s opinions, the internet, and film reviews. I’m quite a stubborn person, so when I’m repeatedly made aware of how good something is, I tend to avoid it. I also learnt my lesson from listening to raving reviews after I watched The Notebook. (Utterly overrated and left me so disappointed that it may as well have left a puncture scar somewhere on my person.)
It’s wonderful, right? I’ve been familiar with this quote for a few years, and I’ve seen it displayed in a variety of ways. For those of you who don’t know, it’s taken from John Green’s novel ‘The Fault In Our Stars,’ a title that’s currently generating a lot of buzz in the movie world. Because I’ve seen this quote so many times, I decided to avoid the book, assuming that it would a piece of fiction that is totally overrated .
After finally finishing Cassandra Clare’s ‘City Of’ series, I found myself at a loose end. With the film about to come out, I decided to give myself into John Green’s writing. I discovered that I have been shooting myself repeatedly in the foot every time I’ve avoided the book. (Surprise surprise.)
The Fault In Our Stars is absolutely not overrated. As one of my friends informed me, the internet doesn’t do it justice. The characters are sharp, quick witted and sarcastic – the sorrow is frank, rather than overindulged. It is truly the most heart breaking book I’ve read to date. I saved the last 30% (I’m a kindle user), until I was alone – and what an intelligent decision that was. For the first time in years (as I haven’t been reading, and I wasn’t overly impressed with the final book of the City Of series), the characters felt like real people, people who sucked you into their awful yet partly beautiful realities. I mourned a lot throughout the final chapters of the book – I can’t remember the last time I’ve cried that much. There were a few sentences that caused me to throw my Kindle to the end of my bed because I didn’t think I’d be able to read the ending.
Although this is obvious to everyone else, things are often quoted and given good reviews for good reasons. I avoided the book because I felt like the internet had rammed it down my throat a little – from one single quote (and not knowing anything else, not even having read a blurb), I assumed I knew the characters, the story and the emotions – just from one single tone.
I was so very, very wrong. Whether you judge a book by its cover is up to you, but learn from my lesson. It’s incredibly naïve to ignore fantastic reviews. Being stubborn, as we all know, often leads to ‘cut your nose off to spite your face’ scenarios. So let me be the person I used to roll my eyes at. Let me just shove this in your face a little. The Fault In Our Stars – John Green.