Saturday, July 26, 2014

Why I'm Not "Johning" So Much

I noticed #Johning trending on twitter a whiles back. I decided quickly that I am not a fan. For one, it looks much too painful to be comfortable enough to read or write. Maybe pain is stimulating for Green, that’s probably why it works for him.

Anyways, that is completely beside the point.

I was reading The Notebook Sisters' review of More Than This by Patrick Ness when the urgency to write this post overwhelmed me. The reason I picked up that book was only because it was written by Ness. Ok, so honestly, it was also because it had a thought provoking premise.
And I read it. And I loved it.

The book also had a one line review from a well known writer on its cover. John Green asked us to "Just read it." That blog post got comments saying that the reason they picked up the book was because JG told them to.
I was mad. I was so fucking pissed.

Let me back up.

My tryst with the phenomenon that is JOHN GREEN began two years back when my bestie Caroline started talking like this:
Me: Baby (we call each other "baby" compulsorily) how's college?
She: Oh you know, the usual. Hey did you read TFIOS?
Me: Expand that please.
[Ten minutes later]
Me: ... and that's how the whole college thinks I'm scary.
She: Mmm. Listen you have to read TFIOS.
Me: Were you even listening?
[12 hours later]
She: There's this guy.... oh wait, did you buy TFIOS?
Me: ....
[The next morning. Phone doesn't stop ringing.]
Me: (rubs eyes) Hello?
She: Did you get it? Did you get it? Oh. Good morning baby.

For the sake of my sanity, I had to buy that book which I had judged it to be a predictably sad cheesy cancer story. But miracle of miracles, the stingy bitch decided to give the book five stars.

Then I obviously had to know what his other books were like. I read Looking for Alaska (which I thought was okay-ishly good) and Will Grayson,Will Grayson (David Levithan is a hero). After that I wasn't particularly motivated to read the rest. So would I pick up a book just because he told me to? No. (I did it with Eleanor and Park and - meh.)

His twitter account tries to feed us that he is somehow an all-knowing bookish authority. That seriously irked me - only ONE of his books really impressed me and the guy thinks he's cool. I haven't watched any of his vlogs, so I'll have to reserve my judgement on that.

But you know what takes the cake? From the moment I heard TFIOS was going to be a movie, I was thrilled and scared at the same time. Thrilled because duh, scared because movie adaptations sometimes make me want to gouge my eyes out. Then I heard Green was going to be involved in every aspect of it, his tweets provided me hope.

And then I saw the movie.

Why I liked the book was because it treated a potentially cheesy story in a completely non-cheesy way. The movie, while retaining the plot, succumbed to cheesiness. And although the theatre was filled with stifled sobs and sniffing, I didn't contribute to the acoustics.

(I'm not completely heartless - my tear ducts leaked some during the last twenty minutes or so.)

Moral of the story: I'm okay with John Green. I don't worship the ground he walks on. I have allowed his brand of romance readable. (Psst, look who's the bookish authority now.) And I don't like that one contributing factor to why Ness's book sold was the commandment of Green.
Nothing to worry, bloggerverse. It's just yours truly venting out.

Disclaimer: The exact conversation with Caroline eludes my memory. I might have exaggerated to express the sentiment.

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