I'm writing to you today for two reasons. Both of them have to do with thanking you.
First, I want to thank you for getting my students (especially my girls) excited about reading. Sure, there are other books and series out there that they all loved, but THE FAULT IN OUR STARS was something different than others that they were reading. Everything out there seems to be about drinking, and drugs, and sex...but this book showed them two characters who had wholesome values and just over all good kids. I rad your book after one of my 8th grade students threw the book on my desk and said, "Don't get mad at me when you can't stop crying." It sat on my desk for a few days because I wasn't quite sure if I wanted to read it. My mom is a 5 year cancer survivor and I didn't think I was ready to read something that dealt with that. My student, Emily, came in a few days later asking what I thought of the book and I told her why I hadn't read it yet. She said, "But it's not a cancer story...it's a love story." Well, I had to read it then. The next thing I know I've got all of my girls surrounding me asking me questions about it and having little mini book clubs in my room. I loved it and I loved seeing my students love it too.
Second, this book gave me an epiphany the other day after I had seen the movie version of it (I loved it as well). I'm struggling with some revisions of my own book that deals with teenage drama. As I was walking out of the movie theater there was a group of girls that were just sobbing, literally sobbing. This one girl said, "I know that this isn't real, but I'm just so sad!" Right there, it hit me! What my book was missing was that connection between the reader and the characters. I was only just scratching the surface of my novel. I was too scared to show too much emotion and too much drama. What if the readers don't like my characters? What if they hate them? What I really should have been asking myself is, what if they fall in love with them? What if they care so much about them that they sob for them even though they aren't real? I went straight home energized to go back in and add more to my character's stories. I wanted to give my reader all of them, not just the surface.
So, thank you Mr. John Green. Thank you for energizing my readers and igniting the writer's spirit that had gone dormant for too long. I know some other authors and agents were giving you crap about some of the interviews and ravings of your book, but don't listen to them. Just know that you have changed the lives of your readers and me...a writer trying to get published.