Based on a late-night gross of $8.2 million, The Fault in Our Stars is set to make bank this weekend. And it's all because of the "Book Girls."
According to NPR's Linda Holmes, they're the ones who made John Green's novel wildly popular, they're the one who are responsible for the book becoming a movie, and they're the ones who are flocking to see the film adaptation.
Best of all, they're having an enormous influence on fiction (and maybe movies?) going forward:
The Book Girls are part of the force that has made The Fault In Our Stars, opening this weekend as a hugely hyped motion picture, such a hit. They grew up on J.K. Rowling, they like trilogies, they embrace dark stories, they are ambivalent about Twilight (they read it, but they're glad Hazel Grace is no Bella), they observe no particular boundaries between high and low culture, and they formed equally overwhelming throngs for Veronica Roth (who wrote the Divergent books) and for Amy Poehler, there to talk about her upcoming book. But in the end, if this was their Comic-Con, John Green is their First Avenger. And he knows it, and he tries to wield that power with some care: he (along with other Book Girl-adored authors) gave a signal boost to #WeNeedDiverseBooks.
#WeNeedDiverseBooks was apparently so influential that it became a panel at the first annual BookCon last weekend, which I'm really upset that I didn't know about.
Book Girls are not monolithic, and they're in part a made up demographic that publishers could potentially exploit, but according to Holmes, who observed them at BookCon, they are also very real. She characterizes them in this dreamy description as such:
On the young end, they may only be 10 or 11; they remain demographically Book Girls at least through college. And they do, on a broad scale, seen in large groups, seem to emerge as a type that is in a sense unfair to all of them but feels like a weighted average: They dress for comfort; they pull their hair back. They move in groups, they drink iced coffee, they talk about podcasts, I secretly suspect as I eyeball their earbuds that all their music is playlists, and they read all the time. They have The Fault In Our Stars shirts that say "Okay" and "Okay" in word balloons, they are very glad Harry and Hermione never got together because that would have been terribly reductive, and they consider power and individuality to be topics for books that are at least as important as kissing.
Damn. Their influence better not be overstated. Between their ambivalence over Bella from Twilight and their view of Harry and Hermione as "reductive," Book Girls seem to have good heads on their shoulders, and that we would all be better for it if they steered pop culture trends from now on.
Image via Shutterstock.