Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Fault In Our Stars

I have much to say about this book but dare not spoil it for anyone. I figured now was as good a time as any to write a sort of review. Had I done this right after reading the book, I doubt it would have made much sense. I don't guarantee it making sense now either but I will be much more articulate than I could have been that night.

To start off, this book will probably make you feel all the feelings. In a very broad sense, it's a book about a girl who has cancer. Beyond that, it's a book about time, happiness, relationships, and leaving a mark on this world. John Green does an incredible job of making you want to laugh instead of cry, though. I will admit, I did cry while reading this book. I cried a lot. More than I have probably cried in the past two years. (If you don't already know it, that is a huge deal for me.)

I have a fascination with time, happiness, and relationships so this book was right up my alley. I think constantly about how time moves and how some events or periods in your life feel significantly long ago though they are not. Or about how the time you spend with someone feels incredibly significant though it was not that really that long at all. The idea of infinity and forever, which I'm pretty sure are different, are another big part of this book. I mean, this girl, Hazel, has cancer. She's terminally ill, so obviously time is a big deal. And the way John references time throughout the book is just quite phenomenal.

And then comes the happiness. If you read my blog enough you'll notice my use of the phrase "happiness is a choice." I wouldn't say that totally comes into play in this book but there is a boy in this book, Augustus, who says, "I decided a while ago not to deny myself the simpler pleasures of existence" and also says, "I’m not in the business of denying myself the simple pleasure of saying true things." And one more thing Augustus says, "You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world, old man, but you do have some say in who hurts you." Choices, people. They're a big deal. You can choose to be happy. I do it all the time.

That last quote from Augustus, the one about not being able to choose if you get hurt but getting to choose who hurts you, that brings me into a bit about relationships. I really like knowing why two people like each other and what makes up their relationship and if they break up why they broke up. This can be troublesome for me personally because I can't exactly go around asking boys I have previously dated all the specific reasons for why we broke up. And since we broke up, I can't ask them about why they thought we were together and what made up the best parts of our relationship. The idea of being able to choose who hurts me . . . That puts things into perspective. It doesn't necessarily matter why we dated or why we broke up. You just have to know that it was worth it. You cannot avoid being hurt, whether in relationships or in anything else in life, but you can choose who or what does the hurting.  (I just have to say that I am completely okay being hurt by the people who hurt me.) ((Also, I'm referring to boys in the plural here only because it's easier to do than singling anyone out. I really haven't been hurt that many times.))

So I realize this is less of a review and more a bunch of my thoughts relating to themes of the book. I don't think I know how to review a book, not really. I think my hope is that someone will come upon this and relate to the themes I explained and pick up the book and actually read it.

I also want to make the point that though John Green is a young adult author and that the main characters in this book are teenagers, it isn't just a young adult book. It's not simple and cannot be read without thought. Well, it could be, but any book could be. Trust me, there's a lot more to young adult books than you might ever expect. And anyway, teenagers/young adults are smart people. (At almost 21, I still consider myself a young adult. I'm certainly not a real adult.) There is no reason The Fault In Our Stars cannot be read as critically as any book for those so-called "adults."

I could go on and on about John and his novels but I'll spare you. Come talk to me if you really want to hear about it all.

And if you're looking for some good music to listen to while reading it, or any other book for that matter, I recommend The Head And The Heart's self-titled album "The Head And The Heart." It's the only thing I listened to while reading. And while writing this post I listened to all Noah And The Whale.

Last YouTube video I watched: Stop Motion Markers

P.S. My 21st birthday is in 8 days. When did that happen? Crazy stuff.

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