The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
I didn’t buy this book because (1) I’m a bit short on cash at the moment and more importantly, (2) I’m generally just not a huge fan of sad stories. I also had very little desire to write about a John Green book for ReviewsdayTuesday because it almost feels contrived or like a cop-out because his brother Hank started the hashtag.
And then I finished reading the book.
I decided to read it for a few reasons- I really enjoyed and related to Paper Towns. I’ve recently discovered that I’m a Nerdfighter and a pretty big fan/ supporter of the work that John and Hank are doing via YouTube, The Project 4 Awesome, etc. And I can totally see the movie being a Mom and the girls event, so I wanted to read the book before the movie comes out.
Paper Towns was the first John Green book I picked up because it seemed like a reflection of lessons I just internalized- and I was right about that.
However, while I really liked Paper Towns, I was just blown away by TFiOS. Have I mentioned I wasn’t at all convinced that I would enjoy this book, despite the commercial success, great reviews and my appreciation for John Green’s intelligent and witty writing style?
Well, I laughed, I cried (for at least 35 pages), I was angry. But most importantly for me, I’m reminded that there is always a struggle, and we don’t always get things right, or know how to fight, or have the right words or look our best, but that all that is okay.
I’m like Augustus, as I imagine we all are at one point or another, I want to do something great and be remembered, but I am also working on being enough for myself, and I think that is Hazel’s gift to Augustus, and John’s to us- they give us permission, and in fact, encourage us to just be ourselves, and maybe that’s one of the best things we can do.
TFiOS is an incredibly intelligent, authentic, funny and heartbreaking story and completely deserving of all the hype.
Fellow readers, if you haven’t read it yet, you really should, I can’t imagine you’d regret it.
John Green, thanks for sharing your ideas and talents with us, best of luck with all the movie shenanigans, and keep up the great work!
Now I wish I did have a copy so I could go back to the things that hit me, because there are a couple of fantastic one-liners and catch phrases that I don’t think have been properly gifed yet. I also found myself crying in unexpected (math) and expected (cigarettes) places.
It was incredibly cathartic.