Thursday, March 8, 2012
The Fault In Our Stars
Last weekend I read one of the best novels I've read in a long time. Since I'm still thinking about it, I thought it deserved its own post. Not many books have made me laugh AND cry on the same page, but this one did. I couldn't wait to finish it, I hated for it to end, and then I wanted to start over again.
The Fault In Our Stars by John Green is the funny, sweet, sad love story of two Cancer Kids. At 16, Hazel lives in a sort of suspended animation, her lung tumors stalled (likely temporarily) by an experimental drug. At a support group, she meets Augustus, a smart, sardonic former osteosarcoma patient with one leg. Their bond is instantaneous. After swapping favorite books, they decide to go to Amsterdam to confront the author of Hazel's favorite book, an eccentric recluse who won't answer any of his fan mail. Hazel wants answers about the book, and Augustus is determined to help her get them in the time she has left.
I thought I knew where the story was going, but it surprised me. Still, I loved it. I loved Hazel and Augustus, their relationship (they fall in love with each other's words - it doesn't get much more romantic for me), and both of their wonderful relationships with their parents. I loved the quirkiness and realness of the plot. And after reading this, I feel like I have a much better understanding of what it's like to have a terminal disease.
I've read one other John Green book (An Abundance of Katherines) and thought it was witty and original, but this book is in a league of its own. There are a lot of funny, and true, comments on Goodreads about his mastery of the English language putting everyone to shame. He definitely has a special talent.
Some of my favorite quotes from the book:
“Grief does not change you, Hazel. It reveals you.”
“As he read, I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once.”
“Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book. And then there are books which you can’t tell people about, books so special and rare and yours that advertising your affection feels like a betrayal.”
“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. I like my choices. I hope she likes hers.”
“We are literally in the heart of Jesus," he said. "I thought we were in a church basement, but we are literally in the heart of Jesus."
"Someone should tell Jesus," I said. "I mean, it's gotta be dangerous, storing children with cancer in your heart."
"I would tell Him myself," Augustus said, "but unfortunately I am literally stuck inside of His heart, so He won't be able to hear me.”
“Sometimes people don’t understand the promises they’re making when they make them,” I said. Isaac shot me a look. “Right, of course. But you keep the promise anyway. That’s what love is. Love is keeping the promise anyway.”