As he read, I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once.
Title: The Fault in our Stars
Author: John Green
First Published: 2012
My Rating: 4 of 5 stars (average rating on Goodreads: 4:49)
I would recommend this book to: Anyone who can handle having their heart broken. Okay?
Late in the winter of my seventeenth year, my mother decided I was depressed, presumably because I rarely left the house, spent quite a lot of my time in bed, read the same book over and over, ate infrequently, and devoted quite a bit of my abundant free time to thinking about death.
I’ve never cried this much over a book. And when I say cry, I don’t mean discreet tears, I’m talking REAL wailing. And not just for a minute or two – try 30 pages of non-stop crying, then a little break with some laughter, and we’re back to crying. I was devastated and completely hooked.
It would be a privilege to have my heart broken by you
I usually don’t read books about diseases – they’re just too sad and realistic. I don’t want to be reminded that we’re all going to die and so are the people that we love. But I also knew that if there’s one writer who could pull this off, it was John Green. I adored his first novel, Looking for Alaska, and I felt certain that Green would make me laugh through the pain. Even if the story is about a teenager with terminal cancer.
I hated hurting him. Most of the time, I could forget about it, but the inexorable truth is this: They might be glad to have me around, but I was the alpha and the omega of my parents’ suffering.
I really liked The Fault in our Stars. It wasn’t just heartbreaking and life-affirming, it was also really interesting with some clever observations. Like when our protagonist, Hazel Grace, refuses to use the elevator when she goes to her Cancer Kid Support Group, because the kids who take the elevator are always the next to die.
One of the very strong themes in the novel is how to let yourself live and love when you know you’re going to die. And how to let yourself be loved, when you know it’ll end in pain. You want to limit the suffering, so you limit the amount of people in your life.
I’m a grenade and at some point I’m going to blow up and I would like to minimize the casualties, okay?
The Fault in our Stars is one of those beautiful novels that keeps breaking your heart. Even as I’m writing this review, I’m crying, and it’s been two weeks since I turned the last page.
That’s the thing about pain, it demands to be felt.
It’s one of those novels that stays with you. There have been days where I haven’t given it a thought, but all of a sudden, something reminds me of the novel, and the world just stops and I’m right back in the story by Hazel’s side.
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 like An Imperial Affliction, which you can’t tell people about, books so special and rare and yours that advertising your affection feels like betrayal.
The writing was beautiful and poetic, but the dialogue seemed at times a bit unrealistic and pretentious. I’ve never met anyone who talks like that – at least not without rehearsing for it. But it was fun believing in it for just a second.