i was hesitant to read the fault in our stars (2012) by john green because of all the hype. that usually turns me off to things and it sounded like just a sappy love story, which i was definitely not into. it was offered as a “lucky day” pick at the library. these books are popular books available on the shelf and can’t be put on hold. when i see a book i’ve been hearing about on the lucky day shelf i feel a sense of urgency to get it before someone else. so, i borrowed it. i let it sit on my nightstand for about a week as i finished other books in my queue. i was not excited to read it, but now it was a commitment. there are no renewals for lucky day books, so i had a deadline. it was beginning to feel like a book assigned for school not for fun.
i was pleasantly surprised that it held my interest from the beginning. it’s written in the voice of the main character, hazel. she has an acerbic wit and a lovely sarcasm and it was a pleasure to get to know her. hazel is a 16 year old terminal cancer patient and a bit of a shut in. her mom forces her to attend a cancer kid support group just to get out of the house and there is where she meets augustus waters and her story goes from there. the resulting love story is not mushy or overly teenagery. i mean it’s dramatic, though. their lives are enveloped in illness, intrusive treatments and impending death. but, the language the writer uses for them is amusing and engaging. they are teenagers whose circumstances have forced them into being older than their years. they use humor and delightful cynicism. i would outwardly smile (and occasionally even guffaw out loud) at their repartee. the love story element was treated so gracefully, that it even melted my icy heart. and not just the romantic bond, but the relationship between hazel and her parents got me all gooey inside. the tears started at page 103 from a sweet exchange between parents and daughter. i was dually bombarded with emotion by being both a mother and a child.
while reading a book i jot down quotes i like in the notes app on my phone. most books usually provide one to three additions to my ongoing list. stars elicited a record eleven entries. it is so well written that i continually came across gems that i didn’t want to forget. there was longer prose that i didn’t want to taint by recording them, but i would stop and just revel in the beauty of the combination of words that green had presented.
i believe the correct word is “devoured.” i devoured this book in one day and about two-thirds of it in one sitting. and it was so worth the tired and puffy eyes the next day. i dare say this book might have made a hopeless romantic out of me (maybe). but my skepticism remains for the movie version. the preview would not make me want to see the film or read the book. the trailer portrays it as the maudlin, tear-jerking romance that made me hesitant to pick up the book. i have heard that the movie follows the book almost exactly, so there is some hope. the preview was probably made into that sentimental baloney because that crap puts butts in the seats. we shall see if i can be enamoured of the celluloid version as i was with the written.