I recently flew back from one of my fave places, New York. For the return journey I decided to pick up some bits to calm me down. My buys included: Nylon magazine, Reese's Pieces, Trident gum, a bottle of water, a neck pillow, and 'The Fault In Our Stars'. I was keen to read the book as I had heard a lot about it and wanted to make a start before the film is released in the UK (20th June I believe). I began reading as I waited to board but then I took two Valium to calm me down and found it difficult to concentrate.
I hate flying as I am absolutely terrified of death. Scrap that. I am terrified of dying without achieving anything significant. I feel like I increase the odds of me dying young when I choose to fly. The problem is I also love to travel. I suppose my desire to see the world trumps my fear of flying/dying. Anyway, I am rambling. This book has made me think about death. A lot.
When I got home I picked the book up again and devoured the whole thing it approximately five hours. I loved it. I like books that make me feel something. That could be happy, sad, appalled (American Psycho I'm thinking of you!), whatever. If it produces a strong emotion within me, I love it.
I felt mostly sad reading TFIOS. Sad that the main characters had cancer, sad that life can be so shitty, sad that beautiful moments can be fleeting, sad at all of the possible endings I dreamt up, sad at the actual ending, sad that Hazel's favourite book had no ending, just sad. Don't get me wrong, there were happy moments. But the happy moments were weighted with an impending sadness that made even the happiness sad. Does that make sense?
My favourite quote is the one above. As soon as I read it I jotted it down. It melted my heart but, again, made me so sad! There are millions of synonyms for the word 'sad' but I don't feel like any of them convey how this book made me feel quite so well.
I know that loads of readers felt the opposite when reading this book, they felt incredibly warm and happy. I know why, of course, the love story is beautiful, the writing is, at times, hilarious ('I've gotten really hot since you went blind'), and there is a lot of good amongst the bad things that happen but all of this was tinged with sadness for me as I knew that at least one of the characters was going to die (this is not a spoiler, it is made clear early on that Hazel's illness is terminal). Whilst they might not die in the book, they would die after and I always think about the future of characters once I have finished reading.
This is another of my favourite quotes. There were many beautiful lines in the book. John Green has a way with words, that's for sure. This made the book for me but I couldn't help feeling a little bit like I did when watching Dawson's Creek - do teenagers really talk like this?? As with Dawson's Creek though, ultimately I didn't care about the age-appropriate language as the story made me fall hard. The love between Augustus and Hazel, to me, felt real and lovely and, yes here's that word again, sad.
Have any of you read 'The Fault In Our Stars'? What did you think? Please let me know if you did not feel overwhelmed by sadness as this feeling will not leave me!!