Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Fault in Our Stars

I just finished reading a book.

A book that pulled me in instantly.

A book the left my eyes red
and my heart raw.
A book about trust.
A book about friendship.
A book about hopes and dreams.
A book about closure.
A book that talked about pain,
physical and emotional pain.
A book about truth.
A book about love.
True love.

What book?

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

I loved this book.  I fell in love with most of the characters but especially the two main characters:

Hazel Grace ~ a 16 year old girl who has been diagnosed with stage IV terminal thyroid cancer along with Metastatic tumors in the lungs.  And after being accepted into a drug trial, she is given an extended death sentence.  But how long will that be? Days, months, a year? She, nor anyone else knows.  But she does know she will die and she wants to limit those who will be hurt by her death, so she keeps to herself mostly.  Hazel even says, "I'm a grenade and at some point I'm going to blow up and I would like to minimize the casualties, okay?"

And, there is:

Augustus Waters ~ a 17 year old boy Hazel meets at a cancer support group.  He is in remission from osteosarcoma, of which he lost a leg.  Augustus is a boy who wants to leave some sort of mark on the world and be remembered for something.  
He states: "If you don't live a life in service of a greater good, you've gotta at least die a death in service of a greater good, you know? And I fear that I won't get either a life or a death that means anything.” 

The two of them begin to hang out together ~ talking on the phone, texting and watching movies.  Soon their friendship evolves into more, and as much as Hazel Grace tries to keep her distance to "minimize casualties" the love they feel for each other wins.  

Augustus tells her,  "I’m in love with you, and I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we’re all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust, and I know the sun will swallow the only earth we’ll ever have, and I am in love with you.” 

What happens to Hazel Grace and Augustus Waters?  I won't say, but I do urge you to read this book.  It is definitely one I will be reading again......

 Oh, and this book is coming out in movie form the beginning of June ~ and while I am a firm believer that the books are ALWAYS better than the movies, here is a clip of the trailer for you to enjoy:

I've decided that I will probably have to wait for it to come out on dvd.  I'm pretty sure I will be having myself an ugly cry during it, and I think I would rather do that in the pleasure of my own home.

Oh, and if you read this book and you find yourself amongst the reviewers who disbelieve that a child dying of cancer could find a way to choose to live as Augustus puts it ~ “I’m on a roller coaster that only goes up, my friend.”  I invite you to read this info about an amazing young man, Zach Sobiech (google him ~ there is so much about him out there). He was only 18 when he died from complications of osteosarcoma.  He seemed to have a beautiful outlook on living and dying.  He was a musician and wrote music to help himself and his family cope with his disease. One of his most popular songs is titled  "Clouds"  
A few of the lyrics say:

And we'll go up, up, up
But I'll fly a little higher
We'll go up in the clouds because the view is a little nicer
Up here my dear
It won't be long now, it won't be long now

The thing is, is we all are going to die, I will die ~ Eventually.  Maybe I will be "young" or "old".  Maybe disease will take over my body and stop my heart.  Maybe a car accident or another type of accident will lead to my death.  I truly don't know ~ none of us do.

What I do know, like the characters in this book.  I can choose to live my life every day.  I can smile, I can give and accept love.  Like Augustus tells his friend Isaac following Isaac's surgery to remove his only visual eye (due to cancer) leaving him blind: "You are going to live a good and long life filled with great and terrible moments that you cannot even imagine yet!”

That is true for all of us ~ good and bad, we live.  And that is exactly the point ~ remember to live in the present ~ everyday.

Want to discuss this book more or see what others think?  Check out the Book Club discussion at A Beautiful Mess

1 comment:

Jennifer Juniper said...

Wow this book sounds really great - I can't wait to read it...wait, that makes me sound like a sadist :(

I just finished A Thousand Splendid Suns and I bawled at the end too. Sometimes you just need a book to be more that just papers bound together. I love books that really touch me.