In the streak of books that I’ve read for the Goodreads’ Reading Challenge, never have I thought that I will soon add John Green’s to the list. But during the recent Four-Day Avalanche-of-E-mails weekend (gawd, my work, it’s fckn crazy!!!!!!!!!!!), I gave in… to read The Fault in Our Stars.
And like the main characters in the book, I have stubborn issues — or you may just call them “Nash’s points-to-ponder.”
- Seeing the story through Hazel Grace Lancaster’s eyes should have put me in the shoes of a thyroid cancer patient, but since she was sarcastically wittier and stronger than most people and fictional characters that I know, I treated her like a normal person with nose tubes and an oxygen cart.
- This is what bothers me actually, and you may call me cynical for saying this, but is the concept of true love in this book can be called as pure as true love can be? If neither had a terminal disease, would they have still loved each other like the way they did in the book? If only one had a terminal disease, would their feelings have carried on to taking off their clothes, getting entangled with tubes? I’m raising these questions because Augustus Waters only professed his love (and even kissed etcetera etcetera) for Hazel when he found out that he had a recurrence. Because they were on the same level at that point, is that it?
- Honestly, I liked the metaphors of Van Houten when he was being an asshat. Thing is, I couldn’t understand all of them as they are too intellectual for my tired brain. But this struck me the most — a character’s life ends with the book. It’s a reality of oblivion that we fear, and yet, it’s just there. It happens — in all means and purposes.
- While I think I just bashed the quality of love or the hidden agenda of Augustus and Hazel’s feelings, I really liked it when she compared falling in love to falling asleep. You dip into it slowly then BAM! Next thing you know, tomorrow is already today. You already fell.
- This is the most predictable thing to happen in the book, but I cried like a baby when Augustus Waters died. I wanted to shout “YOU CANNOT JUST WALK AWAY FROM MY LIFE, YOUNG MAN!” but then again, this isn’t escape fiction. It’s interpretive and it’s a slice of real life.
- Quotes that made my heart self-destruct:
- “It would be a privilege to have my heart broken by you.” – Gus, on falling in love with Hazel
- “But, Gus, my love, I cannot tell you how thankful I am for our little infinity. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. You gave me a forever within the numbered days, and I’m grateful.” – Hazel, on Gus’ pre-funeral
- “The only person I really wanted to talk to about Augustus Waters’ death was Augustus Waters.” – Hazel, on Gus’ death
- “The pleasure of remembering had been taken from me, because there was no longer anyone to remember with.” – Hazel, on Gus’ death
- “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.” – Gus, on his last letter to Peter Van Houten
I am in no position to question John Green because I think that the book was amazing as is — just the book itself with no additions nor subtractions (yay confidence points to you, John Green’s book!). There’s something hollow, there’s something weird, but after I turned onto the last page, I felt that it was beautifully written. I don’t know why, I just know it was.
I agree with you, Mr. Green. The Universe clearly wants to be noticed. Tsk, this flamboyant gigantic thing.
Reading Challenge: 28 out of 30