The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
And, to complete The Month of John Green (what January should henceforth be known as)...
To utterly gut myself, I chose to complete The Don't Forget to Be Awesome Experience by reading Green's latest (and possibly most famous) book, The Fault in Our Stars.
So, have you ever considered how redundant it is to cry in the shower? Yeah, well thanks to Mr. Green, I had my very first opportunity to think about this. I also now know the trajectory of tears when you're bent over your Kindle, drying your hair (the awesome news... they fall directly on Aldeux's screen). And that if you cry with a certain intensity, the Kindle must be put down. There were just... a lot of tears. One particular line (which I wont share with you here) destroyed me like no line from any book has ever impacted me before. Even thinking about those two simple sentences... I'm starting to tear up. Screw you, John Green. Screw you, Augustus Waters. Screw you, Hazel Grace Lancaster. In the end, I loved this book so much that my anger that they cast Shailene Woodley as the main character has intensified significantly. And I thought her Divergent casting made for one ragey BearAllen. But then again, we live in a world where Woodley's The Secret Life of the American Teenager was permitted to assault our senses for five (long, painful) seasons... while Bunheads didn't get to see it's 2nd birthday. For my fellow booknerds, I came across this line in TFiOS that pretty much summed up how I feel about my favorite books. No spoilers below... pinky swear. "My favorite book, by a wide margin, was An Imperial Affliction, but I didn't like to tell people about it. 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 a betrayal." Amazon's Synopsis: At 16, Hazel Grace Lancaster, a three-year stage IV–cancer survivor, is clinically depressed. To help her deal with this, her doctor sends her to a weekly support group where she meets Augustus Waters, a fellow cancer survivor, and the two fall in love. Both kids are preternaturally intelligent, and Hazel is fascinated with a novel about cancer called An Imperial Affliction. Most particularly, she longs to know what happened to its characters after an ambiguous ending. To find out, the enterprising Augustus makes it possible for them to travel to Amsterdam, where Imperial’s author, an expatriate American, lives. What happens when they meet him must be left to readers to discover. Suffice it to say, it is significant. Writing about kids with cancer is an invitation to sentimentality and pathos—or worse, in unskilled hands, bathos. Happily, Green is able to transcend such pitfalls in his best and most ambitious novel to date. Beautifully conceived and executed, this story artfully examines the largest possible considerations—life, love, and death—with sensitivity, intelligence, honesty, and integrity. In the process, Green shows his readers what it is like to live with cancer, sometimes no more than a breath or a heartbeat away from death. But it is life that Green spiritedly celebrates here, even while acknowledging its pain. In its every aspect, this novel is a triumph.