Warning; Everything I am about to say is not music related, and does not go with the theme of this website at all. However, I wanted to write about this, and had no other place to put it, so it got placed here. I apologize. Also, just warning you right now, this does contain a ton of spoilers for the ever popular book, The Fault In Our Stars by John Green. If you have not read the book, and would like to not have the book totally ruined for you, please stop reading now. Just days ago, I knew nothing about this book. Short of the title, author, what the cover art looked like and that it had a sad ending, that is. Then I saw that there was a trailer for the movie, and got more of the story. I won’t give it away, that’s up to you to discover, if you’re interested. In this case, Google is your friend. This made me overly curious, so I gave in and joined the bandwagon.
A lot of the hype said the ending was the truly sad part, but I disagreed. I found it to be redeeming in a way. What I honestly thought was heartbreaking was neither one of them got to say a proper goodbye to one another. Augustus didn’t get to do what he wanted to do most for Hazel, which was give her what she wanted most. An ending. Or so it seemed. It didn’t appear as thought she wanted death exactly, as she wanted life. That sounds strange, I know. Life is strange, isn’t it? We all are. They both wanted “normal” lives, but realized they were not normal people. Not due to their disabilities and illnesses but just simply because of who they are. They both were so intrigued by the metaphors life throws at us, and this book is filled with them.
It took me a few days to read it, just do to lack of time, but frankly, I’m glad I finished the book in my bed, alone, at four-thirty in the morning. If I had finished it while in public, not only would I have looked like a damn fool for sobbing like a baby, but I wouldn’t be able to put all my thoughts into words on this very screen. Instead, it’d all be swirling inside my head, with no where to go. Problem is, I don’t quite know where I want to begin. I think I will begin with this; John Green has a very interesting writing style. I’d like to think mine is quite similar, but for multiple reasons, I will not go into that. I loved how even though he was telling a tragic tale, he had humor to it. I was instantly drawn in by that. The fact that early on in the book, he had Hazel say her lungs sucked at being lungs amused me greatly.
There was a ton of metaphors and underlying, but yet obvious messages in this book. Every cloud has a silver lining -meaning there’s good in the bad, always. Its just up to you to see it. I feel like that was the biggest message of the book. That might not be true, of course, but that’s just what I am taking away from it.
Something is bothering me though, and perhaps this is the point -what happened to Hazel? Throughout the book, Hazel and Augustus both are so distraught and focused on the fact that An Imperial Affliction had no ending, but really, John Green did the same thing to Hazel herself. We don’t know her ending. Well, I mean we do, we know ultimately she ends up passing away. But how? Is it peacefully in her sleep like Augustus’ and Anna? Or was she awake and fighting? Was it soon after Augustus’ death? Or did she live for years to come? Did she ever love another person? There’s so many questions! As I said though, perhaps that’s the point. Life’s filled with unanswered questions, after all. Is that the point or am I over analyzing just like they did in the book? As they stated though, overanalyzing isn’t always a bad thing. In fact, it can be rather fun, actually.
Over all, I think I liked the book. I can’t say for sure though, if I’m perfectly honest. It was extremely well written, and the characters were great. They were unique, which is something I loved. But the fact that we go through all this emotion and really connect to characters, just to not know their fate….well, it sucks! Mr. John Green himself can obviously relate to this. His own characters talked about that enough. I liked the love that they had though, even though it was very short lived. It seemed pure and raw, but a bit typical, don’t you think? Maybe I’m just cynical. I’m not a lovey-dovey type person anyways, but every teen romance book seems to have their characters “fall in love” at rapid speeds and they end up happily ever after. Unless, of course, there’s a terminal illness. Then one dies, and the other is heartbroken, but then ends up finding themselves much stronger because of it. What doesn’t kill us does indeed make us stronger, I’m not denying that. Its just typical, as I said. Just this time it was with abnormal characters.
I feel this ‘review’ (if you can even call it that) is very out of sorts, and perhaps makes no sense. Such is life, I suppose. Thus, I will continue on. Hopefully you are following along well enough, if you aren’t, well I apologize for losing you in the mist of my early morning thoughts. There were many quotes I really liked in the book, though I didn’t make note of many of them, so I cannot recite them back to you. One particular that I quite liked came from Ms. Hazel Grace Lancaster herself, in regards to Augustus Waters. “You say you are not special, because the world doesn’t know about you, but that’s an insult to me. I know about you.”
Everyone wants to make a mark on this world, and I felt they touched on this subject perfectly in this book. It honestly goes along with some thoughts I personally have had, and makes me think of another quote actually. “Live every day like its your last chance to be heard and seen. Because the good die young, and the great change the course of history.” That, for anyone who is wondering, is from “Legacy” by Memphis May Fire (Would you look at that? I managed to slip something music related into this. Maybe people won’t be too upset with me now for putting something non-music related on a strictly music website now.) I often think about this who ‘leaving a mark’ thing. We all want to change the world, because we all know the world is shit. Not one person in this world can deny that, but there’s no single person in this world that can change it all together, You can’t change the entire world by yourself, but you can change somebody’s world. Why isn’t that the main focus in life? To change somebody’s world. By changing somebody’s world, you might just start a butterfly effect. You help them out, and they might just turn around and help someone else out, just because they know what its like to be down and out and need the help. Stranger things have happened.
I loved that The Fault In Our Stars, while it was about two dying teenagers, didn’t focus on that. It focused on life more so. Yes, you never forgot that they were dying. You always knew that Hazel had her oxygen tank right next to her, with tubes up her nose, and you always knew that Augustus had his prosthetic on, and that he wasn’t okay. I’ll be honest, I knew from the moment he showed up in the story that he was fated to die before the book was over. I just had a feeling that he was going to be terminated. That being said, as I was reading, as they both went through the emotional ups and downs, I kept wondering how it’d play out. If I’m perfectly honest, I kept wondering if Hazel would go, and Gus would end up committing suicide. I admit, I didn’t expect his cancer to come back, nor did I expect him to end up passing so rapidly after he admitted it to her. I just had a feeling it was going to be more of a Romeo and Juliet type ending, not that. This is better though, as nothing is worth killing yourself over.
Another thing I really liked about this is how Augustus said that too much of the time the humans leave a mark alright, but it’s a scar, not an alright mark. This stood out for me for many reasons, but the main one was due to the fact that I have a tattoo that says “Our scars remind us that the past is real.” tattooed on my arm. If you recognize that reference, congratulations. I like you then. I have always thought of scars as a personal thing. Whether they’re psychical or emotional, that’s up to nature, but I had never actually thought of people leaving scars on the world. It makes perfect sense though, I have to say. Some scars have better stories the others, some are there for heroic reasons, others for shameful reasons. The shame may not be your own, but regardless, it may be your scar.
I don’t know about anyone else, but I don‘t want to leave scars on the world. I want to leave marks. Scars are often painful, marks aren’t always. Marks are often gentle, while scars rarely show up without pain being involved. Whether or not the pain stays, again, is up to nature. Nature is an asshole. It takes great people and turns them bad, gives bad people good things, or makes the good die young. Nature is an asshole, and life is a bitch. That being said, you can make life be your bitch, and you can defy all odds. If nothing else, you can fight the odds with everything you’ve got. You can’t give up. This life may be temporary, but the cliché is true; what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. There’s something people forget too. Unless its actually life threatening, it won’t kill you. It can’t kill you -unless you let it.
This turned into more of an inspirational kind of rant, rather than a book review. This appears to be what happens when I finish a tear jerking book in the middle of the night, and insist on writing about it. Once again, I apologize if this made no sense, and if I lost anyone while I wrote. As I writer, I felt the need to write about everything I just read. I do recommend reading the book though, or at least seeing the movie. I do plan on seeing the movie, I want to compare the two now. I want to see if they do it justice, or if they mess it up, like most movie adaptations out there. Thank you for reading, guys, I’ll leave you now.
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