Curse you, John Green, for making me cry

The Fault in Our StarsI thought I was doing well, getting through The Fault In Our Stars without shedding a tear. And then I reached page 261 and I fell apart. I sobbed. I couldn’t help it. I’d even been warned and I thought I had prepared myself. I was wrong.

This novel found its way deep into my heart. The two main characters, Hazel Grace Lancaster and Augustus Waters, are so real I felt as if I were in the same room with them. I fell in love with them.  They both made me laugh.  They both made me cry. They both made me long for what was and could never be again.  They both made me realize how fragile love is.

The descriptions were impeccable, the settings, perfect.  There was one scene where Hazel and Gus visit Anne Frank’s house and I felt as if I was there, following along behind them.  When I found out the author spent time in Amsterdam to write, I understood why the settings were so perfectly scripted.

I looked and looked for something to find fault with in this story and I couldn’t find anything, not even an editor’s mistake. The novel is riddled with lines worth quoting in every day conversations and I highlighted this wonderful bit of ‘author’ advice:

“…this childish idea that the author of a novel has some special insight into the characters of a novel…it’s ridiculous. That novel was composed of scratches on a page, dear. The characters inhabiting it have no life outside of those scratches. What happened to them? They all ceased to exist the moment the novel ended.”

What is The Fault In Our Stars about?  From the inside cover:

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis.  But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

This novel is brilliant.  It is an electrifying example of how people inflicted with cancer learn to live with half of their hopes among the living and the other half in the grave.  It deals with every aspect of mortality, including very human realistic fears like Will I ever be loved, accepted, even when terminally ill or damaged physically?  Will people remember me when I’m gone?  Will I leave a mark on the world or will I fade away?  What makes it even more poignant is that the people asking the questions are 16 and 17 years old. I was invested in Hazel’s story from the opening line until the final sentence.

John Green took me on an incredible journey with Hazel and Augustus, one I am sure to travel again and again, if for nothing else than the humor and the prose.  If this story is not picked up and made into a film, curse Hollywood.

John Green, I salute you.  My rating for this novel?  10 stars out of 5.  It is a must read…must own.  It is now a permanent part of my collection.  You should really make sure it’s a part of yours.  You won’t regret it.