The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Type: fiction

Page Count: 316

Received by: bought at Kyobo, on recommendation by Kate

Started reading: 24 February 2013

Finished reading: 26 February 2013

Interest level: 10 – Yes. It spoke to me and my soul. I know that this book has had exceptional success and many people were touched by it. It’s sad and reaches deep. But, consider how everyone feels like Jennifer Lawrence is their best friend-she-just-doesn’t-know-it; however, anyone who saw her in Winter’s Bone feels frustrated because they knew she was great years ago; and then, think about her real friends and family and co-workers. There are layers of understanding and familiarity – from relating to someone, even when you don’t know them, to truly deeply madly knowing them. I don’t truly deeply madly know John Green or Hazel, but I truly deeply madly know death, exactly with the same words that Hazel/Green used to express them. It makes me feel like this book is more mine than most other people’s, the people who are happy and don’t know this pain and this ball and chain. There are others who truly deeply madly belong with me – and there are people who have been through the cancer thing themselves, and they truly madly deeply rightly own this book and these feelings more than even me. But I know it more than others. Yes, this book was right about me, just like Van Houten was right about Hazel.

Recommendation level: 10 – But only if you can handle deep, scarring sadness. Or you’ve felt it before and you’re willing to read a fictionalized version of what you’ve experienced and didn’t think you’d ever want to experience again.

TTBR Synopsis: I guess it’s something like this.

Some favorite passages (spoiler alerts, OBVIOUSLY do not read further if you plan to read this book):

“I was wondering if everyone could be remembered. Like, if we organized and assigned a certain number of corpses to each living person, would there be enough living people to remember all the dead people?”

…I realized there was no one else to call, which was the saddest thing. The only person I really wanted to talk to about Augustus Waters’s death was augustus Waters.”

“You were always such a great friend I’m sorry I didn’t see more of you after you left school, bro. I bet you’re already playing ball in heaven.” I imagined the August Waters analysis of that comment: If I am playing basketball in heaven, does that imply a physical location of a heaven containing physical basketballs? Who makes the basketballs in question? Are there less fortunate souls in heaven who work in a celestial basketball factory so that I can play? Or did an omnipotent God create the basketballs out of the vacuum of space? Is this heaven in some kind of unobservable universe where the laws of physics don’t apply, and if so, why in the hell would I be playing basketball when I could be flying or reading or looking at beautiful people or something else I actually enjoy? It’s almost as if the way you imagine my dead self says more about you than it says about either the person I was or the whatever I am now.

Funerals, I had decided, are for the living.

“Grief does not change you, Hazel. It reveals you.”

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