Sometimes we are lucky enough to be a part of something that moves us in a way we can’t explain. I’m lucky, I’ve experienced this sort of dramatic movement several times in my lifetime (and it’s not always good but usually very necessary). Yesterday was my most recent experience, well more like the last few days.
I’ve recently finished reading The Fault In Our Stars by John Green, and yes, it has changed me…I have a long list of books that have done this, but none quite so thoroughly as Fault, and certainly not recently. How has it changed me exactly? I’m not entirely sure yet, as I’m still muddling through the emptiness and void of finishing this book. But here are a few things I know about my experience with this story.
First, John Green is talented…insanely so! As a writer, I am puke green with envy at what this man can do with the written word. The way he brings the characters, the setting, the seriousness, the humor, the unfairness, the love, and the joy to life on these pages is beyond remarkable. The words dance on the pages and the pictures flash like neon signs in the mind. It’s almost a seductive process (well, for this nerd girl it is).
Second, these characters, Hazel Grace and Augustus Waters, are the ultimate star crossed lovers, but they never let the unfairness of their situation take away from the special sweetness of their time together. And the witty, dark, jaded, sarcastic repartee between the two is literary brilliance! Then you add in Isaac, the supporting character both Hazel and Augusts need in different ways, to complete the tri-fecta of great characters.
Third, the story is so fucking sad! Right away, you know reading about teenagers with cancer isn’t going to end with unicorns and rainbows. And quite frankly, I’m not usually one for emotional books/movies, but after a few recommendations and a severe curiosity, I felt compelled to experience this for myself. I knew it was going to have some sad parts, but I was in no way prepared for in the amount emotion in the book or the flood of tears. I’m not talking a lone tear escaped or there was a slight lump in the throat. I’m talking full on wailing with hysteric snotty sobs…so gross….yet sooooo cathartic! But that’s not all; I in no way expected to be in mid-snotty-sob, only to burst out laughing. In fact, I’ve never laughed and cried so hard…at the same time…for such a long period of time! I didn’t even know it was physically or emotionally possible. (BTW, I still have a hard time even talking about this book without the eyes welling up and a lump forming in the throat…it’s a side effect of an amazing and intense book).
Fourth, now what? I don’t know; that’s the weird part about the whole thing! I’ve NEVER had a book hangover this bad. Of course, I’m reevaluating almost every life choice I’ve ever made. Reading about cancer can do that to a person, especially when the protagonists are teenagers and half my age. I’m supposed to be working on my own novel right now, but I can’t seem to focus and think about much else. So what can I do besides wallow???
Stay busy. I will continue to write no matter how bad my fingers trip over each other or how many times I get lost in my own thoughts while staring out the window. Of course, now I want my words to dance across the pages, but sadly I just don’t have anywhere near Green’s finesse! I’ve also turned to old faithful George R.R. Martin (A Feast for Crows) and newly discovered Veronica Roth (Divergent) to help me lose myself in different fictional works.
And if it hasn’t been completely obvious before now, I will spell it out: I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS BOOK! GET IT NOW!