I Have Something In My Eye… Like A Branch

The Fault in Our Stars - John Green
"You are a side effect," Van Houten continued, "of an evolutionary process that cares little for individual lives. You are a failed experiment in mutation."


Well everyone's already quoted the warm and fluffses, what was I gonna add to the discourse? 

That one obviously.

Like a good lemming, I bought The Fault in Our Stars a couple of months back because everyone seems to be reading it. The universe wants to be noticed, this book said, and that very same universe seems hell bent to shove this down my throat when everyone in my gift list had this as their wish (or some other John Green book) last Christmas. Which sucks because I was at an emotional point when I just can't actually read it. So I was watching friends and family break into smiles getting this book from me, not really knowing why.

So in many ways, this is a bit of a celebratory read for me.

Yay! I get to bust out my inspirational quotes!

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Yes, I'm a bouquet of positivity and joy today.

So was it everything I expected? Well I did expect it to be funny and sardonic. There were a lot of LOL moments true and I was caught unaware by the tears when they came because they started in the most cliched scene in the book and lasted for about 3 pages. 

I am the cancer kid who spent her wish to go to Disney World.

It's a cancer book, it's allowed.

But I guess the tears weren't heavy enough to blur out the not-so-passive intent and efforts to make me feel the feels or the off-key moments where Augustus goes off in tangents, doing a credibly impressive job at making me hate myself for not liking him (the lengthy "I'm in love with you" speech in the plane really grated). Which I guess is a point John Green may want to make. That it's not the patient, it's the cancer (or something like that) that is worth my tears. One that will set this apart from the rest of the cancer books for sure, but a point that wasn't executed in its subtlest best I feel.

Reading cancer books always feels like the author's cheating. I mean, who would rage against these kinds of books? (and why does that sound book racist in my mind?). Yet I can't deny this did a pretty decent job at rewriting some conventions in the cancer kid genre with irreverent, self-deprecating humor without glossing over the ugly business of death and disease while weaving in a bigger message. Of bigger and smaller infinities. Of making you feel humbled and inspired in one calculated blow.

Was it worth it then? The twisty feel in the chest? Sharing Hazel's perpetual starvation of air? To be overwhelmed by your obstinate efforts to matter? 

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Hell to the nnnn---yyyyessss?

Have a great day everyone! Remember, there's plenty of fish in the ocean... 
and you're just one of them.

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