If you haven't read it, you've probably heard about it. The movie based on the book "The Fault in Our Stars" by John Green is coming out in the United States on Friday. I must say there's been some debate about who should have played Augustus but needless to say that there's some excitement around it. I purposely waited to share this post until now because I wanted it to coincide with the release of the movie.
If you haven't read the book, I will try not to spill the beans (at least not in their totality) but I must say it is a sad book, that has been beautifully written. As my husband (who is an english and literature teacher) says it is a piece worthy of a fellow English teacher. The book is full of really great quotes, to the point that I had to withhold myself from tweeting all through it.
Basically it's the story of 3 teenagers that meet through their terminal illness support group. Two of which fall in love and we get a glimpse into a specific time of their adolescence or like they would say their "little infinity".
I found that through the characters many fundamental questions that many people struggle with were exposed. I felt like in this book grief, pain, disappointment, sickness is dealt with and spoken about in a raw and direct way. All the stuff that you can possibly feel uncomfortable about when it comes to terminal illness is addressed and even cleverly joked about without taking away the seriousness of the situation. So here are some of my favorite quotes, and please sure to share yours in the comment section and tell me why you like it so much.
- As he read, I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly and than all at once
- You gave me a forever within the number of days, and I'm grateful
- That's the thing about pain. It demands to be felt.
- The World is not a wish-granting factory
- What a slut time is. She screws everybody.
- You don't get to choose if you get hurt in this world...but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices.
- Grief does not change you, Hazel. It reveals you.
- The marks humans leave are too often scars.
- You are so busy being you that you have no idea how utterly unprecedented you are.
- Some tourists think Amsterdam is a city of sin, but in truth it is a city of freedom. And in freedom, most people find sin.
- Without pain, how could we know joy? This is an old argument in the field of thinking about suffering and its stupidity and lack of sophistication could be plumbed for centuries but suffice it to say that the existence of broccoli does not, in any way, affect the taste of chocolate.
I love this quote because of how cleverly written it is. However I think the issue is not pain vs joy but rather me experiencing pain so that I can grow and be able to handle the fact that joy is not always lusciously packed, instead it is hidden in the banality of small pleasures of our daily lives. So small in fact that most people miss it and may go a whole life pursuing happiness as if it was a destination, rather than finding it in their journey. Pain has indeed revealed my true character and as a consequence peeled off some layers of shallowness, stretched, helping me mature so that I can then appreciate the accumulation of small pleasures that might've been there all along but that I took for granted. Tears of pain have cleaned my eyes time and time again, revealing what I could not see before that experience. So when life gives me broccoli, I dip it in chocolate!
I also thought it was interesting how the author compare the life of a person that has faith or believes in the after life like Augustus and the one who doesn't like Hazel. Discussing this with someone made us realize that this mirrors how people deal with grief and illness all the time. Some people, like me, it has been my faith that has literally saved my life getting through pain. But also, I have met people that the burden of pain almost serves as a confirmation that they should not believe. I feel like, underneath the surface, this is a recurrent theme throughout the book.
Last but not least, I really liked how this book made me rethink the whole notion of time and how precious it is. I really enjoyed reading the passages about the infinity that there really is in small portions of time. I loved how the author developed the story in a way that they enjoyed their short time as much as they could even with all their limitations. As I read I was faced with the fragility of life itself and how our families and friends are gold and we must enjoy them as much as we can because one day they will no longer be. None of us actually.
Which passage made you think or cry? Maybe when you read it you saw something different. I could write so much more but why don't we talk about it in the comment section.
Movie Sound Track