Monday, January 9, 2012

The Fault in Our Hearts

The Fault in Our Stars
By: John Green
Reported by: Julianna Helms

Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 12, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumors in her lungs... for now.

Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too. Post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumors tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault.

Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind.

-Summary from Goodreads 
Barnes&Noble||Amazon||The Book Depository

I am one of those few who accidentally received this book early. 12/23/2011, to be exact.

Being the curious person I am, I read it. I finished this book at 3:48AM on Christmas Eve.

I did not cry.

I should have cried.

And so I wondered why I didn't cry, when such tragedy could ever invade into my mind. I wondered, and then I realized... it was because of a premonition.

I knew how the book was going to end. I did not invest in the characters, because I knew how the book was going to end, and so I did not cry, not because I didn't care, but because I didn't allow myself to care enough

I didn't cry, because I was afraid.

You should know this, so that you understand what point of view I am constructing this review from. In fact, if you were expecting a complete fangirling session, you probably should not continue.

Here's the thing: I. Love. John. Green. He creates the most amazing, multi-dimensional characters that shatter the boundaries of a simple paper page. He is this incredibly intelligent man who writes incredibly intelligent things that makes you really think and wonder. And he has the ability to break hearts and mend them back together, in the most crooked way possible, so every time you remember, you only remember your crooked heart and crooked love. (Looking for Alaska reference, yeah?)

I knew all of that, so I was too afraid to let myself try and face the truth. I hid away from it and acknowledged it and then completely ignored it. So I didn't cry, even though I probably should've, and I wonder what that says about me.

My point is this: Do not be afraid when charging into this book. It is a story of finding love in the nooks and shadows of places long neglected, of discovering that happiness really does exist, and knowing that life must recede into oblivion one way or another. You cannot be afraid when reading this book, because otherwise it will ruin your reading experience--and no matter how many times you re-read it, it will not ever suffice again.

John Green is one of those authors who bring out everything in me and forces me to fight. He will not let you be lazy and ignorant. He will shed blinding light on anything and everything, and you must listen. Not because he is supremely powerful or that you are hideously weak, but because it is through these crucibles of sudden eureka and realization that you can really change your viewpoint on the world, and what it truly means to be one of the species that will not survive forever.

Fight. Believe. Do not be afraid. Fear is not a fault--but it is a level of necessity that you cannot bypass once you are imprisoned in it. 

There are faults in everything; especially our hearts.

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