“There will come a time when all of us are dead. All of us. There will come a time when there are no human beings remaining to remember that anyone ever existed or that our species ever did anything. There will be no one left to remember Aristotle or Cleopatra, let alone you. Everything that we did and built and wrote and thought and discovered will be forgotten and all of this will have been for naught. Maybe that time is coming soon and maybe it is millions of years away, but even if we survive the collapse of our sun, we will not survive forever. There was time before organisms experienced consciousness, and there will be time after. And if the inevitability of human oblivion worries you, I encourage you to ignore it. God knows that’s what everyone else does.”
I wasn’t going to write a review of The Fault in Our Stars because everyone I knew was excited to read it and I thought “it really doesn’t need another reader saying it’s a good book.” But then, THEN! A friend told me she didn’t read “sappy cancer books that are all the same.” I mean, firstly, I don’t even read sappy books. OK Ok ok, so I teared up a little at the end of Ender’s Shadow, but come on.. who knew Ender would be upstaged like that by Bean? (If you haven’t read those books, you should read them and then come back, the joke will be funny then. Go ahead. I’ll wait. Back? Ok.) So here I am, with my infinite determination, to point out, this isn’t that at all.
Hazel is a sixteen-year-old cancer survivor with a wicked sense of humor and an oxygen tank accompanying her everywhere to make her weak lungs work. One day she attends a cancer help group (to make her mother happy, of course) and meets a boy, Augustus Waters, who is there to support their mutual friend. At this point in her condition Hazel has pretty much given up on making friends, attending school and really just, living. Augustus wakes her up. They trade their favorite books (this is where the book nerd in me fell in love with John Green) and it begins their time together. Augustus and everything that occurs after she meets him, makes Hazel redefine how she looks at life, surviving and what we leave behind when we die.
Even though Hazel was the main character, Augustus was my favorite in the book. He makes everyone around him feel as though things aren’t as bad as they could be, even when they are. There are some beautiful moments and great writing in this book. It’ll make you laugh, it’ll make you incredibly sad and it’ll make you wish you were more eloquent. I read an article about John Green the other day where they quote him as saying this book will make you “feel ALL THE FEELS.” Though that may have been one of his less eloquent moments, it is the perfect way to describe it. Of course John Green would nail it on his own book, but come on, perfect is perfect.
“I’m in love with you, and I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we’re all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust, and I know that the sun will swallow the only earth we’ll ever have, and I am in love with you.”