Book Review: The Fault in Our Stars

A review (heavily laden with my emotions) regarding the fantastic John Green book, The Fault in Our Stars. If you have not read the book and do not want spoilers, do not read ahead. If you have not read it and expect me to summarize it and explain things to you so you understand my references, read the book and then return here. If you have not read it and do not care if you do not understand my references, then continue on. Finally, if you have read it, I believe it is safe to continue.

I am starting to regret reading The Fault in Our Stars. It is another reminder of the love I have never shared with anyone. All romances do these days is depress me. I already feel lonely enough and this book shoves it in my face that people are falling in love and living in love and dying in love and I’m just like, I can’t even get anyone to look at me who I find in the least bit attractive and here’s this fictional terminally ill girl with a hot boy crushing on her and then loving her.

Till the bitter and sorrowful end. As is typical of relationships, someone gets devastated. He devastated her, but not in the abusive or walk out on you or lead you on or cheat on you way. No, in the “oh my God there has never been a relationship so wonderful and he loved her so much all the way till death because he never had the time to find any weakness in her or really argue with her about like money or kids or where to live or how to pay for food.” Yes, I understand, they had cancer. It is a big deal. It is also a very legitimate excuse for arguments and sadness and general moodiness. If they didn’t have cancer, I wonder how these two fictional characters would have faired together?

It reminded me of thoughts I have had about depression as I have dealt with it. (Yes, I am still young enough to turn all conversations back to me. This is my blog. I am selfish.) Following discovering that my ex cheated on me and then breaking up with him, there was concern regarding my emotional state as I had been trying to keep negative stimuli out of my life since I planned out my bloody suicide. But here’s the thing: I now had a “legitimate” reason to be upset. Instead of waking up in the morning wondering why the hell someone with such a great life like mine could hardly move and wanted to end it and just Could Not Stand This Life (Yes, I stole the capitalization of words for emphasis from John Green. Shh.), I woke up and thought, “Man, I feel like Shit. Screw relationships.” And crawled out of bed while I constantly shifted between planning how to get my revenge to planning how to win his heart to planning how to never see him again to planning how to stay with him forever.

Then, instead of being like, “I’m so depressed for no reason,” I’m like, “I’m such a girl and hopeless romantic. I’m being so emotional about this. I wonder if I’m about to start my period.” And so… I’m brought back to this book and think, if these fictional characters did not have cancer, would they have even talked? Let’s give them the opportunity to meet. A perfectly healthy girl and a perfectly healthy boy would maybe glance at each other, but, upon first meeting, would an American boy who had not faced death have the nerve to ask a girl he liked over? No. He thinks there will be other opportunities. He doesn’t want to jump in too fast.

Now, let’s say that Augustus’ charisma goes far beyond his cancer and an always-been-healthy him would ask a always-been-healthy Hazel out. What would have happened? They would have dated for a time. They would have kept each other entertained with their stories and metaphors and books, as I’m sure they would still enjoy those things without the cancer. But. At some point, they would start fighting. They would start seeing those flaws. Or maybe they would just see someone they liked more. Whatever the case, this would have turned into one of Kaitlyn’s high school love affairs.

This is one of the reasons this book is so beautiful to me. It is that glimpse of love that we do not normally have as normal people. It is heart wrenching, and you know what is going to happen, but you cannot stop reading. You just have to see and feel it for yourself. And, by the end, you are hoping for a love that doesn’t exist. Without the pain, without that impending doom, without those legitimate excuses, we become so selfish and hope for that Amsterdam to last forever. We see Our Last Good Days and recognize how “I love you” becomes seldom said and “okay’s” are strained at best. The flower petals grow bothersome. You can no longer taste stars in the Champagne. You begin to wish he smiled straighter.

They never reached that point, so the story lives on beautifully and honestly. No fake happily ever after, no drama of cheating and break-ups and nonsense over nothing. All their pain was genuine, as well as their love. Together, they were just living, loving, and dying.

I don’t think I should read any more romance or cancer books.

P.S. I regret to admit that I read 50 Shades of Grey. To give you an idea of my current pessimism involving relationships, I was very happy with the ending of the first book and will never read beyond it. She should not be with Christian. She needs to get over him. Good girls never actually save/help/whatever bad boys. This was a very fitting end to a terribly written tale. So, though I do still believe in love, I think our culture is very misguided on what that actually means. It means a shit ton of work. Not butterflies. Not infatuation. Not hot sex. Not romantic evenings drinking Champagne and eating food from God Himself.

No, love is Work. And patience. And trust. And respect. And communication. And it is this current culture of “I want happiness now and that is all and I deserve to be happy and have an easy wonderful life and be loved for no reason other than the fact that I am me” that really pisses me off when it comes to people being terribly misguided in this world. This is my opinion. I’m tired. I may consider writing more about this in the future. This P.S. is past its prime. Goodnight.