You know how sometimes you pick up a book, not sure what to expect, and rather than simply reading it and getting a plot and characters and a setting, you realize that someone out there...the author presumably...has stolen your heart? It hasn't happened a whole lot for me, though there are plenty of fabulous books out there that I love and am passionate about, but it has most definitely happened with two books. The Book Thief and now, The Fault in Our Stars.
I read The Book Thief in 2006, before ever starting this blog, and after just having made a cross country move to New Mexico. I read it in two days, sitting on our old, hand-me-down couch. When I finished it and as I was sobbing for the three hours it took me to recover from the last few chapters, I realized I had an experience. An experience which my husband now refers to as "The Book Thief moment in time," meaning: he thought I had really lost my marbles for a while there. Markus Zusak, though writing about a different time period, country, subject matter than anything I had personally experienced in my life, had gotten into my soul and stolen my heart. He UNDERSTOOD things and was able to put them into a book, that happened to fall into my hands.
Well, I've had another "Book Thief moment in time." John Green, an author I already loved reading, has now done this with The Fault in Our Stars. This one I read on my screened-in porch, 5 years after The Book Thief, with rain pouring down outside, pregnant with our son (yes, I was one of the few that got to read it waaaay back in September). Totally different subject, at a different point in my life, and still, I had an experience.
With Hazel and Augustus, Green left me feeling as if I were reading parts of my life in book form. In fabulous, hilarious, heart-wrenching book form. I felt he had placed the love I have for my husband into these two teens and wrote our love story, as weird as that may sound. Neither of us has ever had a terminal illness or anything like that, but he got how everyone has this feeling of being robbed of time at some point in their lives, as well as how you can just know someone so intensely that you simply cannot picture your life without them. And, in fact, the thought of them being gone kinda wrecks you.
This quirky teenage romance, filled with books and nerdiness, and awesome amounts of wit and cleverness simply stole my heart. It is easily in my top 5 books read of ALL TIME. I want to write long ridiculous fan letters to John Green, thanking him for connecting me with Hazel and Augustus and their crazy worlds. Instead, I'm just going to go back and read it again.
You must get this one if you haven't already. Order one for yourself, your sister, your brother, your mom, your neighbor. Everyone. Do it!
And just as a quick sidenote, John Green rocks. His videos with brother Hank, are hilariously entertaining and his desire to "decrease world suck" is both impressive and inspiring. He's one every teen -- and adultfor that matter-- should know about.
(I was sad I didn't get a Hanklerfish when my finished copy arrived yesterday, but I'm happy with my red signature!)
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The Fault in Our Stars
Review copy provided by publisher