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RE-READ With My Good Buddies Lola, Erika, and Kris (KC) (Kind of….lol)!!! ♥
So, after seeing the movie (twice) I haven’t been able to get it out of my head for WEEKS. I never would have thought that a movie would touch me the way this one did when, in fact, I didn’t love the book at all. The movie made me bawl whereas the book hardly made me shed a tear…Ansel Elgort brought Augustus Waters to life for me and helped me to see the book in a whole new light-basically, the movie, to me, was better than the book because the movie made me do what the book couldn’t-it made me feel. So, I kind of thought after re-reading that I would want to change my rating-It didn’t. I started the book and it made me laugh and smile so hugely and think ‘Okay, so, I am SO guna rate this 5 stars now!!!’…but then, much like the first time, I started to become depressed with the impending inevitable end that was crashing towards me and, if I’m being honest, the book Augustus just didn’t touch me like movie Gus did. It’s the oddest thing. Anyway-While I felt loads more at the beginning of the book this time, I still felt the same at the end-It. Did. Not. Need. To. Happen. Sorry.
**Side note-The fact that I adore Movie Gus in no way lessens my affections for book Gus…. :P**
I’ll admit I’ve been running from this book for over a year. I have picked it up on numerous occasions in bookstores and hastily shoved it back onto the shelf every single time. I am not one to embark upon inevitable journeys where the outcome is bleak at best. But with the glowing reviews and positive affirmation and small reassurance from a family member, I found myself scrambling around trying to make time for this special story.
My favorite book, by a wide margin, was An Imperial Affliction, but I didn’t like to tell people about it. Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book. And then there are books like An Imperial Affliction, which you can’t tell people about, books so special and rare and yours that advertising your affection feels like a betrayal.
Hazel is a terminal cancer patient who has accepted her fate and fills her days with monotonous, mundane activities (namely ANTM marathons, which I found to be so funny) that are merely fillers to just get her by. Not really living, Hazel finds that she’d rather confine her acquaintances to the bare minimum, dubbing herself a ‘grenade’ that will ultimately explode and take out all those around her, causing irreparable heartache and damage that can never be reversed.
It’s hard as hell to hold onto your dignity when the risen sun is too bright in your losing eyes, and that’s what I was thinking about as we hunted for bad guys through the ruins of a city that didn’t exist.
And then one day during her cancer support group, Augustus Waters waltzes in and changes the course of her life forever with one mega-watt smile and a few off-handed comments. Augustus is fun, care free, and likes to live life to the fullest. A truly selfless person, Augustus wants to get to know Hazel and to help drag her out of her funk because he just truly likes her and enjoys her company. They have an adorable companionship that makes you smile from ear-to-ear, laced with a quirky humor that doesn’t quit.
…”I’m in love with you, and I’m not in the business of denying myself the simple pleasure of saying true things. 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 the sun will swallow the only earth we’ll ever have, and I’m in love with you.”
Dangerously addictive, oddly humorous, and strangely appealing, I couldn’t put this book down. Told from Hazel’s perspective, we get to see what she thinks and feels all through her tremulous journey. There’s an uncensored, hilarious candidness in her thoughts that she is more than willing to express, but she only does so when necessary-she almost always says what people need to hear, but she never does so to hurt or to bring people down. She thinks how most of us do, even though we probably aren’t willing to admit it-I more than once could identify with what she was thinking and I could hardly contain myself when she and Augustus were interacting with one another because of their hilarious exchanges. (sometimes just because that’s their personality, and other times to lighten the mood)
“Pretty great,” I agreed, although it wasn’t, really. It was kind of a boy movie. I don’t know why boys expect us to like boy movies. We don’t expect them to like girl movies.
I loved Augustus and Hazel as a couple and their compatibility was as obvious as it was adorable. I never once felt the dialogue was forced or misplaced and the sadness and tears were overshadowed with the necessary humor that these two ‘sick and once sick’ teenagers played into their everyday lives. It’s just who they are.
My thoughts are stars I cannot fathom into constellations.
One thing I haven’t mentioned thus far is why I only rated it 4/4.5. I don’t think View Spoiler » that the ending touched me like it did everyone else. It was beautiful, sure, but I don’t believe that just because Augustus dies that this book should be worthy of that 5th star. I know that some people found that to be such a powerful punch that it ultimately pushed them to that final star-but I don’t believe his death was necessary to make a powerful statement. I know I’m in the minority on a lower rating, but his final ‘letter’ to Hazel didn’t woo me…it just was and maybe that effected my rating the most. It just wasn’t much to speak of-don’t get me wrong, I LOVED it, but it just wasn’t as exciting or breathtaking as I would have hoped. I did cry at his funeral when Hazel kissed him on the head, but other than that I was at peace with the way things ended. « Hide Spoiler Maybe that makes me a monster-but it is what it is and so be it.
I can’t say that everyone will be able to love or identify with this story or these characters and the sad subject matter that accompanies cracking open the book, but I can say with absolute certainty that if you are looking for a story that is beautifully written and will make you reevaluate your life and be grateful for every healthy day you live, then this is the perfect book for you. It will make you think twice about what you take for granted and it will help you to hold on tightly to those near and dear to your heart, and I think that’s all you can ask for in a book.