The universe has to move forward. Pain and loss—they define us as much as happiness or love. Whether it’s the world or relationship, everything has its time and everything ends.
—Sarah Jane Smith (Doctor Who S02E03 School Reunion)
This is probably one of the most beautiful lines I’ve ever heard from Doctor Who. Yes, it seems to be a bit gloomy but hey, it’s true. No matter how much we try to deny it, everything must come to an end. Plants wither, people die, things change, memories are forgotten—all of these are inevitable. Because it is the only way to go forth and evolve. Nothing good will happen to mankind if all of us remain stuck at where we are, in our lives, right now. Eventually, we would get tired of all the things around us that it would be the main reason for our destruction. Change might be painful and unacceptable, but it’s the only way we survive the passing of time.
Sorry, it’s happening again. I’m thinking too much. Sometimes, I get so lost in my head when watching shows or reading books. I am wandering off inside my own mind, again.
"That’s the thing about pain.. it demands to be felt."
Here it is. Another book review, millions of years after the previous one. Yes, I finally had the time to read John Green’s latest novel, The Fault in Our Stars. And I do want to brag a little bit about my copy being one of the first 150,000 copies published and signed by none other than the God of Nerds himself.
So to the story: This new book revolves around two cancer-trodden teenagers, Hazel and Augustus. Hazel Grace was in her postmiracle state after her Stage IV thyroid cancer was toned down. After numerous medical trials and several experiments have worked their magic, the tumors shrunk to the point where they don’t jeopardize her life that much. But still, Hazel is left with a pair of failing lungs. Needless to say, she is still lucky that her life was prolonged, though she would always have the oxygen tank as a lifetime companion. And then there comes Augustus Waters, the embodiment of cancer survivor perfection. He had osteosarcoma, cancer of the bones, which he had defeated and left him with a prosthetic leg as a battle scar. Other than that, he was cancer-free, luckier and healthier than Hazel would ever be. Or so it seemed.
Of course, this novel is a love-story. Hazel and Augustus fell in love and the details of their star-crossed romance would be left for your own discovery. I will let you savor their funny and witty relationship as you read the book for yourself. But here’s something that is not so much lovey-dovey: Things went on a full-on 360 degree turn as Augustus’ cancer recurred and suddenly, his body was full of disease. This time, Hazel is the healthier one, the one who has to be strong for the two them. And so enters their most difficult battle as both of them try to reveal the truth about the life, universe and their disease.
Compared to his previous novels, John Green might have enjoyed a little too much writing something that would tear the hearts of his readers. The Fault in Our Stars is completely different from his other books in so many ways. First, I was so used to his geeky nerdy teenage guy protagonist that a witty, sarcastic teenage heroine, specifically named Hazel, surprised me. Second is that this book is a bit more serious when it comes to discussing life and the end of it. And last, it was an alien thing to me for a John Green book to be very tragic.
Yes, tragic, but not in a very bad way. Yes, Alaska may have died in his previous creation but in this book, the death of one character was just so heart-wrenchingly written. There were pages in the book in which I felt my heart dropped so hard. And just when I thought that I had recovered and my was heart back in its place, Green’s writing just shove it down even deeper making tides of hurt and pain flow down my eyes. Despites the ocean of tears, this book was very well written and the words were so beautifully stitched together to form pages and pages of amazingness. I just cannot put it down. And John Green still never forgot to throw in some of his trademark diagrams in the story. And though it seemed that the main character’s situation is depressing, they never fail to make you laugh out loud with all their witty and intellectual exchange of thoughts, which made me love the book even more. Seriously, I can hear Green’s speaking his endless trains of thought reflected in each of his characters. There are times when I have to read twice just so I can understand the metaphors and depth of meaning of the sentences.
All in all, this book made me rethink of my beliefs about life. The book showed me that no matter how grave our situation is, there are still people who understand us. They may not experience the same things but in a way, they would always have spare strength and love to offer. I guess I liked it so much because he depicted the pain and struggles of people in way that I can become optimistic and not despair in the fatalities life can offer. My advice to those who wants to read this book? Well, be prepared. You will laugh like hell, contemplate, and sure as hell cry. So be sure to have a box of Kleenex close, just in case.
It’s all in my head.
Maybe, in an alternate universe, I am happy. I am satisfied and I am completely fine. In this alternate universe, people would see past what’s outside, dig deeper and find the truth. Maybe, just maybe, in this alternate universe, there’d be no judgments, deceit and lies. Pain won’t linger and memories won’t recur. Maybe, in this alternate world, life would be better, much more enjoyable. Not like this. Not like in the real word. Maybe that’s what I love about books. They bring me inches closer to that alternate world where such beautiful things can happen. Where I can be free. Maybe. Maybe.