“It seemed like forever ago, like we’d had this brief but still infinite forever. Some infinities are bigger than other infinities.”
As I sit here on this plane, attempting to choke back tears for fear I will look terrible when I greet my husband and son after being away from them an entire week, I sit here amazed at the power of words. And perhaps more importantly, the power and ability some people have to put our stories into such words that breathe life into our otherwise incessant lives. Stories that change us and make us think --- stories that reveal so much beauty that you feel it’s a sin that there are people in this world that will never take or get the time to read them. In this moment, on this plane, as I sit here shivering from the cold air vents blowing air at my toes, I am so thankful I was one of the lucky ones to read John Green’s newest book, The Fault is in our Stars.
This book is a lot of things. It’s heart-gutting and raw, it’s cancer and death, but most of all it’s life. The way to live and let go, die and hold on. The book takes us through the lives of two teenagers, Hazel Grace and Augustus Waters, two star-crossed lovers who find more depth in their cancer-stricken lives than most search for their whole lives. Their stories, and the writing of the insanely talented John Green is absolutely poetic – every line is meaningful. John Green is no Nicolas Sparks, one who seeks to glorify and romanticize the horrors of illness, while also not one to push the limits and cross the lines like many of his other realistic fiction counterparts. No, John Green’s book is on a level of its own – calling me to crawl into similar memories of being a teenager, being in love, and having my heart ripped in two by tragedy.
I have learned so much from this book. I’ve learned there’s few things more important than how we raise our children, and that sometimes, the ‘greatest joys are found in our greatest pains.’ I’ve learned to appreciate the love I found in my own Augustus and the privilege it is to get to wake up and love him every day I’m afforded on this earth. I’ve learned that Heaven or what Augustus calls ‘the greater ‘something’ exists not just after death, but all around us, “an elegant universe in ceaseless motion, teeming with ruined ruins and screaming children.”
And most importantly, I’ve learned that our purpose on this earth isn’t to make mistakes or even do something big. “The real heroes are the people NOTICING things, paying attention.”
The Fault is in our Stars is a book worth noticing. Get ready to be sucked in – I promise.
P.S. If you don't believe me, check the reviews yourself. 578 reviews on Amazon and not ONE below a three-star.