I'm sure people love (or don't love) the book for all sorts of different reasons. For me, the books that I like best are ones that I can relate to on some personal level. My favorite books also force me to consider questions about the world and human nature; things that everyone can relate to. John Green writes in a way that encompasses all of these aspects in each of his books.
I've never personally experienced the type of love story this book holds, nor have I encountered the type of pain and seriousness that accompanies cancer (thankfully), but I have spent many hours in the hospital. I know what it's like to feel like a pin cushion. I know what it's like to wish for the good nurses. I know what it's like to try and sleep in the ICU with a nurse at the end of your bed and the constant beep of your fellow patient's monitors. I know about pain levels and the 1-10 scale. I know what it's like to feel different from everyone else.
When Hazel refers to herself as a side effect it summed up many of the ways I feel about myself. I tend to see myself as an anomaly, something that evolution is set up to get rid of. I'm a hopeless cause with no cure, but aren't we all really? Eventually, we all meet the same fate and return to the place we came from. The amount of time we are given on this planet, in this particular life, doesn't actually make a difference. We are all fatal. "What a slut time is, she screws everybody."
We never know the size of our own infinity, but we can choose who we love during that time. Who we effect and who effects us. This book reminds me that loving people is what we are meant to do with this life. And it doesn't matter how many people we love, but how strongly we love them.
The book isn't just about two kids who have cancer, it's about humanity. It's about what it means to exist in this world and to share our lives with other human beings. It's about love, in all of it's forms. Everyone can relate to that.
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Now I just want to briefly talk about the movie. Firstly, I thought the movie was excellent, but the book will always be better. Books always are, you really can't compare them too closely because you can develop and reveal characters to a much larger extent in writing. The movie wasn't quite able to capture the same level of wittiness that Hazel and Augustus speak with in the book.
But they did get a lot right.
I was however very pleased with the little ways they edited the story to work as a film. I loved the text bubbles and the way they did little firecracker pops at different parts. I also really loved Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort as Hazel and Augustus. They both did a great job of playing out those characters. So did everyone else in the movie.
Lastly, don't go see this movie if you hate crying in theaters because I don't think I've ever cried that much in the presence of total strangers. I was trying to hold back but there was still a river of tears running down my face (and that's not even an exaggeration).
But also, you should go see the movie. And read the book.
Have you read The Fault In Our Stars? Have you seen the movie yet? What are your thoughts?