The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
Yea, it's been a while. I have a lot of catching up to do. I don't really have a good reason except that I read a book that just left me so.. overwelmed? That might not be the right word for it. Anyways I couldn't stop thinking about it. I went to write about it a few separate times now and nothing I say seems to be able to describe this book properly. For those of you who don't know, John Greens new book The Fault In Our Stars came out January 10, 2012.
Hazel Grace Lancaster is a 16 year old girl with cancer. Some rare kind that has left her relying on an oxygen tank. For her life almost entirely consists of laying around the house watching bad reality shows, going to a cancer survivor support group and going to college classes. Not the most happening social life. Then she meets Augustus Waters and everything changes.
This book was equal parts funny, thoughtful, and devastatingly sad. I've read this book twice now since it's come out, and I still get swept up by it. In the book, Hazel has a book that means the world to her. To describe her book, she said: “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 book which you can't tell people about, books so special and rare and yours that advertising your affection feels like a betrayal.” I love that and how unbelievably true that feels. For Hazel, her book seemed to speak directly to her – understanding her on a level no one else did with her cancer. I don't have cancer, but I do know what it feels like to be spoken to through a book.
I love everything about this book: from its pefrect description of books to its ability to portray a gradual relationship that left me breathless. Hazel and Augustus have a love that seems to come out of no where and sweep you off their feet while managing to feel real and true. It manages to remind you what it was like to fall in love, that maybe all the pain of just living is worth it just to have this person in your life. This is a book I feel like everyone should read. Maybe, just maybe, it'll become your special and rare book that you want to hide away from the world.
I also highly suggest watching this song that this person wrote about the book. It's hauntingly beautiful. Don't worry, there aren't any spoilers, just lots of quotes. I listened to this song while writing this review, it just sums up the book so perfectly.
Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler
A family friend gave me a bookstore gift certificate, so I wandered through the book store either looking for a book I might not usually buy with my own money or one I really really wanted. I found this in the new release section for the Young Adult books and it was a little more expensive then most YA books were – putting it in the not usually category. This book was surprisingly heavy for it's size because it had paper you could print pictures on, the really thick king that are in children books. I guess when you have a full book of that paper, it makes the book super heavy. I was intrigued.
This book is written in a letter format. Min Green and Ed Slaterton just broke up. Min was the kind of person who saves everything from relationships in a box, mementos to remind her of different stages of their relationship. She loved foreign films and wanted to be a film director, Ed played football. They were very different from each other with very different social circles. Now that they've broken up, she is giving the box to Ed, since some of the stuff in there was his. Accompanying the box is a letter that Min is writing to explain their relationship and ultimately why they broke up.
This book let you follow their relationship from the beginning with pictures of items in the box, each item being explained how it played some part in their relationship. You get to experience a relationship spark, bloom, then end right there with Min as she relives everything herself. This is the sorta book that you just can't read without being reminded about you own doomed high school relationship. You know the ones, where your relationship suddenly springs up out of no where so fast that you forgot how different the two of you are. When it's over you look back and wonder why it didn't end sooner. This book manages to make you look back at that relationship with a sort of fondness for what it was, not what it ended up as. It manages to an almost painful to remember subject matter, beautiful.
Book Count: 11