Book Talk: The Fault in Our Stars
“But it is the nature of stars to cross, and never was Shakespeare more wrong than when he has Cassius note, ‘The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars / But in ourselves.”
Where to begin? I guess I’d like to start off by addressing the fact that this book is going to be made into a movie. There are always mixed feelings when a great book is converted into a movie. Personally, I’m feeling a combination of excitement, apprehension, and even some frustration because I know that a lot of the best parts of a book are lost when making it into a movie simply because of the fact that books and movies are two very different art forms. This is understandable, but this leaves a decision to be made by those of you who haven’t read The Fault in Our Stars yet. Here are your options:
1) See the movie after you read the book and end up noticing every little thing they left out and ultimately think the movie was just OK.
2) See the movie before you read the book and probably like the movie a lot.
Now, to help you make the decision, I’d like to show you guys my argument for why I highly recommend that you read the book before you see the movie:
1) I know for a fact that you will never like the movie as much as you will like the book.
2) You won’t be able to picture your own characters or scenes if you see the movie first.
3) No matter how well it’s done in the movie, you’ll miss all of the inner thoughts and feelings of the main character, Hazel Grace.
4) Whole chunks of the story will have to be carved out of the movie for the sake of time.
5) The movie isn’t directed by John Green and will therefore have something inherently missing from it.
I could go on and on about why you should read this book and so I think I will. This book is so good that it is safe to say that if you haven’t read it already, you’ve at least heard of it or seen thousands of references to it here on tumblr. This book is so popular that you can type “thef aulti n our stasrs” into Google—like I just did to look for reviews for this article—and it’ll know exactly what you meant. This book is so relatable that many teenagers with various backgrounds develop a deep connection with it despite the fact that the main character, Hazel Grace, is fighting terminal cancer and a good amount of people who read this book are not. This book elicits so many emotions at once that while reading it you may find yourself simultaneously laughing, sobbing, fearing oblivion, and falling in love. All of these things plus the fact that TFIOS was written by someone as amazing as John Green should have you sold on reading it.
One reason why it’s this popular could be because as people read this book, they fall in love the way we fall asleep: slowly and then all at once. It could be because our thoughts are stars we cannot fathom into constellations and John Green has fathomed them for us by writing this book. Most likely, it’s that “[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.”
Yeah, let’s go with that last one.
If I were to summarize this book in just three simple words, they would be sad, funny, and relatable. It can be sad because some parts kind of pierce your soul with their sorrowful accuracy:
“I’m a grenade and at some point I’m going to blow up and I would like to minimize the casualties, okay?”
Michelle, a reader, wrote the following comment: “It is strange how this book is so far from my own life yet hits so close to home. Living as a closeted transgendered person, I definitely felt like a grenade for many years and still do to some extent today. Good work John, you made me cry on a bus today in the best way possible.”
It can be funny because of the immense wit John Green possesses:
“‘It’s just that most really good-looking people are stupid, so I exceed expectations.’
‘Right, it’s primarily his hotness,’ I said.
‘It can be sort of blinding,’ he said.
‘It actually did blind our friend Isaac,’ I said.
‘Terrible tragedy, that. But can I help my own deadly beauty?’
‘It is my burden, this beautiful face.’
‘Not to mention your body.’
‘Seriously, don’t even get me started on my hot bod. You don’t want to see me naked, Dave. Seeing me naked actually took Hazel Grace’s breath away,’ he said, nodding toward the oxygen tank.”
TFIOS is the kind of relatable that you can’t help but think-scream, “THIS APPLIES TO MY LIFE IN SO MANY WAYS,” while you read it. It’s kind of thrilling when you identify with something so closely. I think it has to do with the fact that it makes you feel both understood and suddenly able to understand things that you could not before. Add to that the knowledge that millions of people all over the world feel the same way about TFIOS, and you begin to feel that you’re a part of something bigger than yourself. Though some people may dislike this because it makes them feel like they’re just like everybody else, I’d like to encourage them to be aware of, and eventually marvel at the fact that literally every single one of the seven billion people on this earth is unique and yet when something that has been made for millennia, a piece of literature, possesses the rare quality of widespread relatability, it has the power to evoke incredible inter-connectedness among these seven billion unique people.
I hope you make the choice to read The Fault in Our Stars whether it happens before or after you see the movie because it is an exceptionally great read.
By Regina (writer) and Kiani (art).
143 Notes/ Hide
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