I’ve heard about this book many times before, how it will make you cry like nothing else you’ve ever read. I, of course, doubted that. I didn’t doubt John Green though (I’ve read Looking For Alaska and it will forever be one of my many favorites) and so I thought even if it didn’t make me cry like sappy Tumblr bloggers told me it would, I wouldn’t have completely wasted my time with another teenage hit. (I’ve learned my lesson after I got sucked into trash that we call Twilight — something that I will forever regret, and so I’ve been a bit more weary about the stuff that I read now.)
Last night, I came across another blog post that told of the buckets of tears she (the blogger) shed while reading the book. So I got a Kindle version of the book, played some Death Cab For Cutie and started reading. I finished it last night and I am here to tell you (that in my case) those bloggers were right, I was crying buckets upon buckets upon buckets of tears while reading this book. The story itself is quite moving, how two cancer-stricken teenagers find each other and have that opportunity to fall in love before one looses the other. But, that’s oversimplifying it, and you should probably read it yourself to understand the complexity of the character’s situation.
I had a grandmother who died of cancer when I was in the 5th grade, and I could see that she was fighting. She was one of those people who just wasn’t ready to leave yet, but she did anyway, because her body wouldn’t let her anymore and I guess she just got really tired in the end. But before she went, she tried to live as normally as the frequent hospital visits, extreme weight loss and slow loss of control her own body would let her. Cancer is a terrible disease that robs families of loved ones and people of their lives, and I suppose we can only hope that in the future some miracle man finds a way to get rid of this stupid disease. But, you have to find ways to live with your disease not live as if all you ever did in life was have cancer. I know what you’re thinking, it’s a lot easier said than done. But I’ve seen my grandma do it, and somehow it’s been reinforced by this fictional character I had just read about last night.
Just as the book ends there’s this line Augustus wrote in his letter to Van Houten, I thought it was wonderful so I wanted to share it with whoever reads this blog post.
“You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world, old man, but you do have some say in who hurts you.”
I can’t decide why I like this book so much, maybe it’s because it reminds me of my grandmother or maybe because John Green’s writing is just great (and can hold it’s own even without my sentimental thoughts towards my grandmother.) Well, whatever the reason is, it was well worth my entire evening of tears.
ps. About the crying part. I suppose this all depends on the person reading the book. I will not tell you, that you will cry as much as I did or as much as any other person did because it’s all subjective. To add to the melancholic vibe of the book I was listening to What Sarah Said by Death Cab For Cutie so that might have added a few more buckets, but that’s just me.