Sunday, July 14, 2013

I really should've seen the feels coming on this one.

Book: The Fault In Our Stars
Author: John Green
Published: 2012 (Dutton)
Pages: 313

Goddammit, John Green.

Here I was boppin’ through this Kids With Cancer book that is smarter and more delightfully cynical than most of the others but still just a variation on a very recognizable theme, albeit with more impromptu trips to Amsterdam. (Was anybody else convinced the whole time that Augustus was going to reveal that he had been writing those letters from the author all along? I totally was even as the author guy opened the door and got cranky at them.)

The protagonist is your basic smart, wry everygirl who falls in love with the love interest even faster than usual but does manage to use her own practicality to convince herself of otherwise for a bit. He, of course, is perfect, and promptly goes about doing his witty best to convince her that she’s the perfect one. Normal YA tropes with slightly elevated banter. They meet cute in a cancer support group, immediately click, and then inevitably have to deal with their diseases and SPOILER his death, which they do with more playful dignity than I ever knew anybody to have at sixteen.

But! Nothing bad. Still good writing, nice insights gleamed from everyday details, fully rounded if not completely present support cast, believable emotion. I was coasting at about 75% of the feels because come on. Likable kids with cancer dealing with it in smartass ways.
And then I read this last bit and sort of lost it: “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 like my choices. I hope she likes hers.”

FUCK. I had forgotten all about that line until it reached into my chest and squeezed my heart sore again. THANKS, GREEN.

Back to the Library (in its shiny new Teen Space!) with this one. 

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