Friday, July 5, 2013

The Fault in Our Stars

Yes, people, I finally read this lovely book. And it was a wonderful and draining experience for me. This book is about two kids with cancer who fall in love...and so much more. I may have had an emotional breakdown midway through--not while reading it, but in the moments in between. It stirred up some powerful stuff for me.

I've never had cancer or dealt intimately with it, but my husband has Crohn's disease, and for the first seven years of our marriage he was very, very ill. I honestly thought he might die a few times. Once he came very close. He was disabled, in chronic pain, and basically miserable. So I know a bit about disease and being in love with someone so sick. We've had some great years, lately, health-wise, so not to worry. This blog post is not to garner your sympathy. I just found it interesting that I had an emotional relapse of all the pain that is past while reading this book.

I've had lots of thoughts these past few days along the lines of "Wow, my husband and I have been through some Hard Stuff" and "It's not fair we had to go through such Hard Stuff" and "It's a miracle we got through that Hard Stuff" and "When will the repercussions (financial crap) end from this Hard Stuff?" It's like I was going through it all over again. Ah, the power of good books. It's one thing if you feel for the characters and their worlds and their dilemmas; it's quite another when those things transcend into your own life.

My favorite thing about The Fault in Our Stars is that it's not overly sentimental. And it's really not that  depressing. It's actually light and humorous much of the time, which made a book devoted to the subject of cancer and life and death stomachable. I loved Hazel and Augustus's cynicism and frank acceptance of death. I loved the realistic progression of Hazel's falling for Augustus. John Green nailed it.

What books have transcended past the pages for you?