This week has been Fangirl Frenzy Week, so it’s only fitting that I talk about The Fault in Our Stars. I first read it in 2012, the year it came out – can’t believe it’s been so long! Back then none of my friends had heard of it. My copy is now well-worn from bent lent out to everyone, and I couldn’t be happier that it’s so popular.
Sometimes, books don’t just feel like books. They feel like so much more. That’s what The Fault in Our Stars was like for me. Back in the hazy 2012, I tried to write a review of it:
There seem to be mixed reviews about tfios. On the one hand there are those comparing how many buckets of tears they cried, and on the other hand there’s those remarking that it’s “just another cancer book.”
I disagree on both counts. Yes, it was sad. Yes, it contained cancer. But it was so much more than that. His other books had the same feel to them, and the same sort of characters, but I think tfios is different. John Green doesn’t try to make out that everyone with cancer is this amazing person because of it; he writes these incredible truths that coincide with incredible hilarity. It’s not a depressing story, it’s an inspiring one.
What makes it so good? I don’t know. But the fact that I can’t point out exactly what it is…well, that’s what makes it so amazing. I had a similar reaction to this book that I think Hazel had to An Imperial Affliction.
On commercialism: I disagree that it was the point of tfios. Cancer books are different. They’re about suffering and tears and dramatic deaths. Tfios isn’t. It’s about existential jokes, misuses of literality and overall the fact that having cancer doesn’t automatically make you a good person. It’s profound in a different sort of way, in that it makes you happy rather than sad.
(tears of nostalgia for that review)
But I don’t think that review sums up all of my emotions. This was a book I cried in, when I don’t cry, like, ever. It was a book that affected me so much I read it again the next day. I’ve literally never done that before. It’s a book that I wish I hadn’t read just so I could experience it all over again.
It’s a book that makes me feel all the feels, without fail, every single time I read it.
I love you, Colin Morgan.
I think this is for a few reasons (the amazingness of TFIOS not why I love Colin Morgan):
1) It’s amazing
Goes without saying. It’s quite literary in some of its thoughts, and it doesn’t condescend to teenagers, and it’s just a rollercoaster ride of amazing characters, unrealistic characters but beautifully so, in a way that us teenagers would like to be. It’s sad in the most uplifting way possible.
2) It’s familiar
This week I’ve been doing exams, and I’ve been so freaked out that I just needed something familiar to get me through it. Cue this sneaky picture from one of my friends (I was reading under a table, yes. It was The Fault in Our Stars, yes. It’s totally fine):
3) The community
I mean, I talked about fandoms yesterday, but I cannot stress the importance of communities around awesome things. If I was on a desert island and The Fault in Our Stars happened to…be there already (just…go with it), and I read it, YEAH, it’d be awesome, but I wouldn’t like it half as much. Because there would be nobody to fangirl with and that’d be boring.
Tomorrow I’m talking about another book that’s more than a book (well, a series): Harry Potter. Yay! What are some of your favourite books-more-than-books?