Last July, I read The Fault In Our Stars per my sister’s request. I spent a large portion of our family vacation subjecting myself to the pain that is reading that novel. I probably looked rather pathetic sitting on the beach by myself, bawling my eyes out through the last 50 pages. The fact that a piece of writing got me to feel something to that capacity was I’m not a book crier, I’m not a movie crier, and I’m really not a crier at all in general. This book brought out something in me I didn’t know I could feel. Pain does, in fact, demand to be felt. Thanks John Green.
So naturally, I read it two more times. Totally normal, right? The only other book I’ve read that many times was my collection of nursery rhymes when I was kid. If that doesn’t say you something about the story held within those 313 pages, I don’t know what will.
But it’s not just the story that makes the novel so great. Sure, the undying love between Augustus and Hazel is the definition of perfection, but that’s not why I loved the book so much. I loved it because it’s more than just its story. It’s more than just Hazel’s cancer and it’s more than just Augustus’s death.
It’s the way Hazel thinks. It’s the way she views the world and the way she finds someone that thinks in the same capacity she does. It’s really Hazel and Augustus’s mental connection that makes the story what it is. In addition, the ideas, the themes, the tone, and the overall literary devices Green uses are pure genius. I don’t think I’ll come across another novel like this for a long, long time.
Sadly, the movie hardly showed any of these things. But how could it? A movie is not a book and a book is not a movie. Movies are meant for conveying stories; books are meant for telling them. I guess I was so disappointed because I didn’t realize the difference.
So far, very few agree with me on this review of the movie. I think this is because for so many people, it’s about the story. Everyone wants to read, but nobody wants to take the time to understand. I disagree with Van Houten; writing does not bury. I don’t know that it necessarily resurrects, but I think it does a pretty damn good job of bringing the lost or unknown ideals to the forefront of society. If only people would take the time to analyze these things.
Maybe this book is my An Imperial Affliction. I think I’ve become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book. That’s what people need to stop and realize. It’s not about two teenagers being in love. It’s not about some popular book that’s the next big craze. The shattered world cannot be put back together with the story of love that is indefinitely broken. The world can however, be put back together with words and ideals. If you like a good story, go see this movie. If you like a good intellectual stimulation, read this book. Just don’t expect one to give you the results of the other and you won’t experience a fragment of disappointment.