Rereading The Fault in Our Stars

So . . .  Seeing as how I don’t get to see the movie The Fault in our Stars for another two weeks, I’ve decided to reread the book.

For those who don’t know, The Fault in our Stars is a book by John Green, one half of the vlogbrothers.  Its extremely popular and those who haven’t read it probably consider it to be overhyped.  It’s not.  Trust me.  I thought that it was merely popular because of “Nerdfighters” (the vlogbrother’s YouTube subculture – yes, they created their own subculture, which is pretty badass if you ask me), but its not.  It’s actually a very good book – one of the best fiction books I’ve read during my university career.  When I watched this video of John Green reading the first chapter of his book: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_vFvbfn9Fs I knew I went straight over to Chapters and got myself a signed copy of the book.  It was worth the price.

The story itself is about two teenage cancer patients who fall in love.  There are a few similarities to A Walk to Remember: I’d say The Fault in Our Stars is more gritty and realistic, although it’s still quite an idealistic story (which suits me just fine: I’m an idealist 😛  Deal with it *cue cute cat pictures and motivational quotes*).  There’s a little teen angst but a lot of humor – a lot more humor than I expected given the subject matter – but it’s very tasteful and very realistic.  I was surprised at how well John Green captured the voice of a teenage girl.  Hazel Grace Lancaster has, in my opinion, a very realistic narrative voice.  I’m always anxious about writing male protagonists, especially in first person, so John Green gets a lot of respect for having the guts to make his narrator not only female, but young, in love, and dealing with a problem he probably never had.

While the story has many, many little morals thrown sprinkled throughout its plot (ex. how to deal with the possibility of impending oblivion), in my opinion the main themes are love, sacrifice, the desire to leave a lasting mark on the world, and the humanizing of people who we normally consider “other,” in this case, cancer patients.  Hazel and Gus are sick, they are suffering, and their pain is not ignored: it’s real, it’s there, the author does not shy away from describing it.  However, they are not first and foremost humans, not cancer survivors, and the majority of their problems come from being human and a large portion come from being teenagers: cancer only amplifies the angst and existential crises that they would have experienced nonetheless.

I could go on and on about The Fault in Our Stars.  I probably will at a later date.  But to end my ravings of a mad woman, I will merely say: read it.  You won’t regret it.

Your bookish,

Aleksandra Gieralt

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Another story and troubles in YouTube land

Hello!

Sorry for not having been around for so long!!!  Its been hectic around here!  My summer job is very sporadic and my inspiration is running a bit low at this point . . .

I do, however, have a tonne of news to share:
1) I scripted two YouTube videos for my vlog, which should be premiering June 1 if all goes well.

2) I’ve decided that the novel I will enter into July’s Camp Nanowrimo will be a retelling of Beauty and the Beast instead of Sleeping Beauty because it’s one I’ve wanted to write for a long time and which even has an ending in my head.  The premise: Belle comes from a family of monster hunters . . .

3) I’ve finished reading Awoken.  Bottom line is: I love it, now go read it.  However, I have not yet had the opportunity to give it a proper Good Reads review.  I’m currently reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, but I only read a chapter of that per month, so once I’m done the June chapter I will move on to either Story of a Soul by Saint Therese of Lisieux or Scarlet by Merissa Meyer, depending on whether or not I am up to reading something more serious and spiritual or if I will just need a light read to relax me.

4) I’ve written a bit of a short story about Snow White.  This story is a parody: I intend to write a serious Snow White retelling one day.

5) Regarding my troubles in YouTube land – I’ve scripted two videos and am working on a third but have as of yet had no time to record them!  Ah!!!  What’s a girl to do!!