I’m on a high right now. There’s nothing that I love more than being smitten. I hope my husband doesn’t get jealous, but even if he doesn’t quite understand, he needs to be aware that there is a man in my life that takes my breath away. It’s this guy:
Ok, so maybe not that creeper version, but definitely he has my heart. For those of you who don’t know, this is John Green. Wait. THIS is John Green:
I was first introduced to John’s writing during last year’s Christmas break in Michigan. I saw a display of his novel, The Fault in Our Stars. Not knowing anything about them, but suffering from the same “affliction” that all bookies carry, I purchased a copy to add to my never ending, always growing, bookshelf of “Things to Read.” Again, not knowing what I had in my possession, I put it off until May of this year. Once I opened the cover and spent one mere cancer support group with Hazel and Augustus, I could not put the book down. In fact, I took it so far as to write down quotes from the pages…quotes and notions, and pages and pages and pages of them!
I could not believe the mastery of the English language. I could not get beyond the way in which John wove a string of words together that moved me so grandly. It never occurred to me that a simple story of love and suffering could be told in a new way. Some might blame the fact that I had JUST completed my Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy and therefore anything would have impressed me at that point. However, what shocked and grabbed my attention in the brash series was completely absent in The Fault in Our Stars. The purity and honesty of the connection between the main characters, Hazel and Augustus, was a breath of fresh air.
Here are some of my favorite lines for the novel. Sorry there are no page numbers because I read it on my Kindle app.
“So I wasn’t exactly lying. I was just choosing among truths”
” ‘Some people don’t understand that promises they’re making when they’re making them,’ I said.
‘But you keep the promise anyway. That’s what love is. Love is keeping the promise anyway,’ “
“The pleasure of remembering had been taken from me, because there was no longer anyone to remember with. It felt like losing your co-rememberer meant losing the memory itself, as if the things we’d done were less real and important than they had been hours before.”
“Hazel has developed an issue with the ghettoization of scrambled eggs…Maybe scrambled eggs are ghettoized, but they’re also special. They have a place and a time, like church does.”
“Easy comfort isn’t comforting.”
“I believe humans have souls, and I believe in the conservation of souls.”
“I was staring, but I wasn’t yearning, if you know what I mean.”
“…no longer suffering from personhood.”
” ‘Okay,’ he said after forever.
‘Maybe okay will be our always.’
‘Okay,” I said.
It was Augustus who finally hung up.”
“It seemed like forever ago, like we’d had this brief but still infinite forever. Some infinities are bigger than other infinites.”
We’re as likely to hurt the universe as we are to help it, and we’re not likely to do either.”
“I love you present tense.”
I quickly moved onto another John Green novel: Looking for Alaska. I thought maybe it was something about seeking out a new frontier for yourself, hence the Alaska connection. I was actually not completely wrong, and I was 1,000,000 % right in choosing this to be the follow up novel to The Fault in Our Stars. I won’t go so far as to say that it is better but I will say that it did not leave me wanting for more. Equality in this case is most excellent. It’s like asking a mother to choose her favorite child. Wait, that can’t be right because I know that I’m my mother’s favorite. Ok, so it’s more like which pair of sweatpants from 2007 are your favorite? Tough call because both are comfy and well-worn in the right places and have been there for you as you SOB through two John Green novels in a row!
Anyways, I so loved Looking for Alaska that I am going to be “teaching” it to my students this year. I quote-a-size the term teach because it will be teaching us. True Story.
One of Kurt Vonnegut’s rules of writing a short story is: “be a sadist. No matter sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them—in order that the reader may see what they are made of.” And that’s just what John Green has done in his novels, not just TFIOS.
The way I carry on might make you think that John Green is a one-hit-wonder. FALSE! I have read every novel that he has been credited with on his Wikipedia page:
The Fault in Our Stars
Looking for Alaska
Will Grayson, Will Grayson
An Abundance of Catherines
Let it Snow: Three Holiday Romances
I’m literally halfway through my last John Green novel, Paper Towns. I’m fearing that once I turn the last page, I’ll suffer the same literary depression as I did when I finished reading The Hunger Games or Divergent. When in need of a expert guidance, seek out the leading authority. What will I do when I am done with Paper Towns? John?
Want to know more about John Green and his writing? Check him out here:
And DON’T FORGET TO BE AWESOME!