Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Review: The Fault in Our Stars

SPOILER ALERT:  This is a review of the book (and a small one on the movie) "The Fault In Our Stars" by John Green.  I may or may not give away important details of the story, but I won't spoil the ending, so if you don't want to know anything, you've been warned! :)

So this is getting MAJOR hype lately, because of the movie release.  I'm very into medical drama/angsty/heart-wrenching stuff (I read Lurlene McDaniels as a teenager and have a longtime love of Lifetime movies), so it seemed right up my alley, but I know there had to be something more for it to be so mainstream.  Twin saw the movie last week and we're planning on seeing it together asap, but on a whim, I decided to snag a copy of the book yesterday on the way back to work from Physical Therapy.

Obviously, since I've barely had the book for 24 hours, I liked it.  In fact I loved it.  It's beautiful, sad, and really well written.  These kids (they are like 16) are not your average kids.  Not only are they living with cancer, but they speak in a way that is both mature for their age and almost of another time, which is very charming.  The banter between Hazel and Augustus is funny and sweet.  She's considered terminal and he has been in remission for awhile when they meet at a cancer support group he's attending with a friend.  She resists his attention at first, because she considers herself a "grenade", that when she dies, all it will do is hurt anyone around her that cares for her, so she tries to push him away, but he won't let her.  He says:

"You realize that trying to keep your distance from me will not lessen my affection for you."

She finally accepts that this is the truth and begins to let herself feel something for him:

"As he read, I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once"

In his words:

"I'm in love with you, and I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we're all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust, and I know the sun will swallow the only earth we'll ever have, and I am in love with you."

Later, she admits she doesn't regret letting herself love him:

"and only now that I loved a grenade did I understand the foolishness of trying to save others from my own impending fragmentation: I couldn't unlove Augustus Waters. And I didn't want to. "

And finally, she gives herself up to it.

"But, Gus, my love, I cannot tell you how thankful I am for our little infinity. I wouldn't trade it for the world. You gave me a forever within the numbered days, and I'm grateful."

Intense, right?  And just unbearably sweet.  It's a really really beautiful book and I won't spoil the ending here. 

Bottom line, I definitely recommend reading this! 

Twin and I went to see the movie and it was also excellent.  Unlike so many movies that were books first, very little is changed and cut from the story.  Minor things were cut, slightly rearranged to mesh two scenes together and things like that (hey, it's a 313 page novel condensed into a 2 hour and 6 minute movie), but overall very little was changed.  I was pleased that just about every one of my favorite quotes from the book were used verbatim in the movie.  The actors were charming and witty and of course it was heartbreaking.  There were even a few parts that were changed (lines embellished and the like) that I was thinking 'It wasn't like that in the book but I like it!'  The egg scene (“You see, we may not look like much but between the three of us we have five legs, four eyes and two and a half working pairs of lungs but we also have two dozen eggs so if I were you, I would go back inside.” Embellished from the book and ingeniously so!) and even the last spoken words in the movie were changed from the book, but it was true to the story and enhanced it in a lot of ways.  SO!  Movie--Also highly recommended!

Quick update on me:  Not noticing any real effect from the meds I'm on or the physical therapy, but I'm being good and doing both.  1 week until my rhemotologist appointment.  Thanks for your lovely comments from last entry!  I'm hoping for answers and yes, not scary ones! :)


Rachel said...

Thank you for this! I am always hesitant to see movies made from books because they can be so tricky...glad to hear it's good! I was so bummed about the changes in my sisters keeper when they made the movie and I was worried it'd be the same! I'm going to read this book right now!

ADSchill said...

I am glad to read this review. I was about to write a post about my feelings on the movie but wasn't sure who would want to read it. I guess there are some ladies out there as in love with sappy lifetime-esc movies/books as I am. I have not read the book but it's on my long list!