The Fault in Our Stars

Okay, so I wrote this a little while ago, and it was just supposed to be for me and my mental health when I got a littttlllee peevish. But I was reading it again, and, well, I feel like I need to post it. It’s kinda funny at how dramatic I am. But beware, I don’t curse – in fact, I don’t even like cursing, at all – but I did here. Kinda a lot, and not the light kind. Sooo . . . read at your own risk. This doesn’t usually happen. 

The Fault in Our Stars

This is NOT a review.

I just want to get that out there. This is a RANT by a YA blogger that has read a lot of books, and has fallen in love with A LOT of books, and sometimes this little blogger who may or may not become anything one day, and who may never have anyone read this, is in a ranting mood right now. And now, listen, before we all start to loose our shit crap over this little book-that-has-taken-over-teenage-girls, let me just put it out there that I love this book, but not because I cried (I didn’t. Call me heartless if you will). I have loved this book the second I read the first chapter, and I couldn’t stop laughing. I love it because when I was in college this last year, and I was having a really, really tough time, you know what I did? I went back and re-read the fucking first chapter of this little book, okay? Because it’s fucking funny. It’s so fucking, fucking, fucking funny.

(Shhhhh . . . don’t tell my mother.)

Why am I ranting about this book all of a sudden? Because I’ve never done a review on it before, and I’m sure as heck not about to start now. This book has enough reviews to last forever.

I read this book before I was on Goodreads, before I started this blog, before I’d even thought about reviewing books, and before I’d known there were other people out there that love YA books as much as I do.

I’ve certainly never looked the book up on Goodreads before. And I wish I never had. Because you know what I found? I found that there are two kinds of people anymore: The ones who love The Fault in Our Stars or the ones who absolutely hate it, with mixed feelings washed in.

And I don’t know why – I really don’t – but I got upset. (Hence, the cursing above.)

Reason number one (I shall attempt to number them so as not to completely loose track of my train of thought, but no promises): I don’t believe it’s the fact that people simply read the book and hate it or love it, oh no, it’s the stupid fact that it got really, really popular. And you know what happens to really, really popular books anymore? The ones like Twilight? You get the super-super-fangirls and the ones who end up hating it with a resilient passion. And do you know why some of the people hate it as much as they do? Because it becomes popular to do so. Yup. Not all people, mind you.

But here’s how it goes:

Step 1: Hear about the book. Listen to all your friends rave about it.

Step 2: Finally pick it up to read it. But all the while you get the constant, “Don’t you just LOVE it? Isn’t it just so sad? Have you cried yet? NO? Oh, but you will.” Underlying meaning: “You MUST love it, or go die. You MUST cry, or you’re a heartless bastard.”

(You know what? I’m gonna curse in this one post. Fuck it.)

Step 3: Finish it. Not be able to form your own opinion because you’re being constantly hammered with the unending and annoying bicker around you that it was JUST THE BEST THING ON THE EFFING PLANET.

Step 4: Hate it. Because you’re actually just hating the people around you and the all the fanfiction about it and the commercials about it and the “teams” from it and quotes you will never, ever get out of your head again.

Step 5: Go and make disciples of the I-hate-this-book clan to conquer the fangirls.

Reason number two: The number one reason I’ve heard people talk about on Goodreads as to why they hate the book is that Hazel and Augustus don’t act like normal teenagers. And I will agree with that TO AN EXTENT.

Look, no, they do not say things most teenagers would say, but when I read it, it was such a nice change from reading about the stupid, naïve teenagers so commonly found in YA books. Yes, some of the things Hazel and Gus say might even go over the naïve line to the smart line and maybe into the just-effing-genius line, but that’s okay. Because some teenagers are that way. I never thought it was because they have effing CANCER that was the reason they were smart. Now, yes, being closer to death might make you start to think a little more deeply about things, but you know what, I’m a teenager who does not have cancer, but I think pretty effing deep about a lot of things. And what’s wrong with that? To me, Hazel was more relatable then you can imagine because I found myself nodding along to her thoughts, because I had those thoughts too.

And what’s worse? Reading about a stupid character or a genius one?

Reason number three: Another reason people seem to dislike the book so much is because of the quotes. This brings me back to my first reason, and how the quotes probably wouldn’t be so bad had people not been shoving them in your face for so long. 

Yes, some of the quotes are ambiguous and cheesy, but you know what? I never gave most of the popular quotes a second glance when I first read the book. And so what if they are a little cheesy, because – guess what? – life is fucking cheesy, and it’s sticky and sometimes it melts when you don’t want it to, but that’s life. And I can only hope that one day, if I ever get published, I too will have cheesy quotes, because when you get down to it, those are also the most real ones. People are cheesy, and we all love it. Stop denying it.

Now, give me a moment to stop my numbers and take a step back to talk about Twilight. I love Twilight, I’m just going to get that out there. Hate me if you will, but here’s what happened in numbered steps, per your convenience.

Step 1: Had all my friends in middle school rave about it.

Step 2: Decided to read it. (Note: I was not a reader then. I did not like to read, and this was one of my first YA experiences.)

Step 3: I loved it. I loved it so much. I talked it up to everyone who knew me.

Step 4: I went to cry in the bathroom when reading New Moon. That shit left me broken, ya’ll. (To this day that has been the first and ONLY book to ever, ever make me literally cry. Not even in reading The Fault in Our Stars did I cry.)

Step 5: The movie was announced. It got more popular then I could’ve imagined. I still loved it, but it had lost that special spark that had been there when it was just mine; now, it was the whole world’s to pick apart and demolish.

Step 6: I hated it. I was so sick of hearing everyone talk about it, and making those stupid T-shirts with “Team Edward” and “Team Jacob” on them.

Step 7: Movies came out. Everyone stopped screaming about it. More people hated it now. I just stopped caring.

Step 8: Time passed. I started loving it again. I still go back to re-read the first one sometimes, when I want to remember where it all started. I still have my battered, ripped, tear-stained copies in my favorite bookshelf.

I make fun of Twilight. I do, and I will not stop. But I do love it. It’s like that annoying sibling that you also really love.

I am not saying that Twilight or The Fault in Our Stars does not have it’s faults (get it? . . . Okay, I’ll shut up now). Because they do, but if I ever read a perfect book, I don’t think I’d love it. Because it would be so utterly boring, and who wants to love a boring book?

But I suppose the reason I’m getting so unhappy about this is not the fact that people hate (you are welcome to hate it. I’m serious, actually) but the reasons that they’re unhappy about it just seems so . . . ambiguous to me. You don’t hate it because you simply didn’t like that book – then you just might dislike it or not care about it – but because everyone has to loose their shit over it, that means you either love it or hate it. Because (apparently) there is no in-between anymore.

You want to know what my mom leaned over and said to me in the middle of The Fault in Our Stars movie? (Quietly, of course.)

Mom (in a whisper): Hazel reminds me of you.

Me: Me?

Mom: Yeah. You’re the same.

You want to know what my dad said the minute we walked out of the theater after seeing the movie?

Dad: I really liked that. Did you like that?

Me: Yeah. (*gasping for breath because trying and failing to hold in feels.*)

Dad: It was just so . . .

Me: Real?

Dad: Yeah. Like, they were just two kids, who fell in love, and just happened to have cancer. It was real.

The reason I’m getting so angry at all this is not because I’m so in love with the book. I love it, don’t be mistaken, but it’s not like the wholly grail of books for me. But it’s a smart, funny book that I found so inconsequently genuine and clever.

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “The Fault in Our Stars

  1. Ibitoye Opemikun

    Really? What ever got you in this mood when you wrote this rant?
    Whoa! That’s a whole lot of French for someone who don’t like to (and may I ask why?). I don’t like to either (maybe for a totally different set of reasons from yours) and I particularly dislike certain words (I can’t stand ‘crap’ for example, dunno why).

    Lol at ‘that annoying sibling that you love’. I used to be that sibling to everyone else in my family.

    ‘Spot on’ I say to all the reasons why people hate popular books. I was so smitten by Veronica Roth’s Divergent (and I was one of the first 1 million on the planet to read it…probably) that I raved and raved and raved on an on about it to anyone who would listen. The problem was most of them had heard more than they could take of it from me that they almost all didn’t read the book and no one in my family but me went to see the movie!

    About ‘The fault in our stars’, I have heard enough about it to fill my ears over 300 times too. But I have never read the book. Since I can see that you feel so strongly about it though, I will add it to my reading list this weekend and see how far I can go with it. Then I will return here and write some of my comments about the book.

    Back to the French, I must be honest and admit that there is something quite fascinating about hearing a girl cussing…

  2. I really have no idea why I was in such a mood. I could try to blame it on the lingering emotions given to me from that bloody ridiculous book called Dreams of Gods and Monsters. Buuttt I don’t think that’s it. So, basically, I have no idea.

    As to why I don’t like to curse: I was raised Christian, and I still am. And while I do not think what makes you a good or bad Christian depends on if or how much you curse, I’ve never particularly liked it. Now, stubbing a toe on a corner or something and letting out a curse word I get, but it’s when I’m talking to people and every other sentence contains a curse word that I don’t particularly like. Besides the religious factor, I have to say even if I wasn’t religious I wouldn’t like it very much. I just think it can make a person sound kind of immature and it’s not too flattering either. So I try not to do it. (Unless I’m in the middle of an emotion rollercoaster and ain’t nothin’ holding back my emotions until I can use the f-word about ten times. Obviously shown above.)

    And “crap?” Really? Why’s that? I’ve never particularly thought of crap as a curse word.

    I have an older brother, and he would be the annoying sibling in my family. I’ve always been the angel child, lol.

    And thank you. I try my best. I still haven’t read Divergent because of all the reasons I’ve listed above. Everyone tells me how amazing it is all the time and are surprised that I haven’t read it, but I don’t want to just read it because it’s popular and then fall into the trend I talked about above. That would be disappointing. I have, however, seen the movie, and quite enjoyed it. I’ll probably read the book when the popularity dies down a little bit more.

    I was probably one of the first people to read The Fault in Our Stars, and no one had even heard of it then. But I was a John Green fan, so I tried it. What just amazed me about it was the writing. How someone can take a story about cancer and make it, well, funny. And I’m glad it’s depicted that way. But it’s also not lying about the pain and – horribly – some of the times Hazel truly just wants to die already, because the pain can get so bad.

    I’ll stop now. I could go on and on about it, and that I know would be annoying.

    What’s fascinating about hearing a girl curse? I know so many girls that curse on a daily basis (boys too, of course) that I’ve just gotten used to it.

  3. Ibitoye Opemikun

    Fascinating!!! Entirely so!

    Where do I start? Dreams of Gods and Monsters made me dream of god-awful monsters. And then some. I guess we can both agree to shelve that book in our ‘Do not ever attempt a re-read or else you will pass a kidney stone’ pile. Cool? (Seriously, that book can put you in a mood).

    I could tell from the way you spoke that you were Christian (technically, it should be the way you wrote, right? With the internet these days, a lot of expressions have morphed in their contextual meanings). You seem…reticent (despite all the ranting about books)…in a manner associated with better judgement, the kind associated with Christianity, so yes, that’s how I knew (or suspected). I am a Christian too…mostly (don’t tell my Mother I said ‘mostly’). And that would be part of the reason why I am also averse to cussin’. The crux of my objection though is that language is such a powerful tool that I feel crude expression weakens it. I relish the challenge of fashioning the most apt and benign expression and still managing to achieve the same effect one would have using a swear word. Delicious insults handed to people, gift wrapped in the most cunning phrasing are one of the reasons why I love to read. Period books, Fantasy and some occasional works of Fiction deliver heavily on these and that’s the reason why I love ’em.

    Don’t get me wrong though. I ain’t saying I don’t cuss. Oh I do. I drive a lot daily. Living in Lagos (Nigeria), I seldom drive less that 4 hours daily in terrible traffic and I have a bad case of Road rage. But I’d rather roll down my windows and yell ‘Moron of the Year’ at you that tell you to f*** off.

    About crap. Not the actual stuff, I mean the word ‘crap’. My immediate elder sister (18 months older) is all to blame. Of all the cuss words in the world (and it is one), that’s the one she loves to use the most. And especially when she’s in a mood. Which is like all the time. She just keeps going ‘crap this’ and ‘crap that’ and ‘crap anything that gets in her way’ and I have just had enough of all her crap. And like I said, I am that annoying sibling in my house, so you can just imaging how much of it I have had.

    You like the Divergent movie! Unfortunately, to help the movie make sense in a way a book doesn’t need to from the beginning, they rearranged and revealed a lot of stuff that they shouldn’t have from the get go. Though I still prefer it’s adaptation work to the Hunger Games. If you must, please go ahead and read the book but if you don’t feel like you have to, you may not appreciate it anymore as well you would have had you not seen the movie, so it is one you may want to skip.

    Frankly speaking, I am not sure reading any of your rants could ever be termed annoying, in any universe (and I’ve read a whole lot of them!) Especially with the gifs (they’re like teaching aids for the reading comprehension impaired). So just go ahead and rant on about whatever to me, I’ll read it. Whether it the Fault in our Stars or some random video you just saw on youtube (Falcon Lover, seriously what is that sh*t about).

    You see? I can swear. Just don’t like it!

    • I wish to wipe my mind of Dreams of Gods and Monsters. Time travel – where are you??

      And I’m glad to hear that. And I would have to agree with everything you say. Have you read The Book Thief? Or perhaps seen the movie? Basically, the girl in it talks about how the reason Hitler rose to power was because he knew what the right thing was to get people on his side. His weapon of choice was his word play. And she talks about how words are the most powerful weapon out there, and that’s kind of why she steals books and loves to read – she wants some power back and to know how to use it. Anyways, what you just said reminded me of that.

      I don’t drive as much as it sounds you do, but when I do, oh, Lord help anyone driving around me. I have discovered that when driving, I’m able to come up with new ways to cuss someone out under my breath in the most unique way. This is probably also due that I get really angsty when I drive, because I hate driving.

      And I figured you meant the word “crap.” When I was growing up, my parents (mostly Dad) used it a lot, and it was never really in my dictionary as a curse word because of that. I have never heard my parents curse, even when my Dad is getting pissed off at a football player (miraculously; I’m still waiting for it to slip one day). Now, I think along the line of curse words I mostly use “crap” and “hell.” Though anymore, those two don’t really make it into my mind as curse words. But anything else I pretty much never say, unless a rant is happening here.

      Also, since I’m around kids the ages of 18 to early twenties mostly now, I hear more ways of cursing than I thought possible. My way of cursing anymore, though, is through weird sayings I’ve made up. For example, instead of “who gives a f***” I say “who gives a hoot.” Or, “and no hoots were given.” Weird, I know.

      And, lol, that’s good to hear, because, man, can I rant. I think it’s induced because I almost never talk (I am not a fan of talking, at all) so I get out all my steam here.

      As for Falcon Lover, I have no idea. I don’t even know what to say to that, besides that it’s something that’s so random and idiotic that I couldn’t help but die from laughter. (I was also thinking in the back of my mind, horribly, “It’s a better story line than Dreams of Gods and Monsters!”)

  4. Ibitoye Opemikun

    Check your Goodreads messages!

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