Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Review

So, this is somewhat new territory for me.

Something I really enjoy doing but don't always find the time for, is reading. I like becoming invested in characters, seeing their flaws and talents, and journeying with them through another world; or the very real world that I'm used to, only from a different perspective. Perhaps offering creativity and inspiration. I have offered my opinions from time to time on books and the stories laid out on their pages, but I can't say I've ever really written a review. Though I couldn't really tell you what the difference between a review and opinion is, only that maybe a review is a little more thought out and delivered only when one actually finishes reading a book. I've heard many people offer opinions before finishing even page five of something.
I've enjoyed a lot of books that I could probably have offered formal reviews on but only most recently have I felt compelled to write one. This book was recommended to me by a friend at a group I'm part of called "Creative Reviews" at Goodreads. Thank you Estrella.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Beautifully written and well shared from the point of view by Hazel Grace Lancaster, a sixteen year old girl living with terminal Cancer. I love this story for its honesty, its bravery and its heart. Because everyone has a story, and most of them, even if not "popular" by societies standards, are meaningful.
This book made me laugh, cry, and filled me with thoughts and emotion from the first page to the very end. It made me think about life in general and reflect upon the hardships people can face, even if not inflicted with the horror known as Cancer. I thought about my friends dad who was recently diagnosed Cancer free. I thought about my Opa who passed away after a good life at the age of 82. I thought about my mom's brain injury accident and I thought about what I went through as a child, hospitalized with a brain infection and still battling it on many fronts today. And I thought about what my parents must have gone through at that time.
Reading this book did not give me hope, I have always carried hope in my back pocket. What this book gave to me, and what I'm certain it will give you, is the re-enforcing reminder that life is precious and beautiful and should be lived no matter what. This wonderful book unfolds the message about how life goes on. And when I say that I do not mean how some people will say "life goes on" after someone is lost; I mean "life goes on", period. As in, whatever challenges we face "life goes on", and every minute should be soaked up for what it is worth. I think you'll have to read it to see my meaning; or perhaps, to find your own wonderful, keenly felt, message.
The great thing about this book is it is meaningful and direct, insightful, thought provoking and in-direct all at the same time. This beautifully written story allows you to come to your own conclusion about life, even though the hardships and ugliness life can bring to your table are right there in black and white.

I've met in the pages of books quite a few well developed characters, and this story follows suite with a tremendous cast; but of them all I grew a place in my heart for the sixteen year old Hazel Grace Lancaster. She has an emotional strength and beautiful weakness that guides the reader through the story and life as we live it. Aside from the terminal Cancer thing, those qualities are ones I think we should all posses; or at least want to.
Author John Green has written a 313 page story well deserving of praise. Go do yourself a favour and get this book.

1 comment:

  1. It was such a pleasure to recommend this book, and I'm one of those people you're mentioning who offer up opinions after reading a few pages of a book. It's funny how that happens, but I know rather quickly after starting a book if I'll like it or not.

    This was one of those books that drew me in from the very first lines.
    Like Hazel contemplates about the books she read over and over again, I can say the same of TFiOS: it's a cancer book, but sooo not a cancer book. :-)

    Kept thinking what I could write here in the comment section of your review of TFiOS and held off for a while.
    I now realize there's nothing much I could add to it, you did such an amazing job of reviewing!

    Just one thing I could add to it would be how much I love the ending - the last sentence being in present tense as opposed to past tense throughout the book.
    Makes one wonder...

    And now allow me to repeat what I heard John Green say in a video of his on YouTube not too long ago. It is the exact thing I thought of when I reached the end of the book "how much you can love made up people... and how much you can miss them."
    (I know you feel the same way) :-)

    Here's my two cents regarding the book on my blog; want to drop by to link to your wonderful review? :-)