Friday, January 20, 2012

Modern Day Star Crossed Lovers

Sigh. I guess every once in a while you need one of those cathartic books that use up an unbelievable amount of tissues, and then just lingers there in that place inside where all you can do is sigh when you think about it. The Time Traveler’s Wife is perhaps my ultimate example, but coming to mind second, partly because I just finished it and partly because it was written by one of my favorite authors, John Green, is The Fault in Our Stars. Sigh. And it’s not like I went into this one blind, either. It’s about Hazel Grace, a sixteen year-old who has been living with terminal cancer. She meets the love of her life, Augustus Waters, at a support group for teens with cancer. Augustus’s cancer is in remission. And so it starts. Although we know we’re headed for some seriously heavy and tragic stuff, it actually hits quite forcefully when it arrives. Through John Green’s wonderful character development and humor, we sink inevitably into the lives of the characters, until we are forced to confront their tragedy, and the reality within our own lives (even if that reality is cancer free). Life is a gift to be cherished. Although that’s a quaint cliché and would often seem trite for an author to remind the reader of such, John Green uses the adage skillfully, gently reminding us that cliché or no, it’s true. I can’t say I loved John Green’s latest novel, I’m much more into his intelligent and quirky protagonist out to win the heart of some hot smart chick, but I did appreciate the book’s beautiful resonance.

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