Monday, June 23, 2014

Am I a Monster?

Blogging goal: do this thing. It's a cool thing. I'm gunna do the thing.

Blogging reality: Forget to do the thing. GIFS FOR DISTRACTION!

True story.
In all honesty, I had planned to access blogger from my phone to keep up on this TFiOS (The Fault in Our Stars) "feels fest" while we went camping for the weekend, because on my Top 5 Favorite Activities list "reading by the shoreline" ranks quite high, but turns out cell service doesn't extend to deep canyons hours out of civilization. Go figure.
Also my phone died. Inpermanently of course. outlets either. 
So I wrote my first feels-explosion before we left town and then the next day I found myself at the end of the book having had a grant total of zero moments where I thought to put it down and write stuff about it so now, three days later, I'll just have to make do with memory.

I finished the book. 
And guys, would you believe it, I didn't shed a single tear. 

But not because I wasn't emotionally invested! Not at all because it wasn't the most beautiful love and life story I have read in a long time. Not in any way due to the fact that I'm a ruined mess on the inside because John Green made the English language seem halfway decent in expressing deep and potent human emotion.

I still don't know why I didn't cry. I've been thinking about it a lot. The simplest way I can explain it is that there wasn't time to be sad for the characters. I literally suddenly found myself flipping the last page and I was at the Q&A exclusive section at the back of the book and I kinda just sat there in a stupefied haze.
I was very quiet and enveloped in my thoughts for the rest of the evening.
I gazed pretentiously at the immense expanse of stars glittering above our campsite considering how far we were from the glow of cities and just thought about the kind of person I've let myself become.
But I never cried. 
I think I felt like crying would have been a disrespect to Hazel and/or Augustus. They didn't want my pity. They didn't need my sadness. 
Logically, I should have cried. I'm openly emotional when it comes to the media I listen to or watch. Throwing cancer (and other assorted dire maladies), animals, or military into the mix is basically just a recipe for disaster in my tear ducts.
But honestly, with The Fault in Our Stars, I only felt...uplifted.
I felt like I had a better capacity to enjoy the life I was given.
John Green talked about how he didn't want to sentimentalize or romanticize any part of the story and I full-heartedly believe he succeeded in that endeavor. I believed these were real people with real struggles having real reactions.
Their grand trip to Amsterdam was perfect, but only because they made it so.
The end for Augustus was horrific and there were no grand speeches, no death-bedside admonitions and professions of undying love, just a sick boy who desperately wanted to be more than "just sick" losing all capacity to make coherent sentences before he died.
Hazel didn't get a grand, last-minute goodbye.
And someday, that will be okay.
I don't know how to explain that those sentiments don't tug tears from my eyes but the death of Sirius Black by a magical curse and slipping into an ethereal void makes me sob like my childhood pet just got run over by a car...that I was driving. (Seriously folks, it wrecks me.)

It is the best book I've read in a long time. Please do not mistake these admissions of tearless-ness to be criticism of the novel itself. I will recommend it to any who will listen and yes you can borrow my copy (only if you sign the waiver, of course). 


I honestly feel like TFiOS expanded my mind and made me a better, more intelligent and empathetic person. I am glad for people like John Green that can take their life experiences and share it in such a way that my well-being can benefit from it as well.
Huzzah for books.


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