Friday, July 18, 2014

Book vs. Movie: The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
Published: January 10, 2012
Publisher: Dutton Books

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten.

Here is the thing... I normally make it a practice to read a book before I see the movie because generally I do not enjoy the book as much as I already know what's supposed to happen. In this instance, I went to see the movie with my sister, brother and sister-in-law BEFORE I had the chance to read the book. They had all read it, so they were watching my reactions and we had an amazingly long chat about it in the lobby of the theatre. 

My siblings told me that the movie stayed true to the book, so I picked up my copy and finally let myself fall back into the world of Hazel and Augustus. 

How do I put into words how this book made me feel? It's so incredibly hard to find the right ones. So many emotions - sadness, happiness, and heart aching pain (that deserves to be felt). So much in such a short amount of time. Pretty much this quote from Augustus himself sums up the thoughts in my head: "My thought are stars I can't fathom into constellations."

Random thoughts about TFiOS:

1) It made me think about dying in a different way. Or perhaps about life in a different way. For example: Hazel knows she is terminal, so she lives every day knowing that there is definitely an end point for her, sooner than others, but someone like Augustus who is in remission and has an 80% survival rate looks at a life that will still exist until old age. How would it feel to go about life knowing that each day is possibly your last, not a metaphorical last day, but an actual last day because yours are numbered with less days than others?

2) I loved the way that Augustus and Hazel just seem to understand each other. They have an interesting sense of humour, they just get each other - like they were meant to come into each others lives and help the other through this life. 

3) Augustus has a way of being so utterly charming that you can't help but love him. 

4) No matter how much Hazel tries to NOT fall in love with Augustus (and she really does try), she ends up head over heels for him. She tries so hard to not let him get too attached to her as she calls herself a grenade ready to explode and crush those who love her and she wants to limit the destruction her death will cause. But funny enough, Augustus writes this about loving people (to an author he and Hazel both admired): "I love her. I am so luck to love her, Van Houten. You don't get to choose if you get hurt in this world, old man, but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices. I hope she likes hers."

5) The book felt real. The characters come off as if a real person told you their story. You feel the emotions, you get the humour, you feel the pain of loss and you begin to understand this journey that Hazel and Gus are on. 

6) I had thoughts about what would happen in this book, but it surprised me with the loss. I didn't think I could be surprised knowing this was a story about cancer and dying, but it caught me nonetheless.

7) THE MOVIE. Seriously great job on keeping close to the book. Since I saw the movie first, I was concerned that I wouldn't enjoy the book. I'm happy to say that it destroyed me just as much as the movie did. I was surrounded by people crying in the theatre. Sniffles here and there. Me trying not to bawl like a baby and have snot running down my face. The actors and actresses did a great job in making you feel the emotions and understand the characters. And then there was me trying to remember quotes and moments that I'd love to keep forever. Like “As he read, I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once.” or “Oh, I wouldn't mind, Hazel Grace. It would be a privilege to have my heart broken by you.” I WILL BUY THIS MOVIE ON DVD.

wish these were the real signatures, but this poster will do
8) You must read this book. You are missing out on an amazing book if you haven't. Seriously, go buy the book and some tissues. 

About the Author:
John Green’s book reviews have appeared in The New York Times Book Review and Booklist, a wonderful book review journal where he worked as a publishing assistant and production editor while writing Looking for Alaska. Green grew up in Orlando, Florida before attending Indian Springs School and then Kenyon College.

In 2007, John and his brother Hank were the hosts of a popular internet blog, "Brotherhood 2.0," where they discussed their lives, books and current events every day for a year except for weekends and holidays. They still keep a video blog, now called "The Vlog Brothers," which can be found on the Nerdfighters website, or a direct link here.

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