I have already written a review of John Green’s masterpiece, The Fault In Our Stars. That review is kind-of fangirly in the best of ways and a sort-of summary of the themes that really stuck with me as I read. But, like I tend to do with all things I love, I revisit stories that have made an impact on me. When given another reading, not only did I pull more meaning from the story and read having experienced new things, casting a new light on the feeling of characters, but I learned more about theme and character than the first time around. I admire Hazel even more than before. I also have a little love affair with Isaac, the blind video-gamer who believes in true love and friendship. His character really impacted me this time around. Revisit your favorite novels, that’s a command!
:::It has taken me forever to write this review. I don’t exactly know why, really. To steal some thoughts from the book, I’d like to think I’m like Hazel in the way that sometimes it’s really easy to talk about a book you think everyone should read, but sometimes it’s hard, you want to believe you and the book are connected in some way. And you don’t want to share your feelings about the book, you want to just keep living in this world where it’s you and the fictional characters.
This was one of those books. Of course, I’ve given my copy to many friends since I got it last year, there’s about 5 different colors of highlighter and pen and scribbled notes. That is really my favorite part of the book, it hits home on so many different levels with different people. My friend in a long-term relationship highlighted a lot of instances where Hazel and Augustus were really in love, the scene on the plane, the scene with the swing set, the dinner in Amsterdam. Another friend highlighted a lot of passages about the passing of time and many tiny philosophies that were scattered all around the pages.
I connected most (and highlighted the most) with Hazel’s inner musings. On the surface this book is an epic, star-crossed love story. That’s a great layer, there are great characters with great traits and funny witticisms. And love is always a great story in itself, teaching and molding the characters as it plays out.
But, inside the love story, we get to see inside of Hazel’s mind, and inside of her mind, we see that this story is also a huge tale of her spiritual awakening. And not even a spiritual awakening in a God, Hazel just becomes awakened as a person. She was told she was to die from a very young age, she’s a ticking time bomb, and she was defined by that sentence. But she learned to love and to let others love her. And she is awakened by this spiritual connectedness. That makes this novel not only about love and loss but about finding oneself and finding confidence and being connected to the world, taking it all in, loving all it has to offer. Hazel learns that life is more than being remembered for some material accomplishment, life is about letting love in and spreading joy and living to the fullest and exploring and making the most of everyday until time stops you. She learns that the true purpose of life on Earth is to be connected to people by love and that love will always be remembered and shared and cycled over and over until the Earth is here no longer.
“I was thinking about the universe wanting to be noticed, and how I had to notice it as best I could. I felt I owed a debt to the universe that only my attention could repay, and also that I owed a debt to everybody who didn’t get to be a person anymore and everyone who hadn’t gotten to be a person yet” (pg. 295).
Just as a reminder, this post is coming straight off my Goodreads account, so that’s why it starts out the way it does (It has taken me awhile…). You’re probably like, “it hasn’t taken you awhile to write a review because you did it last year…” but, dear readers, this was a new review for my class, and it did take me awhile, actually 3 weeks after the review was due, but my lovely professor has sliding due dates which is an awesome thing I didn’t even know was legal in school, so don’t worry, I did fine!