Just like all of you, I have been reading since I had the ability to understand what words were. I was very young and I still remember one of the first books I ever read on my own, which was The Incredible Journey by Sheila Burnford. I still have the original edition that I read as a child sitting on my bookshelf now as an adult. However, this is not the book that I want to talk about. While The Incredible Journey did change my life, it was so long ago and I want to talk about something a lot more recent.
Over the years I have come across many books that I love but they rarely end up being something that makes me genuinely contemplate my own life and my place in this world. A novel that causes self-reflection is something that needs to be truly cherished since it is only the greatest authors who can inspire those kinds of emotions in their readers.
Now, this particular novel has gotten a lot of attention over the last couple of years because it was made into a film. The film was alright but like we book lovers always say, “The movie is never as good as the book.” The book I want to talk about it The Fault In Our Stars by John Green. Now I know that some of you may be, for lack of better words, annoyed about how much people have talked about this book but this is not a band wagon scenario. I read this book a long time ago and to this day I think about it. John Green creates a character that empowers and inspires the people who are reading it. Hazel is one of the most amazing characters I’ve ever come across. Her strength is so admirable and her passion for life is full of fire even as it slowly tries to leave her. This book made me think about my own life and how small issues like, getting into trouble at work or not getting the grade you wanted on an essay, are peanuts compared to Hazel’s life problems. That is not to say that these everyday problems don’t matter but it really shed some light on the fact that you need to let these little things go. If you hold on to these little things that really don’t matter in the grand scheme of your life, then the little things will soon become the big things. Once that happens… then nothing will ever be a small problem again. Hazel inspired me. She inspired me to let the little things go and enjoy the life that is happening around you. Even as her illness consumes her and she gets weaker and weaker, she is still determined to live her life. She wants to go on doing the things that she loves as long as her body will allow her. She climbs those stairs in the Anne Frank house and she falls in love with Gus. She doesn’t let anything hold her back, even this illness that goes with her everywhere like the devil sitting right on her shoulder. This girl, even though she is fictional, is a force to be reckoned with. If she can be that strong while her body is that weak then why can’t the rest of us?
This book did not change my life because of the love story. There are love stories everywhere. It changed my life because of this girl, Hazel. This girl that knows she will die but will refuse to accept death. She lives and she keeps on living. We don’t know what happens to her in the end. The novel ends and she is still alive. I think John Green is a brilliant man for ending the novel this way because it allows her to live on forever through her readers. He doesn’t write her death so that in our eyes she always lives.
I loved this book. The thousand tears shed were totally worth it. If you feel like your life is at a low point I would still say read this. Even though it will make you sad it will also make you strong. It will inspire you to be more like Hazel. I know it did for me.
Happy Reading 🙂