You know how there are some books that keep you thinking even when you're not reading them? This is one of those books. Oftentimes when I finish a book, I can start another one the same evening. I grabbed another book off my shelf and went to start it and as I sat down looking at the first page of the new book, I realized I wasn't ready. There was too much to think about and reflect on from The Fault in Our Stars. Instead, I decided to sit in thought sans distractions for 30 minutes so I went upstairs away from Husband and animals and just replayed the story in my head.
The book is about a 16-year-old girl named Hazel who has been fighting cancer since she was 13. After an experimental treatment buys her some extra time, she is going through the motions as a home-bodied teenager with cancer when she meets a guy named Augustus at her support group. He allows her to break the monotony of her life and experience true love. Because of the shortened life expectancy of terminally ill cancer patients, Hazel and Augustus see the world from a much different perspective than healthy teenagers. They spend much of their time examining the world and life and their relationship is a truly beautiful one.
Having spent the last two years sharing Carrie's battle with cancer (though from an outsider's perspective), I could relate in many ways to the story. Though Carrie was very young when she passed away (only 38), she left a legacy behind in her beautiful little girls and all the people that loved her. In the story, Augustus often talks about leaving something behind for the world to remember him by. I guess as a teenager, it's hard to see your life as something so short and fragile. You barely have a chance to figure out who you are when you are a teenager and the thought of leaving your mark on the world is something that crosses few teenagers' minds. When the opportunity to grow old seems taken from you, I can't imagine what goes through one's mind.
Like I said, this book provided me with a lot of food for thought. This isn't exactly a book review as much as an opportunity to write out how the book affected me. All I have to say is that you should pick this book up and read it. It will make an imprint in your mind. Well done, John Green. And thank you, Jennifer, for sharing your favorite book with me. It means a lot!