Thursday, February 27, 2014

Book review: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

My novel for February is John Green's The Fault in Our Stars.

I only wanted to read it because the movie's coming out and I only wanted to watch the movie because of the guy playing the romantic lead. I first saw Ansel Elgort in the remake of Carrie, and though it had Julianne Moore and Chlöe Grace Moretz in it, it was Ansel who caught my eye. That kid can act!

So since I wanted to watch the movie, I had to first read the book. I read it just before Valentine's Day so I was feeling very loved up. The book, very easy to read (in fact, you can finish it in a few hours), is not intimidating at all. Intimidating? Yep. It's about teenagers dying of cancer, a story not everyone finds thrilling. But read it read it read it!

The story begins with a girl and a boy meeting at a cancer support group. Hazel Grace Lancaster has thyroid cancer and Augustus Waters has bone cancer. She didn't set out to fall in love. She just wanted to live the rest of her life in peace, not wanting to form any relationships because that means more people will get hurt by her eventual death. But Augustus broke down her walls with this:

OMG. I can't even go on talking about the book! You'll just have to read it yourself! It's so funny and so sad. I cried so much, my son Vito was alarmed. He said, "Why cry, Mama?" And I said, "This book is sad. People are dying." And he said, "Not good book."

Oh, but it is. It is!

I think I'm going to tell you another story. On the day I started reading this book, my friend said that her son asked her, "If God knew that man would sin against Him, why did He still make man?" And she said she didn't know what to answer really, but I was very quick. "Love!"

Love is the only reason. When I was a kid, I didn't understand why people got married and had kids. All the married people I know and all the parents I know were miserable and always complaining about their spouses and their kids. Seriously. If marriage and kids made everyone so unhappy, why did everyone insist on getting married and having kids?

Then I met this woman at a salon. She was having her hair done for her 10th wedding anniversary party that night. She told me that in all their 10 years married, maybe they were only really happy for just two years. I was flabbergasted. "What's to celebrate then?!" And she said, "Even if we were only happy for a day, I'd marry him all over again."

Now that I'm married myself, I understand. Not every day is a happy day. Vince and I fight. We get annoyed at each other. We get fed up, exasperated. We say hurtful things. A marriage is not easy, and mine is no exception. But when I think about Vince and me, all I really see is the laughter, the passion, the long whispered talks in the dark of night, the shared looks, the quiet way he slowly slips his hand into mine, our secret words. And if I believed before that my life was horrible, I now don't because all my life was leading up to what Vince and I have. If all the terrible-ness of before meant I could have that one day when Vince kissed me or that day when he said, "You really are special," or that day he married me, then all the terrible-ness was worth it.

Life is even more spectacular now with our kids, Vito and Iñigo. Sure there are days I want to scratch my eyes out because it gets really difficult. Sure there are days I just want to curl up in bed and sleep till the kids are leaving for college. Parenting is not easy. Not at all. But all the clichés are real. I really do live for their smile, I really can stare at them all day, I really do feel my heart will explode from the love. And if the exhaustion and stress and helplessness means that I was with my kids, then it's okay. Because, really, my life is all about loving my boys.

So I know that when God created man, He didn't even hesitate because He saw in His omniscient and sovereign way that the love and goodness and wonder of man will still overcome our evil. He still created us because He loved us (I John 4:19). And that's all the reason He needs.

All that I thought of when I read The Fault in Our Stars! I just came away from the book celebrating life and love, that no matter how short our life is, love is truly eternal. Don't worry, it's not a theological book. It's not even a book about tragedy. It's just a lovely little book about love and loss and, ultimately, about life. Go read it now!

*quotes images from 8tracks and Rebloggy

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  1. OM!!! this is my favorite book and can't wait for the movie to be shown. I, too, have learned from these 2 young people. The way they look at life and love, despite and inspite of.

  2. Sigh. I made the mistake of bringing this with me during one of my travels so naturally, I was crying in the plane. People beside me were looking at me and looked a bit worried cos I was crying as in sobs.

    Such a good book. I like it better than Looking for Alaska, but that was nice too =)

  3. This was really a nice and easy read. The story was so touching too and not the typical teenage love story. Hope you can inform us your book for this month so I can start reading and join your book club.

  4. Lovely book. And I loved your thoughts on marriage and kids.... bull's eye. Thanks!

    1. Thanks! I know I should've done a book review but I found myself sharing what the book made me think of instead! =)

  5. Frances read Me Before You by Jojo Moyes :)


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