Sherry H's Reviews > The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
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's review
Feb 18, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: ya
Read on March 30, 2012

I remember back in 1989, going to a movie with my now mother-in-law and sister-in-law. The theater was packed with 500 other women and maybe four men. I remember a scene where everyone in the theater was crying, really crying, trying to breathe through stuffy runny noses, mopping our faces with popcorn napkins, and then we all busted out laughing at once. It was, um, messy. And delightful. If you like that sort of thing.

And then Dolly Parton said, "laughter through tears is my favorite emotion."

The movie, of course, was Steel Magnolias.

I can't think of another movie that took me there. Certainly the laughter. Certainly the tears. Even laughter and tears in the same movie. But that combination - in the same moment - that reduces me to a puddle? Can't think of one. (If you have one - a movie or a book, tell me!)

The Fault in Our Stars took me there. And not just once.

"You have a choice in this world, I believe, about how to tell sad stories, and we made the funny choice" (p130)

So, this is a sad story. Teenagers with cancer is sad, not funny. But these teenagers aren't like I was like at that age, or like my teenaged kids and their friends. They're brilliant and funny and well-read and perceptive and fragile and tortured and did I mention brilliant and funny?

There's a depth to this story, too, that flows beneath the plot. I would love to attend a "how to get the most out of literature" class that contains an in-depth analysis of this book. It is beyond me. I can only guess at its fullness. I just know it's there.

Not for everyone, probably. Not for every day. The puffiness in my face will need some recovery time. I don't want to read books like this often. Many of my friends never want to read books like this. I'm making my daughter read it, in retaliation for her making me watch "P.S. I Love You" with her. Another puffy recovery.

This was my first John Green. It won't be my last.

So dawn goes down to day
Nothing gold can stay

Update 3/2014: So many friends are reading this now that I felt I needed to revisit it. Loved it just as much the second time around.
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03/02/2014 marked as: currently-reading
03/03/2014 marked as: read

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