- a stance taken largely because one can’t remember, or perhaps never knew, what it felt like to live in the gray
- a personality that went to print already doomed to a life of being love-hated
I figured I should start things off with one of my favorites.
I swear, this is the type of book people like to hate only just because it is so good. I, myself, am one such differentiated hater of it. I hate it because words fail me when I try to describe how good it is. I’m like asdfghjkl;’ haha it was sick AF u shud readdddd.
Not even fucking kidding.
This book GLITTERS with passive positivity, it radiates when I hold it in my hands like the bottom of my draft one MacBook Air after like ten minutes of use (again, not even fucking kidding), and even though Hazel has, what I like to call, cynical typos, there are these redeeming qualities about her, these god-like realizations where you think, holy shit, one should be so lucky to be so cynical.
It’s not even that she’s cynical, she’s just so stupidly realistic, she jumps off the pages and steps into your life and holds your hair when you’re puking up Burnett’s on your 18th birthday and she looks you in the eye when you try to text fuck boy #8 and says, yeah fucking right, over my dead fucking body.
And then there’s Augustus. I had to retype that name six times because, just like his character, the name stumps my incredibly well-associated with the keyboard fingers like it does my brain.
What the fuck is up with Gus?
Seriously, Gus, which planet do you come from? I imagine it’s Ceres, off in the asteroid belt, with the liquid ocean center, made up of ice and rock. Equal parts solid, equal parts soft, and equal parts completely irrevocable.
Aaugstus (fuck it), is the type of character that, let’s be honest here, doesn’t exist, and that’s why you love him so much. He’s bright, polished, limping around on this leg that was taken away from God himself with an apology letter (but probably though) because there’s something about him that just screams “I am on this planet for a reason, I am in this book, I am a name out in the lexicon, deep in the asteroid belt, in existence without a leg because everyone here needs me.” And I did. I needed him. I needed him to go on and on and on, well after the pages, I needed him to understand me, or at least to try and help me understand myself.
The two of them mix together into this dark mazarine, this brooding, bottomless mazarine. They fold in on each other, they sacrifice, they push and pull, and it’s beautiful. It’s glorious. As the plot unfolds, its twists and turns, quirky lols, devastating wtfs all powered by their desires to be the one in the million and to not let their little infinity pass them by, your life starts to seem a little less tragic and somehow more tragic all at the same time. This book does that to you. It gives you the courage to look at tragedy as just a type of play, as Shakespearean as one must in order to trudge through the muck of all these blacks and whites that life often forgets to blend into gray.
The book does not dull at any point, it does not wheedle you down, or make you read only because you feel like you can’t not finish it because your friends loved it so much and you swore on the 280th page that you might start liking it on 281. You can actually trust that one notorious friend’s opinion on this one guys. It is OK to have faith in her for once. Because from the moment Hazel cuts into your life, ten years in the making, you are hooked. I was hooked.
The pacing is beautiful, the language bright, blunt, poised, unadulterated, mixing in with the universe, dabbling with the dos and don’ts of talking about cancer. The book flies by and even though you have to let it, you must not let it pass you by. You must not allow the words to swim in your vision, you must let them land. You must let them better you.
Does this sound like a love letter?
And then there’s John. Mr. John Green, the resident philosophical comic. The one author that could describe a spit wad for 98,000 words and I would stop what I was doing to read this deeply moving, funny analysis of life as a spit wad, a torn corner from SkyMall, chewed up and drenched in the saliva of some prodigious kid on an airplane over the dreariness of Indianapolis, on the search for his fly-by-night friend.
The way he writes is just.
There’s nothing else.
It is everything, it is nothing, it is in existence, it is indescribable. It is UNADULTERATED AF. It is, in itself, fuel. I read his work before I write and it charges me up like my phone charger failed to do last night because idk my outlet was malfunctioning.
So. How do I rate this book?
10/10 is so boring. Why does everything HAVE to be out of 10? Why, when you look at that lady on the street in the Halloween costume, in the middle of April, do you ask me on a scale of one to ten, how likely are you to unfriend me if I was wearing that outfit right now?
ELEVEN. Just for reference, it’s a fucking eleven.
So. How do I rate this book?