Thursday, May 15, 2014

May 15: Loyal and True, My Book Bag, "The Fault in Our Stars"

Wilbur was merely suffering the doubts and fears that often go with finding a new friend.  In good time he was to discover that he was mistaken about Charlotte.  Underneath her rather bold and cruel exterior, she had a kind heart, and she was to prove loyal and true to the very end.

Wilbur is not alone in his feelings.  I find that I often suffer doubts and fears when encountering someone or something "new."  Today, I started a new job.  I met about 5,451 new people.  I remember about three of their names.  In my book bag right now is a new book, one that I've been avoiding for quite some time.  It's too popular.  Trendy. 

The book is John Green's The Fault in Our Stars.  I've been avoiding it because too many people have told me I have to read it.  Out of principle, I try to avoid books that have a following that resembles the Manson family in devotion.  Fears and doubts.  However, I've started reading Green's novel.

And I'm loving every word of it.  Hazel Grace Lancaster, the narrator, reminds me of Holden Caulfield in her utter disdain for normal pretense.  She's smart, dark, intelligent.  And funny as hell.  Her opening salvo hooked me immediately:

Late in the winter of my seventeenth year, my mother decided I was depressed, presumably because I rarely left the house, spent quite a lot of time in bed, read the same book over and over, ate infrequently, and devoted quite a bit of my abundant free time to thinking about death.

I love this girl.  She's the antidote for all the stupid, vapid heroines of most young adult novels.  You know, the ones who don't know they're beautiful and eventually fall in love with tortured boys who suffer from some sort of undead personality disorder.  Hazel's story is honest.  She knows that death is inevitable and forever is a fairy tale.

That's what I'm really appreciating about The Fault in Our Stars.  Of course, I haven't finished it yet.  But I don't think John Green is going to disappoint me.  Hazel surely won't disappoint me.

Saint Marty highly recommends this book.  Okay?  Okay.

Read the book.  You'll understand.

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