My next blog entry was going to be about Simon Mason and his wonderful story-like way of guest lecturing. But then I was completely and utterly emotionally destroyed by John Green and The Fault in Our Stars.
I’d thought about reading it for a while, almost bought it and then didn’t, wasn’t sure whether it was something I would be into and then succumbed yesterday. I finished it today.
I would like to start this (and I realise that this is not the beginning really) by saying that I do not cry at books and that recently I have fervently taken to not-crying at real-life emotional situations. I cried at this. I would like to say that it was perhaps because I am grieving and have been grieving but I feel that in saying it I would be doing a disservice to the book. So I won’t. I cried at this book because it was worth crying at. And I think that it was something that I needed to read at this point in my life.
I am thankful for this book.
The novel follows Hazel Grace Lancaster, a cancer patient, as she gets to know and grows to love Augustus Waters who she meets at a support group. From the blurb, I knew it was going to be at least a little bit upsetting (not to mention the snatches of reaction I’ve seen on both Facebook and Tumblr), I’ve read upsetting books before and it’s been tough, getting attached to characters who you know may not have a happy ending, but it’s always been a case of read, finish and move on. The Fault in Our Stars was different, there were tears and when I thought it might be getting a little bit better more tears took their place.
When it ended, I felt a little bit like Hazel with An Imperial Affliction. I still feel a little bit like that. I want to know what happened to everyone else. I want to know a lot of things, I won’t list them here because I don’t want to spoil anything for anyone who might not have read it. But it’s definitely left me thinking. I find myself imagining what might be going on now, as if they’re not characters but real people with real lives. In a way they are, there are real people going through situations much like Hazel’s and now I’m thinking about them.
For me, that is one of the signs of a good book. A book that not only leaves you thinking about its characters but about people you’ve never met and may never meet.
I am going to read it again. Not just yet but soon. Until then it will sit with me and I will think about it, then try not to think about it, then inevitably think about it again.