*John Green chooses the. best. names. for his characters. Hazel Grace. Sheesh, I want to have another child just so I can name her Hazel Grace! Or Augustus. But especially Hazel Grace.
*Why does Hazel have to take classes at MCC?!! I know how stupid this sounds, but every time "MCC" is mentioned, I get pulled out of the story because that's the name of the school where Rich teaches/Annie takes classes.
*A bit that made me cringe a little:
...It was kind of a boy movie. I don't know why boys expect us to like boy movies. We don't expect them to like girl movies.... (p. 35)
*One of many, many, many brilliant bits:
...I guess I had been looking toward the Encouragement above the TV, a drawing of an angel with the caption Without Pain, How Could We Know Joy?
(This is an old argument in the field of Thinking About Suffering, and its stupidity and lack of sophistication could be plumbed for centuries, but suffice it to say that the existence of broccoli does not in any way affect the taste of chocolate. (p. 35)
*Page 90: First tears shed. Sweet tears.
*Page 98: Shed first throat-on-fire-from-trying-not-to-cry tears.
*My guess is that nearly everyone's life has been in one way, shape, or form been touched by cancer. In many ways, shapes, and forms. I have never personally had cancer. I can't pretend to know what it is like. And of course, there is no universal this-is-what-it's-like-to-have-cancer. Yet while acknowledging all of that, I can't help but believe that John Green somehow managed to get it right. I don't know for a fact, but I'm guessing there are at least bits and pieces that many teens with cancer can relate to in Hazel's and Augustus's and Isaac's stories. I wish I could ask my cousin Dee, but I can't because she died of leukemia when we were teens. I can't count how many times this book has made me think, "Was this how you felt, Dee?"
*I really like Hazel's parents.
*Page 245: First all out sobbing.
*So I just finished reading. As in just. As in I'm typing through tears. Tears that hurt. But also tears that love. Tears that hope. Tears that feel gratitude for...well, for many things. I don't know what to say about this book that could ever convey what a beautiful treasure it is. This seems profoundly absurd to me, but if I had to choose my three favorite books of fiction that I've read in the last twelve months, they would very likely be A Monster Calls, Two Weeks With the Queen, and The Fault in Our Stars. Why does this seem absurd? Because each of these books deals with cancer. But see, that's not it. That's not what makes them so profound. They're aren't wonderful simply because they rip your heart out and leave you sobbing. No, not one of them uses cancer as an easy way to loosen the tear ducts of its readers. No, what got to me, what won my heart over, was the truths that each of these books told in their own special way. Not truths about cancer. But truths about love. About people loving people in so many different ways. About the truths that seem too hard to admit but make us human. About the truths of loneliness. And the truths of being understood.
*I love this book.
(Project progress: 50x50, Item 8 from #40-Read a book set in each of the 50 states [this one was Indiana]
AND 2012 unofficial-for-me reading challenges, What's in a Name 5, category 2-a book with something you'd see in the sky in its title)