There are some books you know you should just stay away from, steer clear of, at all costs. You know the ones. Those Books that trigger the infinite tear response: Cry, Heave, Sob, and again, and again, and again. Those Books that leave you raw and aching like an abscessed tooth in desperate need of extraction. Those books that continue to haunt you long after the last page was read like an old ghost taking up shop in your attic. Books like, The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green should never be read by the faint of heart, but if you manage to make it to the end, you will find something you never expected.
After looking inside the book on Amazon, I decided no way, no how could I read it. How could any book about a teenage girl, with stage IV thyroid cancer with mets to the lungs, who falls in love with, a seemingly healthy teenage boy, who survived a bout with osteosarcoma, end well? Really? Someone will inevitably die, and I most certainly will cry, cry, cry, and cry some more.
I decided a long time ago that sadness is not a form of entertainment for me, I enjoy. Life provides enough heartache at no monetary cost, so why pay for something when you can get it for free? Whether you want it or not. Make no mistake, I want the least I can possibly get away with, and that means I had no intentions of purchasing John Green’s brilliant little book. Hah! Hah!
Some books just demand to be read! I may have got away with not reading the book in it’s entirety, if I had not read the sample. After a mere 8 pages, I read two sentences that kept eating away at me, building my curiosity, and destroying my resolve.
“I went to Support Group for the same reason that I’d once allowed nurses with a mere eighteen months of graduate education to poison me with exotically named chemicals: I wanted to make my parents happy. There is only one thing in this world sh*tter than biting it from cancer when you’re sixteen, and that’s having a kid who bites it from cancer.”
As a parent, I can not think of anything worse. So, for the same reason that the dumb girl in a scary movie, opens the door she knows she shouldn’t, I decided to open The Fault in our Stars, knowing that I may not like how it all ends, but I did anyway. I read it.
And, I cried, I heaved, and I sobbed just like I knew I would. I laughed, and I didn’t expect to at all! I tried to stop reading, but I couldn’t. I could relate, and as far as I know, I am not dying (morbid, isn’t it?). Then it broke my heart just like I knew it would, and Mr. Green put it all back together again, just like the reviews promised, one tiny shard at a time. Then, once I read the very last word, on the very last page, I knew the World was definitely not a wish granting factory, but it didn’t and does not stop me from hoping, that one day the world will make one wish come true for the whole lot of us. One Wish for the dreaded big “C” to disappear, to no longer exist, in any cell, at any level. Please, world, give us this one little wish! Soon!