5. The Fault in Our Stars
I loved it. I cried. I had all the feels, but it’s not my favourite JG book. What gets this book on my fave list, however, is the nature of how it was written. I read a lot of ‘cancer kid’ (to use Hazel’s words) books when I was a teen. They were all glamourous, eternal and romantic where the heroine would say ‘oh my’ and faint before being rushed to the hospital, or the hero would act tough until his walls were broken down by love. It was all very superficial intended to make me cry but not to make me think. TFioS sounds more real, more authentic to the human experience (or at least it does to me, as I was never in Hazel’s position, nor did I know anyone who was.), which made it hit a little deeper than the more romanticized stories of a similar nature. I didn’t just cry, I felt. To me it was an empathy book, not a sympathy book… if that makes sense?
Abuse is tough, and while this book wasn’t an obsessive page turner for me, there were moments where Caitlin did things or said things and my reaction was YES. THIS. The frustration I felt toward her for not seeing what was so clearly wrong for her was the best part of this book. A lot of people will rate a book poorly because they ‘hate’ the female lead character for her decisions but I personally see it as the opposite. If I’m yelling at the pages of a book at how stupid the character is it means I care. I care about what the MC is doing. I care enough to want her to stop being stupid.
This, in my opinion, is a job well done by the author. This is the point.
3. Thirteen Reasons Why
This book was another that wasn’t received well for the likability of the female character, who narrates her decision to commit suicide via cassette tapes. But again I reiterate, the reason why I LOVED this book was precisely because I was all.over.the.place. in my feelings toward Hannah. And even Clay. I judged her just like the people at her school, then felt guilty about it. I thought to myself ‘that’s not really a good reason to kill yourself’ then felt HORRIBLY guilty. As well as had moments where the things she had to deal with broke my heart and made me want to wrap her up and wish I could have saved her.
Another reason why I loved this book so much was also the lack of resolution in my feelings about the characters. It wasn’t like a lot of books that starts in one place and takes you in a linear fashion to the end. I still to this day don’t know how I feel about them.
I might be the last person on the planet to read this book, but better late than never. I don’t understand how this book gets banned… This is a socially relevant book. A testament to our collective way of thinking.
The sexual violence of books like Twilight are celebrated because even though he’s over a hundred years older and wants to eat her (yes. kill her and eat her) he loves her, so it’s okay. But this book about actual sexual violence is banned and called pornography because a young girl was preyed upon by an older boy in a realistic fashion. Vampires aren’t real, so therefore it’s okay to talk about it. Rape is real, so it’s not okay to talk about it.
This makes no sense to me.
Interesting tidbit: Bella and Melinda are played by the same actress in their respective film adaptations…
(Ed note: this is not a diss on Twilight, it’s an example. Edward actually says he wants her blood, that she’s like a drug. He believes he might kill her when he needs to save her. Just wanted to make that known…)
1. Looking for Alaska
Remember last week when I went all UUUUUGGGHHH… *sigh* over Thomas? Well, Miles is the contemporary version of that same sentiment. I read this book at the right time, in the right way, in the right frame of mind. I loved everything about it. It was my first JG book and still is my favorite. I still think about it a lot. I still wonder about Alaska.