“The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green


(Patience. I will eventually get to the stuff about the John Green book. But first, a long story about why I haven’t, yet.)

Have not managed to kick virus from last week. Rested. Got better. Expended burst of energy. Got worse. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Then, the morning after my birthday, which I spent congratulating myself on how not old I felt, I woke feeling woozy and congested again (see above; also, I do not drink, so it wasn’t that) and with a swollen, painful middle finger knuckle and no memory of having injured it (again, I do not drink, so the obvious conclusion did not apply.)

Oh, no! I thought. I have my dad’s arthritis. I emailed him. He told me I didn’t. (He’s a retired doctor, not just an internet diagnostic genius, as I am, so I mostly trust him. Kinda like a Medical Magic 8 Ball. FYI, best site for diagnosing yourself and not freaking out is The Mayo Clinic’s excellent site.) I left it alone. It got worse. It hurt so much I couldn’t sleep, then got up and had to eat rice cakes and drink almond milk so I could take the TWO ibuprofen I could find in the house at 1am. I missed the GIANT BOTTLE my husband had gotten earlier that day. Shoulda known he wouldn’t allow us to run out of what a former brother in law called Vitamin M.

Anyhoo, slept on couch so wouldn’t disturb husband who was looking forward to geeky sci-fi con today, then told him when he got up that he had to drive me to urgent care because my hand was so effed up I couldn’t be trusted with the car. Two hours later I was told it wasn’t broken, it wasn’t arthritis, but a swollen joint capsule. Doc asked if I did repetitive motions. Typing, I asked? No, he said, wouldn’t be just that finger.

I professed ignorance and innocence while wondering if perhaps my flipping off of my family behind their back when they annoyed me had perhaps gotten a little two vigorous. And yet, I usually give the double salute, so even though I’m (sort of) joking about this, it is just the one hand. Upon consideration, it may have been from opening a jar. I got some pain meds, and am doing much better now, thanks. Which you can probably infer, since I’m typing this. But if you could see how many times I have to edit a line, you might see I’m still impaired (handwise, I mean. Again, don’t drink anymore.) And now I have to see a rheumatologist. Maybe I’ll just stop opening jars. (And flipping off people. Maybe.)

SO, the reason I started this is to say why I haven’t blogged lately, and why, now that the story has been told, I may give short shrift to reviews as I catch up here.

I’d heard from a bajillion people I trusted that The Fault in Our Stars by John Green was A. Really good and B. Really sad. I knew I was going to read it sometime, so when it was picked for this year’s Morning News Tournament of Books, AND it finally came in at the library, it was time.

And as for a review, I like what Janet Potter had to say at The Millions, because I think we do it a disservice by focusing on the crying part, as I did in my Good Reads review that said not to read the last 50 pages in public:

It’s a sad book, to be sure, about two teenagers who meet in a support group for kids with cancer, but it’s also joyful, hopeful, wise, funny, romantic, and genuinely inspirational. So why, in my efforts to share this joy and hope with other people, did I keep saying, go be unspeakably sad for as long as it takes you to read a 300-page book?

I think that when we talk about The Fault in Our Stars, we go straight to the unspeakable sadness, out of all the emotions evoked, because we want to convey the incredible emotional resonance of the book. What we’re trying to say is: this book mattered deeply to me, I think it could matter deeply to you too.

I didn’t love this book because it was sad, I loved it because the main characters were funny and smart. I delighted in the time I spent with them. Highly recommended.

But, don’t read the last 50 pages in public.

2 Responses to ““The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green”

  1. Amy Says:

    I very much liked the humor and warmth too. I’ve heard several complaints that the teens were too precocious and “teens don’t talk like that”. Um–I know lots of teens who talk like that.

  2. carolyn Says:

    dang that sounds rough (the finger).
    I have liked the John Green books I’ve read but not quite as much as the David Levithan I’ve read (liked a lot the one they wrote together). but I haven’t read this one yet.

    Amy: I hear the same kinds of complaints about YA books all the time and it MAKES ME CRAZY. Sure, not EVERY teen talks like that but certainly some do!!!