I feel it appropriate to say that before I read this book I was a John Green virgin, which, after saying, I regret it. I had never read anything by John Green before. So, I started my journey with John Green with this book, which I must say out of the two I’ve read, this being one of them, I liked this one the best! (laugh, that was supposed to be funny, because obviously after reading two of his books, I’m a John Green expert [not])
I really did love this book. I picked it up after I had just walked across the stage in front an audience of about (and here I’m using the actual number for effect) 2,000, 1,000 of those being solely the graduates themselves in only the Arts and Sciences College (it was like purgatory for college students). I mention this because I had finished reading The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and that one hit a little too close to home for me, and just for clarification not me personally, but a family member of mine had a similar experience, we think, and it has never been resolved, but that’s for a later review.
Essentially my worldview was small at that moment. I longed to get away from the hurt and discomfort I had picked up from Chbosky, and I had heard such wonderful things about The Fault in Our Stars, and I had seen some videos from vlogbrothers (which if you haven’t checked out, you should, definitely!) so I knew of John Green. I knew he was a little wacky, crazy, childish, and just all around the most awesome human being/author to walk this side of the world, so I figured, you know, naturally, he has to be a pretty dang good writer.
I was so right.
First of all, I am used to crazy fantasy novels of dystopias and utopias, and dragons, and faeries, and ghosts, vampires, werewolves, etc, the list goes on. By the title of this, I expected it to be fantastical and epic. (it was epic, but not in the way I thought)
It was so down to earth, hit you right in the feels (your heart, emotions, feelings, you get it) amazing. I’ve never had the misfortune, and I’ve been so lucky to not experience the true horrors of cancer. I’ve had two or so family members who were already at the very ends of their lives. I watched them suffer, I watched them waste, and I’ve seen the death and destruction and heartache it causes, but I didn’t know it. I didn’t know how to feel it, or feel about it, especially within a subject young and vibrant, and meant to keep living.
My worldview was changed. I felt, after graduating, as if my life was just beginning. I was gonna be an actress. My lifelong dream. I was gonna learn to play guitar, and write a book, and I was on the cusp of my life, I didn’t have to rush, I had all the time in the world. These probably sound like aspirational goals, and I have yet to give up on them, but what this book made me realize was that, we’re always at the end of our lives. Right, there at the end of the string, it’s as far as we’ve gotten, and it’s not wrong to dream, it’s not wrong to aspire, but I’m at the end here, and I’ve got to do.
So I celebrate the little things, measure moments and try to make them last and memorable. I savor them. Because one day death, pain or suffering will all come knocking at our doors, and it doesn’t do, as the great Dumbledore said, “[to] dwell on dreams, and forget to live.”
So I’m living. I’m dreaming, and I’m doing. Thank you , John Green, J.K. Rowling, and all you authors out there who have shown me a perspective that has changed my life.
I highly recommend reading this book, perhaps beside a box of tissues, and maybe some anti-depressants.