Here’s the deal: I fought reading this book for the last 2 years. Every Lit Nerd I knew professed their undying love for the book and raved about how this text would bring light to the darkness that rested within our tortured earthly souls. The fans were that dramatic. But I was steadfast in my evasiveness. I ran like Usain Bolt from this book every chance I got, refusing to join the herd. Then last week, I couldn’t take it anymore. I saw the book propped up all high and mighty on the shelf at the front of the bookstore, heckling me. “I’ve been a bestseller for like 25 years. I demand to be read!” it taunted.
I offered a ubiquitous sigh to no one in particular and just like that, I gave in. I brought the book home and thought I’d page through a chapter or two and resign myself to the Chuck Palahniuk tomes that own my heart. But something strange happened; I liked the first chapter too much. John Green, the author, created protagonists that were very Dawson’s Creekish in intellect, in that they were way more intelligent than any real 16-year-old teen (or even 35-year-olds for that matter). Yet unlike Dawson and his crew, the characters remained very earnest and relatable. How could this be?!
Damn you, John Green. You’re the best. I wish I had you a decade ago when I was coming of age. This generation is too lucky. Your writing was delightful and unassuming and heartbreaking. Reading your words and references coming from Augustus Water’s mouth made me feel smarter and patient. The way Hazel Grace dealt with her parents. How her dad cried… Peter Van Houten, the brazen alcoholic. I had been had.
Three hours later, I finished the book and wept a small river into my pillow. I thought I had it all figured out from the cliched preview of the movie but like so many times in this life, I was wrong. How could you/thank you for doing it.
I look forward to inhaling The Abundance of Katherines and Looking for Alaska as soon as humanly possible. I’ve already purchased my ticket to the Thursday night showing. All that’s left is to hit up my local CVS and buy $30 worth of Kleenex because tomorrow night’s forecast calls for a coming-of-age flick with a 100% chance of me crying like a baby in the back of an AMC theater.