One fine day three years ago, I was waiting for my parents to come pick me up from work. Because they were trapped in traffic and I was an impatient drudge worker who wanted nothing more than to leave the premises, I decided to walk down to the nearby Chapters – which I usually always do when I have more than half an hour to spare; that particular branch has really good sales, and I am a sucker for pretty notebooks. While I was there, I decided to pick up a book at random and hide in a corner to read. I picked up TFIOS because it had the prettiest cover of all the books that it was shelved with. I know we say don’t judge a book by its cover, but that iconic blue with the overlapping clouds was really what made me pick it up.
Within twenty minutes of reading, TFIOS had managed to make me break my three-year I-shall-not-cry-in-public streak. I loved it so much that I have given it as gifts on two separate occasions, and I probably will again.
The book itself is a very easy read, but what made it a great book for me was how easy it was to slip into the story being told and forget that you’re reading fiction. John Green has a gift, and it is in this particular novel that I think he wields it to its fullest. If ever you decide to follow the tale of Gus and Hazel, remember to put a few tissues within arm’s reach. You’re going to need them. I don’t want to say more because most of us will have seen the movie and know what’s coming up (and may I just say that I did *not* see that coming).
My favourite scene in the book is the one that involves Isaac and the eulogy he wrote, but this is the one that sealed the deal for me and has put this book on my top 20 list:
“There are infinite numbers between 0 and 1. There’s .1 and .12 and .112 and an infinite collection of others. Of course, there is a bigger infinite set of numbers between 0 and 2, or between 0 and a million. Some infinities are bigger than other infinities. A writer we used to like taught us that. There are days, many of them, when I resent the size of my unbounded set. I want more numbers than I’m likely to get, and God, I want more numbers for Augustus Waters than he got. But, Gus, my love, I cannot tell you how thankful I am for our little infinity. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. You gave me a forever within the numbered days, and I’m grateful.”
(Excerpt: The Fault In Our Stars by John Green, who made me cry in the middle of a crowded bookstore.)