I spent the last two days reading a book called The Fault in Our Stars by John Green — I mentioned my intent to read it in my video earlier this semester. I finished it about half an hour ago, and it has taken me until now to really absorb and process what I’d read.
It’s a story of two teenagers who deal with the pressures of cancer, love, and time. I don’t believe in spoiling books, but it’s worth reading. Do it, right now, I can wait.
This book touched me the most of all the books I’d read by John Green. I’ve read all but one and they all were enjoyable: there was something bigger to take away, and the protagonists’ usual goofiness appealed to me. TFiOS was different. I felt this terrible ache of attachment to the characters, protagonists and side characters alike, which was new. I was deeper in their psyches and their motivations than I feel I’d been in his previous books.
When I finished it, my eyes were raw from the emotional rollercoaster the 313 page book took me on. Like all good books, I was hesistant to let it end and let my brain forget that with a finite number of pages to get wrapped up in, the end was inevitable and there was no way to work around it. To borrow a phrase from the story, the physical book had this metaphorical resonance to it: it’s with us for a limited time, bound by its finite printed form, just like people can be and just like the experiences we have in our lifetimes. Who knows if John Green had such a meta interpretation of his work.
There’s a certain part that’s stuck with me since finishing, and I’m sure countless other people were affected by this concept quoted below. Hazel speaks:
“I am not a mathematician, but I know this: 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.”
That just stuck with me as being so beautiful and so true.