I just finished another novel coincidentally with "stars" in the title, a fictional tear jerker unlike the true emotion I felt to learn of the real-life news of Anita Shreve's passing, which led me to review her final novel, Stars Are Fire. The real-life sadness I was feeling turned to a fictional melancholy as I read about two teenagers who happen to meet at a cancer support group and fall in love in John Green's 2012 novel "The Fault in Our Stars". There are esoteric thoughts about the meaning of life through the eyes of teenagers, much discussion of pain and treatment, hovering and loving parents--not to mention quirky but loving friends, a "hot" love interest for Hazel Grace whose one dying wish lies in the hands of a pompous, dispirited author to whom they travel to Amsterdam to see. Instead, Hazel's charismatic boyfriend, "Gus", head over in heels in love with her, becomes the one person who could potentially help Hazel Grace with her one last dying wish.
I am trying to think of when I was so totally lost in a book? The last time I broke down sobbing? John Green's writing reminds me of J.D. Salinger's in The Catcher in the Rye. He writes for young adults, but I like his books just fine as an older one.
In fact, I didn't just like this book, I loved it. I read later that it had been made into a movie in 2014, but I don't want to disrupt my own imagination about the two main characters and how they'd look or act. The beauty of reading and imagining words off a written page is that you get to craft your own images of the characters you will come to love rather than the leads in a movie.