Hello Internet friends,

I know I owe you a ginormous post about all the books I’ve been reading. That’s on my to-do list, I swear.

However, I wanted to share some exciting news with you. My first book is being published as an ebook!

I’ve been sending query letters out to literary agents over the past few months and so far they’ve all passed with very gracious rejection letters. However, an online publishing company expressed interest in my query letter and then asked to see a completed manuscript… AND THEN SAID THEY WANTED TO PUBLISH MY BOOK AS AN EBOOK!

So, I’m finishing up some edits, working on a cover design and setting up various author pages. If all goes well, the ebook will be released in about two months, maybe less. And of course I will post out to everything once it is available.

I’ve been pretty hush hush about the actual subject of the book as I’ve been working on it (because people can steal ideas … that’s a terrible thing, but it happens). But, I can say that it’s a YA book and it’s about high school baseball.

I’m looking forward to sharing the rest of this process with everyone. In the meantime, I’m going to finish editing this book and write some more of the other book I’m working on… (Yes, I’m still writing! I’m 30 chapters into a completely different YA book, which is presently titled “College Book” because I have no idea what it should be called. Alas. But I’m in love with this book and I can’t wait to finish writing it!)

WRITING! IT’S THE BEST!

Have a fantastic weekend 🙂

Hey y’all.

So, reading. It’s the bee’s knees.

(You know what is not the bee’s knees? Robin Thicke. I’m watching New Year’s Rockin’ Eve right now and he’s singing “Blurred Lines” and as catchy as this song is, it is terrible. And he’s a creep.)

But I digress.

I finished reading four books in the past couple weeks and just started another book today. READING!

Here’s what I finished:

Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy (by Helen Fielding) – Oh, boy. I really wanted to like this book because I loved the first two Bridget Jones books. But this… this was not v.g. Fielding spent so much of the book having Bridget obsess over her Twitter follower numbers and talking about farting with her toy boy that she missed an opportunity to tell a really heartfelt story. There were a few moments where her words tugged on my emotions, but they were few and a far between. I was really upset as I read the book because I found myself wanting to smack Bridget and being frustrated about her screenwriting when I didn’t think that character had that kind of clout. It’s not a spoiler that Bridget is no longer married to Mark Darcy (that is mentioned within pages of the book). They didn’t divorce; he died. Fielding killed off Mark Darcy. Whhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhy? I sincerely hope they don’t adapt this into a film because it was so depressing to read, I don’t think I could handle seeing Squints McGee Zellweger reprise her role.

The Death Cure (by James Dashner) – a big HUZZAH that my library had the last book in the Maze Runner trilogy without me having to put it on hold. While this was my least favorite of the three books, I devoured it because I needed to know what happened to Thomas and his friends from the Glade. This is totally on me, but I never had a clear picture of Brenda in my head as I was reading and that bothered me because she was such an important character. I’m actually a lot surprised that Dashner had so much about Thomas’s feelings toward the two girls in his life. It didn’t distract from the overarching story and it definitely added a layer to Thomas that his male Glade friends weren’t entirely privy to… but these books are definitely aimed toward young men (though the two people who recommended the books to me are female). I told my brother he should read this trilogy. The books are all well written and Dashner really created very vivid pictures of the Glade and the Scorch. I’m really looking forward to The Maze Runner movie. These books were a quick, fun read. They aren’t too long and they are very much page-turners. You just want to know what happens next 🙂

Every You, Every Me (by David Levithan; pictures by Jonathan Farmer) – David Levithan, let me love you down. I very much admire his writing and this book was no exception. The story was really fascinating (a high school boy’s best friend is sent away because of her self-destructive ways because of her mental health issues… he receives photos of her and tries to figure out who they are from with the help of his bff’s boyfriend). There are words/phrases/passages that are crossed out (but still readable) so you know what the narrator was thinking. His thought process is very relatable and it’s interesting to read how he interacts with other characters juxtaposed against what he’s actually thinking. Throughout the book, there are photos that the narrator receives and they allow you to better follow along the story. I read this book in about 2 hours because I couldn’t put it down. (I was also on a plane and it was a good distraction from flying because I hate flying.)

someday this pain will be useful to you (by Peter Cameron) – I’m so glad I grabbed this book off the shelf at the library. I honestly had no idea what it was about, but it turned out to be perfect for me because it fit within the genre I’m writing. The title is what grabbed me, but the writing is what kept me reading. (This was another book I finished in less than a day.) I really loved Cameron’s writing style and will definitely be on the lookout for anything else he’s written. His protagonist, James, was relatable and likable (albeit a bit of a troublemaker… though I found myself siding with him). James liked being alone and didn’t like talking. As I read, I thought to myself that this was the kind of boy I would have wanted to be friends with and probably would have had a crush on. James, though, was gay, but it wasn’t really a huge part of the story. (Sure, both his parents asked him point blank if he was gay and he did admit to liking a colleague… but he also said that he never acted on his homosexuality, nor did he ever think that he would be intimate with anyone.) The bulk of James’s story had to do with not wanting to go to college and how he had run away for a couple days during school function in Washington, D.C. (James lived in NYC). I really, really liked this book. It was adapted into a film, so I’m going to try and track that down.

Stick (by Andrew Smith) – I’m not done reading this, as I just started it this afternoon, but I am 88 pages in and I’m enjoying this as well. This was another book I kind of just grabbed off the shelf, but I’m glad I did. It’s about a 13-year-old boy named Stark (his nickname is “Stick” because he’s really tall and thin) and his older brother, Bosten (16). Their parents are terrible people who beat them, have odd house rules, and only let them shower on weekends. Both Stark and Bosten have best friends (Stark/Emily, Bosten/Paul) and they are basically in love with said best friends. Stark just found out that his brother is gay and I’m already scared for Bosten and hope that their parents won’t find out. (Though, I’m fairly sure they do at some point – because that would be the predictable plot line.) Oh, and Stark only has one ear. He was only born with one ear. So, some of the book is written how he hears… with large gaps/spaces between some of the words/phrases. Stark is a likable protagonist and I’m eager to read the rest of his story.

I find it helpful to read books with young male protagonists because I’m writing a book with a young male protagonist. And since I’m a female and don’t have firsthand experience to write from, it’s really educational and insightful to be reading books written by men about male characters. Yay for fun research 🙂

If you have any book recommendations, let me know!

Last weekend, I sat/stood outside in the freezing cold and epic windiness for two hours to get Student Rush tickets to see Big Fish. The show is closing at the end of December and I knew I had to see it before its truncated run was over because 1.) It’s a musical based off of one of my favorite books and films   and  2.) Norbert Leo Butz.

 

A lot of people are probably familiar with the movie version of Big Fish (my tied-for-first favorite Tim Burton film [tied with Ed Wood, of course]), but maybe not so much with the book (written by Daniel Wallace). I highly recommend the book – it’s a good read and allows you to use your imagination to picture Edward Bloom’s stories as fanciful as you want. I read the book before the film came out, and then I saw the film twice in theaters. I’m not one to cry at movies, but the ending made me tear up both times. (No tears actually fell, but my eyes were definitely glassy.) I bought the DVD the day it came out and have watched it multiple times since.

 

I love the movie and I really wanted to love the musical.

 

I liked the musical.

 

But believe me when I say (write?) that I CRIED during the last couple scenes.

 

And I was not the only one in the theater to burst into tears. There was audible sniffling all around me. And rightly so.

 

Big Fish is a father/son story for the ages. It’s about a man named William Bloom who is trying to reconcile with his father, Edward Bloom. Edward Bloom was a traveling salesman while William was a boy, so he was not home as much as William wanted him to be – and when he was home, Edward Bloom told these wildly fantastical stories about giants, werewolves, witches and the war in which he himself was always the protagonist. Young William (and later adult William) thought these stories were too ridiculous and he wanted to know the truth about his father and what really happened in his father’s life. When illness strikes the Bloom family, time literally starts running out (as opposed to stopping/slowing down… see what I did there? Wink) and William desperately tries to piece together the truth. Additional stresses pile on as William finds out he is to become a father and he worries about being to able to raise a son when he thinks he doesn’t have a great example from which to lead. There are a lot of scenes of father and son butting heads, but also moments of redemption and forgiveness. Let’s just say a lot of the people crying in the theater were adult men.

 

For some reason, I am more affected by Father/Son stories than Mother/Daughter stories. Actually, I know the reason… it’s because Father/Son stories force the characters to open up and discuss feelings. And watching men talk (and sing) about feelings is not only entertaining, but heartbreaking. Vulnerable male characters are much more interesting to watch than guys who keep all their feelings bottled up inside. This is why I love Big Fish (the movie). This is why I only liked the musical.

 

Yes, the emotions were there in the musical. But I just wanted more. The whole idea behind Edward Blood is that he lived this crazy, almost unimaginably fantastical life… but the stage version just doesn’t quite live up to how big Edward Bloom’s world really was. Yes, there were still a giant and a mermaid and a big fish… but I selfishly still wanted more.

 

There were big musical numbers, but sadly I did not find the songs all that catchy. I can only remember a couple lyrics from a couple songs. I mean, if they have a cast album, I’ll totally get it… but that’s only because I crave anything sung by Norbert Leo Butz. His voice is magical. He was the perfect Edward Bloom… I just wish the musical lived up to his stage presence.

 

I am wholly biased when it comes to Norbert Leo Butz. (Though luckily, a lot of people share my bias.) I have been a fan of his for over a decade. In undergrad, I would watch bootlegs of Wicked and The Last 5 Years on youtube and stare at my computer screen with a look of pure wonder etched across my face. He’s such an animated performer and plays those big moments as huge as they deserve to be… but at the same time, he masterfully pulls back and allows the vulnerable moments to just be. And it breaks your heart.

 

In the musical, NBL plays both the younger and older versions of Edward Bloom (sometimes within mere seconds of each other… his physicality of those two characters is brilliant and impressive). Though his bigger moments definitely play out when he’s young Edward, I was more impacted by both Edwards’ quieter moments. For young Edward, it was the daffodil scene. I was in the fifth row for the show, and this was the only point that I wished my seat were up in the mezzanine so that I could see the daffodils from far away. I don’t consider myself that sappy of a romantic, but I definitely swooned when NBL sang “Daffodils.” His voice is perfection. It goes into your ears and then flows like cocoa throughout the rest of your person, making you feel all warm and protected. You feel safe and smitten at the same time and I honestly could listen to him sing anything. But I digress… Edward’s quieter moments.

 

The end scenes. Oh, lord. If you have not read the book or seen the movie, I will not ruin it for you. (Please at least see the movie. Really.) But, William and Edward come to a sort of understanding at the end of the book/movie/musical and William finally gets his dad’s stories and why Edward did what he did and why he was away so much when William was little. There is just so much love and understanding that happens when William achieves clarity about his father and it’s very beautiful and a sucker punch to your feels. It was at this point where my tears started and they did not stop until the finale reprise of “Be The Hero.”

 

Despite the shortcomings with the songs and some of the staging, the cast on a whole is really quite good. It’s an entertaining show and an emotional one at that, but I very much understand why its open-ended run is now drawing to a close at the end of December. If you have the means to see it, I would definitely recommend it. Everyone should have the opportunity to see Norbert Leo Butz in a musical at least once in his/her life. (That’s another reason why I kept crying during the last few scenes… this was a decade-long dream come true for me. I was supposed to see NBL in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels years ago, but his understudy was in the day I had tickets. Yes, I did see him in Dead Accounts last year, but that was a play… and a meh one at that.)

 

Big Fish is a great story. If you can’t/don’t see the musical, at least check out the movie and/or book.

 

Big Fish is playing at the Neil Simon Theatre until the end of December 2013. Student Rush tickets are available at the Box Office ($27/ticket, and up to two tickets per student ID). I was the third person in line and my tickets were E 17 and E 19 (Left Orchestra).

I have been reading a lot of YA books as of late (a loooooot), as I’m writing a YA book and am trying to read a wide variety of books within the genre. In the last 24 hours, I read The Spectacular Now (which was recently made into a major motion picture). It was definitely a good read. Tim Tharp’s writing style is, in a word, spectacular. His dialogue was great, his descriptions were interesting and unique to other books I’ve read, and I was intrigued by his protagonist (Sutter). I say that I have mixed feels because as much as I loved reading the book, I saw the ambivalent ending coming a mile away and I sincerely wished he would have gone a slightly different direction.

One thing I found interesting about this book was the lack of adult supervision. Yes, there were adult characters and they did pop up every now and again to say (or not say) parent-y things. A majority of this book is Sutter interacting with his friends and ex/girlfriends. They are seniors in high school, which to young people is about as adult as you can get without legally being able to buy alcohol. But that’s the thing, though… Sutter is basically an alcoholic and has zero troubles acquiring alcoholic beverages throughout the whole of the book. He usually seems to have a buzz going, but strangely enough you (the reader) still kind of like him. He seems charming, and when you read the dialogue with Miles Teller’s voice in mind (as he played Sutter in the movie), you kind of get why he does what he does. His life isn’t perfect and he’s been through some shit – but haven’t we all? Sutter just deals with his through drinking and falling for someone he never thought he would actually fall for. It’s kinda sweet, in a backwards “life sucks” way.

I didn’t see the movie, but based on the cover of the book I got from the library with the movie characters on it, they glammed up Amiee pretty good. (Ain’t that always the case?)

I’m super glad I read this book while I’m in the middle of writing my book. It’s definitely inspiration to make the description in my book more colorful. 

And with that, I’m gonna get back to my book. I’m on Chapter 11 🙂 

Probably because I had a strongish drink and the whisky is getting to me.

The joke is on you, though, if you think this blog post is going to be chock-full of spelling errors because I’m not even remotely tipsy. Just tired. Really tired.

I stayed up past midnight last night as I was watching Richard II on PBS and then texted with a friend regarding our mutual love of Tom Hiddleston. (He was not in Richard II, but will be in Henry IV and Henry V, which will air on upcoming Fridays on PBS. He was shown in some BTS footage and some interviews. We swooned a bit as we fancy him.)

I thought I would get decent sleep last night as I had no where to be this morning, but a roommate (or someone else in the apartment building at the very least) had a very loud alarm that went off at 7:00am. I was not pleased.

That being said, laundry was done by 9:30am and I spent the rest of the day reading, writing and researching.

This whole upcoming health care thing with registration starting on October 1st will impact me, so I was trying to look up what all that entails. I am the first to admit I have absolutely no idea what any of it means (something that I told my mom earlier this week), but she said that I’m an adult and I need to figure this out. How on EARTH am I to figure this out? Do you know how much “official” paper work I’ve read through this year with regard to health insurance stuff and whatnot? I am a very, very smart girl but I do not understand a majority of the overly verbose crap that is written on those documents. It’s like the government is setting us up to fail. (This isn’t me blaming Obama. I love Obama. This is me blaming the people at the top of the life food chain who make stuff for us peons below much harder than it needs to be.)

I did some reading. I finished reading John Green’s “Paper Towns.” I find myself wholly loving his writing style but getting frustrated with some of his characters. This time I was frustrated with Margo Roth Spiegelman. I mean, I get why she did what she did (to a point), but I thought she was super selfish… and that Quentin deserved better. I need to reread the last chapter (as I was distracted by something that was on my television), but I don’t think it’ll change my opinion.

I’ve said this before on here that I’m trying to read more YA books because I’m writing one. I wrote a few pages today and am up to 11,000+ words. I’m on the sixth chapter and it’s progressing all right. My biggest problem when I write is that I fixate so much on what I’ve written and what’s likely wrong with it that I’m slow to move forward. I’m trying to just keep going. I have an idea of where it’s headed, but there is filler stuff that needs to be written out and that is not my forte. I still feel like I’m in an exposition-y stage and need to explain the different teachers and what classes my protagonist is in, in addition to his progressing attraction toward who will eventually be his BFF/love interest.

The BFF/love interest is likely going to be my favorite character. I feel slightly guilty that I’m building him up as this great person when I know that in a few chapters he has to mess up really badly in order for the rest of the story to unfold. Nobody is perfect, but that doesn’t mean that that person can’t be perfect for someone else. So, for now he’s going to be this golden boy, but I’m going to have to knock him down a little later. But knocking him off his pedestal is going to help the protagonist find his own footing and be able to accomplish stuff he didn’t think he could or would.

I’d apologize for this being so vague, but I don’t want to give away too much of the plot. Not that I think anyone would steal my idea or anything… but this is mine until someday when I hope I will be able to share a finished entity to anyone who wants to read it.

Tomorrow is the Broadway Flea Market. I had hoped to go to a movie beforehand, but the film I wanted to see is no longer playing and the other film I want to see is not playing at a convenient theater/time, so I shan’t be attending a screening (at least not tomorrow). I will go to the flea market (depending on the weather), as I’d like to get some more window cards to hang in my room. There are some from shows I’ve seen that I really want, and hopefully I’ll be able to track down a couple at a reasonable price.

Tomorrow night is also the Emmys. I have a standing text and watch date with my sister, so hopefully we’ll be able to do that. It’s nice to still “watch” something with a sibling even though we can’t actually be together.

I miss my family. I miss them a lot. I talk to my mom almost every day (especially since she and my dad are apart for a couple months while he’s off in a different state for work stuff), but I haven’t seen any family since June. I miss my siblings. My sister was supposed to visit this month, but she couldn’t swing it because of her job. I’m supposed to see my brother and his wife next month, but it’s not a certain. I just hope to God I am able to make it back to see my family for Thanksgiving. I will be an emotional wreck if that does not happen. I need family hugs.

Whelp. My movie is just about over. (I was watching Atonement because I love it dearly and had been aching to re-watch it for awhile.) I think I’ll shut down my computer, brush my teeth and curl up with another book or perhaps continue watching Safety Not Guaranteed (a movie I started to watch on Netflix). I hope to sleep in tomorrow. Should someone else’s alarm wake me up, I cannot be responsible for my actions if I go all Hulk on someone. You wouldn’t like me when I’m (super tired and) angry.

Have a good one

P.S. I got my ticket for Little Miss Sunshine today. I am so freakin’ excited to see this musical. (The cast alone is bonkers amazing… Will Swenson, Rory O’Malley, Wesley Taylor. Granted I’ve seen all of them on stage before, but not all in one show!!!!)

Guess who FINALLY got an NYC library card?

So, I immediately checked out three books, one being John Green’s “Looking for Alaska.” (After reading “The Fault in Our Stars,” I decided I very much enjoy his writing style and plan to read all his other books. This was the only one at the library at the time.)

As I had a couple writing projects I had to get done, it took me two days to read all 221 pages of “Looking for Alaska.” A friend told me she sobbed while she read the book. As I knew the gist of the book heading into it, I quickly picked up on the foreshadowing and correctly guessed the climax of the story. My main focus became how the major characters dealt with (or didn’t deal with) what happened and I found myself getting really angry. I was angry at the characters and I was angry with myself.

(SPOILER ALERT)

So, the book is about this teenager named Miles who goes to a coed boarding school in Alabama for his junior year. There, he is roommates with a short, but authoritative boy named Chip (aka “The Colonel”) and he befriends and becomes very attracted to Alaska (a girl who smokes and loves her boyfriend, Jake).

All of these teens and their immediate peer group have not been dealt the greatest hands. Miles had no friends back in his hometown. The Colonel’s dad left him and his mom. Alaska watched her mom die. Though they have their problems, together they make a little rag-tag team/family and even though things aren’t great, at least they don’t suck so much.

Until they do.

One of the characters dies part way through the book. Even if I didn’t know the plot going in, there is an actual countdown happening as you read (instead of chapter heads, sections of the book are labeled “eighty-four days before” or “two days before” and then after it happens, sections are labeled “seven days after,” etc) as well as obvious foreshadowing.

Similar to reading “The Fault in the Stars,” I was placed in the position of knowing what was going to happen to these teenagers and realizing way before they did that their lives were going to get upturned in the worst way possible.

After the character dies, the others are faced with finding out about said death, and then taking it upon themselves to deal with it and piece together what happened to cause the death. Was it an accident? Was it suicide?

As Miles is the protagonist of the story, I don’t think it’s spoiling much to say that he is not the one who dies. However, he takes the death very, very personally… and in his grief, he keeps blaming himself and making the whole situation about him even though he was only a very tiny part of the whole. I would get angry at Miles for acting so selfishly, but then be grateful when other characters would call him out on it.

I realized, though, that as much as I was angry with Miles, I was also angry with myself – because I could identify with him. I thought his actions were unbecoming, but felt worse when I saw myself in him and wished I didn’t.

It’s an odd thing, reading about a fictional character who shares similar traits with yourself or people you know. I try not to be selfish all the time, but I know sometimes I fail spectacularly. So, when Miles was going on and on and on about how the other character couldn’t have committed suicide because he himself was promised a continuation of a personal activity with the other character, I found myself telling him “Stop it. This is not about you.” But then I put the book down and realized I’ve done that too. (And here I am again… making this all about me. But, it’s my blog, so I think I’m kind of entitled to that.)

While reading, there were many lines from the book that stuck out, but I actually wrote one of them down. It’s from when Miles is letting off some steam and yelling at the person who has died. He said:

“You can’t just make me different and then leave.”

I thought this was as profound as it was selfish.

I mean, think about it… someone came into his life and made him a different person than who he was before meeting said someone. And then that someone was gone – never to return again. But Miles is still there… and he’s a changed person. But he’s a changed person because of that someone. But with that someone gone, will Miles remain the same changed person, or will he go back to who he was, or will he change again?

“You can’t just make me different and then leave.”

This line made me angry and sad all at the same time because it very simply states something I know I’ve always wanted to tell people who have fallen out of my life. It both acknowledges that the other person had a big enough effect on you to change you in some way and places blame on them at the same time. It’s a demand that can never be adhered to if the other person is already gone for good, or it’s a plea for someone who is still right there but on the verge of disappearing for now or for good. It’s a damn good sentence, that’s for sure.

John Green is going to ruin my life in the best way possible. Though his books are about people much younger than I, their stories are relatable and his words hit hard and deep. I aspire to write like that.

Okay… so, I know I’m way behind the times here, but a friend lent me her copy of The Fault in Our Stars (by John Green) and I read it in less than 24 hours.

 

Everyone told me I was going to cry, and though I didn’t my heart hurt so much. (Full disclosure – I have never cried while reading a book and only cried 3 times watching television and 3-4 times watching movies. I’ve cried way more watching live theater than anything else… I just can’t seem to emote during works of fiction.)

 

For those of you who don’t know what the book is about, it’s told from the POV of Hazel – a 16-year-old who has cancer. (She carts around an oxygen tank and has trouble with her lungs.) Hazel becomes the object of affection of one of the boys at her support group (Augustus Waters). Though she tries to prevent herself from getting into a relationship with Augustus, young (but legit) love wins out and the two end up together. However, Augustus was/is sick too. (SUPER DUPER SPOILER ALERT) One of them does not make it to the end of the book.

 

I kind of loved most of this book. The witty banter between Hazel and Augustus reminded me of the fast-paced verbal sparing in Gilmore Girls, but infinitely better. Hazel and Augustus, though young, are wise beyond their years because they have been to hell and back (and then back to hell again) with their illnesses and treatments. Knowing that your book is going to end chapters before your peers’ has got to be one of the greatest mindfucks known to the terminally ill. And to deal with that as a teenager… I can’t even fathom it.

 

I thought Hazel was an admirable female protagonist. She was down on herself as most teenage girls are, but she also more than stood her ground when faced with adversity. It was heartbreaking to read the passages when she talked about not wanting to be a grenade – about how she doesn’t want to let too many people get too close because she doesn’t want a lot of casualties when she dies. But, when she realizes she is unable to keep Augustus at length (they’re friends, but he wants to be more than that) and finally lets herself love and be loved… well that’s heartbreaking too.

 

Augustus Waters is the kind of character who is easy to fall for. He’s a little bit of a bad boy (in the sense that he keeps mouthing at an unlit cigarette – saying it gives him power to put something that could kill him between his teeth, but not give the object the power to actually kill him), but he’s mostly a selfless person. His friendship with Isaac (a blind boy in their support group) is brotherly and supportive. His relationship with Hazel is enviable. In a perfect world, these two kids would be healthy and get to spend their late teens figuring out the ups and downs of falling in love. In TFIOS, however, their time is limited and Augustus is the first between them to own up to that ticking clock. He would rather love Hazel for a little while then never get to love her at all. He gives her his Wish but in return gets something so much more important to him. What tickles me pink is that a man wrote this book… usually these sensitive male characters are the brainchild of a female author (i.e. Harry, Ron, Peeta and Gale). But John Green is a friggin’ genius and allows Augustus to be equal parts strong and vulnerable, and in return lets Hazel (and the reader) fall so much in love with him that it makes your heart hurt when the truth finally comes out. 

 

I figured out the ending of the book long before the protagonists did and it made me that much more sad knowing that all was never going to end well. I mean, Hazel and Augustus knew it wasn’t going to end well either – but it turned out to be a lot worse than everyone thought.

 

Reading TFIOS made me think back to the YA books I used to read when I was in elementary school and middle school. (I don’t think “YA” was actually a genre back then, but now that I think about it, I totally read YA books.) I used to read stuff by Lurlene McDaniel, who I like to think of as the Nicholas Sparks of my childhood. All her books dealt with mortality in youth. Someone usually had a traumatic injury or some sort of terminal illness and they or their boyfriend/girlfriend died far too young. (Perhaps this is why I’m continually drawn to angsty stories rather than fluffy ones, and why I assume relationships are going to end badly instead of happily ever after – oh my goodness, I might be having an epiphany as I type this.)

 

Though I could not cry for Hazel and Augustus, I wanted to reach through the pages of the book and comfort them. I saw a lot of myself in Hazel and it made me wish I had an Augustus Waters at some point in my life. They didn’t deserve the hands they had been dealt – and as a reader it was wholly frustrating to know that their love was unfolding on borrowed time. 

 

I don’t know if I’ve ever felt so happy and so sad while reading a book. (The Harry Potter series perhaps…) I’m definitely going to check out John Green’s other books. I very much admired how he wrote his characters and progressed their plot lines. If only I could suck up some of that talent as I hold the pages of his books between my fingers.