I finally jumped on the John Green bandwagon (it seems everyone else was already on) and read The Fault in Our Stars. It indeed was as good as all the bandwagoners say it is, but of course my saying that isn’t really adding to the literary discussion of this text. It’s just a fact.
Something amazing about this book other than the fact that it is amazing: in reading Green’s book, and everything else I’ve read this summer so far, I’ve rediscovered my love of reading. Four years of English classes at the undergrad level and now two semesters of graduate school had, I’m ashamed to say, burned the love of reading right out of me. Oh, I still enjoyed it–and the books I’ve read for school this semester have been among the best I’ve seen in a long time–but it was still just like I was going through the motions.
But when I read Badlands, a piece of that puzzle fell back into place. I want to kindly remind readers that Badlands was the book that reduced me to more than just tears the night I finished it. Damn cancer narrative. I got to page 207 (of 208), tossed the book away from myself, and had a very thorough, I-can’t-see-through-this-waterfall-coming-out-of-my-face cry. Something opened up in my mind or in my heart–literature could be good again, could make me feel things that even real life has a hard time with.
And since the semester ended in the beginning of May, I have already read more books that helped solidify that thought. We’re in Trouble by Chris Coake was fantastically depressing, but above all, was written well and had all the qualifications of good literature. The Fault in Our Stars followed suit. I guess what I’m trying to say is: literature makes me a blubbery mess, and I fucking love it. I can’t wait to get started on my next book.
Oh and by the way, I finished The Wheel of Time. Also fantastically depressing, in more ways than one. Review to come.