Thoughts from Books (#3)

“What a treacherous thing to believe that a person is more than a person.”

Some people believe that I have my life in order, and that I know exactly what I want to do and how to attain it. Honestly, though, I don’t. I’m struggling just like everyone else. Am I good enough? Does anyone actually like me? These thoughts plague my mind continually, and are some of my deep-rooted insecurities.

It’s okay if you don’t “have it all together.” Don’t be ashamed of your problems or discouraged by your thoughts. Don’t hide behind a mask of “perfection” and good behaviour because it’s expected of you; let others know that you are just as broken as they are, if not more so. Don’t just be someone who others can look up to; be someone that they can relate to. Be a friend. Be honest – both to yourself, and to others. Let’s stop pretending and struggle together.

Which quotes have resonated with you lately?

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30 Day Book Challenge: Day 13

I stumbled across this 30 day book challenge by The Chronicles of Radiya and decided to give it a try. Hopefully it will lead to 30 consecutive days of blogging that liven up the blog a bit and give us a chance to get to know each other a little better.

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Day 13: Your Favourite Author

See that lovely man up there? That’s John Green, and he’s one of my favourite authors. He’s so eloquent and intelligent, and every time I come across something that he’s said, I get excited, inspired, and incredibly jealous that I didn’t come up with it myself. Between his books, Vlogbrothers videos, and involvement with charities like Project for Awesome and Kiva, John has inspired me to:
1) travel — both to discover the world and discover myself
2) be myself and be proud of it
3) continue learning about subjects that I’m interested in regardless of whether or not I’ll ever use it in life (thanks, Crash Course!)
4) decrease World Suck
5) become a better person
6) not forget to be awesome

John Green has helped restore my faith in the world and its inhabitants on many occasions, and I have so much respect for him. I can’t wait to see what he does next.

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Do you love John Green as much as I do? Who’s your favourite author?

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30 Day Book Challenge: Day 6

I stumbled across this 30 day book challenge by The Chronicles of Radiya and decided to give it a try. Hopefully it will lead to 30 consecutive days of blogging that liven up the blog a bit and give us a chance to get to know each other a little better.

Day 6: A Book That Broke Your Heart

I’m not going to go into details because I don’t want to spoil anything for those of you who haven’t read it, but The Fault in Our Stars is one of the many books that turns me into an emotional mess. The first time I read it, I had to stop reading at certain points because my tears made it hard to read the words on the page. You’d think that the second time around I’d be able to make it through without this happening, right? Even though I know what’s going to happen, I still end up crying. Every. Single. Time.

I don’t think my reactions were nearly as great as my mom’s though. When I lent this to her, I told her nothing about the plot; only that it’s an excellent book. She read it in one sitting and then came into my room crying and asking, “how could you do this to me?” She now explicitly asks whether or not a book is going to make her cry before she borrows it.

Book Review: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

ImageDespite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.

My Rating: 5 cupcakes

The Fault in Our Stars is my favourite John Green novel. Since its release, I’ve read it at least four times and I’ve recommended it to absolutely everyone I know. I even own two copies of it; a signed copy that stays on my shelf looking pretty, and a second copy that has been lent out more times than I can count and whose pages are marked by the bright yellow highlighter that covers all of my favourite quotes.

The Fault in Our Stars is not your typical cancer novel: the characters are refreshingly real, as opposed to the stereotypical martyr, and all of the ugliness associated with cancer is not glossed over or glorified to spare the reader any unpleasant details.

Cancer is a heavy topic to write about, so naturally the book is very emotional. While I did spend a good portion of my time crying over the book, I spent an equal amount of time laughing and having fun. This is mostly due to the fact that Hazel and Augustus were just like any other teenager – they played video games, watched movies, became obsessed with books, fell in love and traveled. They had cancer, but their cancer did not define them.

The Fault in Our Stars is beautifully written and is littered with many incredible, memorable, thought-provoking quotes. While John Green himself is in his 30s, he is able to create such authentic voices for his characters, including his sixteen year old female protagonist. It’s a fairly short book and can easily be read in a sitting – which is good because you’ll likely want to read it again as soon as you’ve finished.