Let me just let the world know how I came across this book. I had not read Looking For Alaska, An Abundance of Katherines or Papertown ie. no John Green books before this book, so I had no idea what to expect what so ever.
However my New Year’s Resolution was to read more, so I went through Barnes and Noble’s Top 100 and saw this book and decided it was going to be one of these books I will read.
And then I read it, and it was amazing.
Now, I am going to talk about my love for it. However, before that, I will summarize the story because whenever I do a book review, I will always attach a summary.
Summary: Hazel Grace Lancaster is quite an extraordinary girl. Wait, nope, that’s a total lie. She has a cancer that prevents her from breathing correctly and so she is constantly living in a state of using tubes to breathe and worrying that one day she will obliviate everything in her wake. However, one day she meets Augustus Waters in support group and they fall in love like sleeping, slowly, and then all at once. They embark on a journey together where they love each other with all their hearts and learning to deal with not knowing all the answers, and not being able to have enough time. Essentially though, it is a story about two kids who have cancer, but it isn’t about cancer but about falling in love.
I love this novel because it isn’t a story about cancer. It’s about falling in love. And I know that sounds really cheesy but that is really true. I mean, it isn’t just about falling in love of course, I think it’s also about learning to live your life as if you are about to die in the next second, learning to appreciate the people who do so much for you, and learning to move on from pain and sadness and live a life.
I think that’s really why I love this book. It’s so amazing with so many different messages hidden in every single sentence.
But aside from that, it’s funny. It’s heart warming. But also heartbreaking. It doesn’t just detail the good parts of a relationship, but also the bad. It doesn’t have a happy ending like so many books now have. And I know that sounds really bad saying that it doesn’t have a happy ending. But how many books can you name that end with one of the main characters, one of the lovable characters nonetheless, die? I don’t think very much.
It’s a novel that documents the reality of life and of love. It shows that love is beautiful, but is also heartbreaking, and can hurt you like no other pain in this world.
“What a slut time is. She screws everybody.” – Peter Van Houten
“You realize that trying to keep your distance from me will not lessen my affection for you.” – Augustus Waters
“I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once.” – Hazel Grace Lancaster
“I’m in love with you, and I’m not in the business of denying myself the simple pleasure of saying true things. I’m in love with you, and I know that love is just a shout into the oid, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we’re all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust, and I know the sun will swallow the whole earth we’ll ever have, and I’m in love with you.” – Augustus Waters
“Some infinities are larger than other infinities.” – Peter Van Houten
From the above favourite lines, it really shows Green’s wit and his take on love and life.
Director: Josh Boone
Actors: Ansel Elgort, Shailenne Woodley, Nat Wolff,
Running time: 125 mins (2 hrs 5 mins)
Release Date: June 6 2014
Okay, so I just watched the movie today at a Pre-Screening (Saturday May 17) and omg, it’s so amazing I don’t even know where to begin!
However, before I go into the movie itself I’m going to let you all know the few things I was wary about going into the theaters:
1. Movie adaptation of books- now if you have watched as much films as I have (which is to say a LOT because, you know, what else can you do in Seattle?!) then you would be pretty wary of this too. I mean, even if you don’t watch as much movies as I do, you would be wary regardless.
2. Shailenne Woodley + Ansel Elgort- For starters, they were siblings in Divergent and now their lovers?! Yes, it isn’t a huge deal since they are actors and they have said in interviews that they don’t mind switching roles. However the real problem was that I didn’t particularly care for their acting in Divergent. I know, shoot me dead. But I’m sorry, they weren’t all that great in the movie. However, I must also say that the novel doesn’t give them a lot of emotional range so maybe I am just picky about the character, not the actors. So anyways, I was wary about whether or not Shai and Ansel would be able to portray the emotional rollercoaster of Hazel and Augustus.
Okay, now that my wariness is covered, let’s go straight into the movie.
Yes, the director did cut out some things/characters (pretty much just Caroline & Kaitlyn though so it’s not a huge deal) but there were quite minor things. To name a few, they did change the ending of the novel. The ending ends with Hazel saying “I do” to Augustus’ email telling van Houten that he was happy with his choices and hoped that Hazel was too. However the director made it with her saying “Okay” which, honestly, I don’t mind, because that’s their thing and I think that’s the best way to end such an amazing novel. So, that is just one things they cut/changed.
What I really love about this film adaptation though, is that the screen writers pretty much kept all the original dialogue in the actual novel so the funny bits you laughed at in the novel, are still part of the film. But I think in the end, what was so amazing about this film was the two main actors they had cast. Like I said earlier, I was wary about Shai and Ansel, but after the first 10 minutes, I was persuaded that they are the best actors for this film.
But like how I love certain aspects of the film, I must also say the things I didn’t like about it. The biggest one, I think, is the actor they cast as Peter Van Houten. Honestly though, I have nothing against the actor. I think he did an amazing job at portraying the douche-iness of the character, but the thing is, he didn’t fit the description! He was tall and skinny with hair rather than short, bald and fat! I know it’s a really minor thing, but honestly, I think that the actor chosen still did a great job.
Now to answer your impending question: it is almost 100% as sad as the book itself. While the book lead up to the sadness slowly, the movie did end up rushing it a bit (I don’t know how long because we had our phones taken away so we couldn’t record anything to leak it into the internet but I can safely say that maybe 45-30 minutes) but regardless, it still did a good job with the effects to make the audience feel a rush tsunami of sadness. I did end up shedding quite a few tears (and who can blame me right?!) but I didn’t full out cry, mostly because I was wearing make up and I also had on contacts. But while I heard a lot of sobs, I also heard a lot of laughs and it just goes to show the amazing adaptation the movie did to the book.
Okay, now I think I have said enough about the movie so let’s go onto the soundtrack. I have a very particular taste in music, so I am quite picky. My favourite songs though is definitely Not By Angels by Birdy (which is heard in the movie after Hazel leaves Gus’ burial site), Tee Shirt by Birdy, and All Of The Stars by Ed Sheeran (end credits song). So theses are the songs I like at this moment because to be fair, the entire soundtrack has yet to be released. But I also like them because Birdy’s voice is so unique it sounds creepy yet also very sweet. And must I explain why I like an Ed Sheeran song?
I really do love this movie so very much. I love the book, but this movie makes me love the story even more than I could ever have. Even though this is a movie adaptation, it really did a great job. I don’t think it could’ve been done any better and even though I do chastise certain directorial decisions, I do think that whatever the directors vision of the novel was, it was definitely carried across.
Now, I hope y’all read this book/watch this movie!
I will most definitely be purchasing this movie on DVD because it is THAT great.
Don’t forget to SM:)LE today!
∞ sofieyah ∞