Okay, so like everyone else, I finally got to The Fault in Our Stars on my booklist. Teenage me would have been underlining basically the whole thing like I did with The Wind Blows Backward (totally different type of book, similar themes of existential teenage ponderings -- but still totally different -- basically what I'm saying is that teen readers who year for books that talk about Prufrock and bands will like it).
(Speaking of bands...) ;)
|The Hectic Glow by Joviana Carrillo|
A quote to sum it all up:
I felt bashful, like I had when I'd first told him of An Imperial Affliction. "Um, okay. Okay. 'Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets, / The muttering retreats / Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels / And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells: / Streets that follow like a tedious argument / Of insidious intent / To lead you to an overwhelming question... / Oh, do not ask, "What is it?" / Let us go and make our visit."
"I'm in love with you," he said quietly.
"Augustus," I said.
"I am," he said. He was staring at me, and I could see the corners of his eyes crinkling. "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 void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we're all doomed and that thre will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust, and I know the sun will swallow the only earth we'll ever have, and I am in love with you."
You will like this if you like: teenage existentialism, characters who quote poetry at length, tragic fate, references to things like America's Next Top Model and pop culture.*
You won't like this if you dislike: stories with characters who have uber-hipster names, stories about characters who have cancer (even though this is not A Walk To Remember, geez louise thank God), stories that will pull you in hook, line, and sinker.
*There's that age-old question of will-pop-references-date-the-book? Well, yes. But is dating a book by making references a bad thing? No. I mean, some books are very specifically about a certain time, and in other cases, the fact that it's going to date itself with its references doesn't mean that the themes will be any less relevant. Of course, there's also the question of whether the uber-modern references to shows etc will jar the reader out of the story eventually because they'll so obviously be dated. Maybe. But I think in this book's case, it's a non-issue (not all the references are even real, after all) (which makes it all the more existentially brilliant).