Okay John Green, you win. I lose.
I had made a solemn vow not to let myself be swayed easily by the mawkish sentimentality of a romantic tragedy again. I mean, you are using cancer-afflicted, dying kids as characters here and asking me to shed sympathetic tears, Mr Green. That is not fair. Absolutely not fair.
I like my tragedies with a touch of subtlety and a generous dosage of symbolism and metaphors, thank you very much.
But now I realize how wrong I was.
This book isn't all about a pair of star-crossed teenage lovers and their highly stereotypical battle with cancer or even about death.
It is rather about life and making peace with the unfairness of it. An attempt at reclaiming the dignity in an existence fraught with numerous indignities.
(I suffer from a sense of déjà vu
because I realize that I have framed a very similar sounding sentence in my review of A Personal Matter
In all likelihood I should be giving this 3 stars, but little snippets of John Green's wisdom and philosophical meanderings are forcing me to up the rating by 1 more star -
"I thought of my dad telling me that the universe wants to be noticed. But what we want is to be noticed by the universe, to have the universe give a shit what happens to us - not the collective idea of sentient life but each of us, as individuals."
"....it occured to me that the voracious ambition of humans is never sated by dreams coming true, because there is always the thought that everything might be done better and again."
This book has already been read by more than half of Goodreads. Hence my review(which is not much of a review really) is directed at the ones who read only serious literature or intellectually stimulating books and scoff at YA fiction (for legitimate reasons no doubt). John Green's writing seems a little too pretentious and annoyingly self-indulgent at times. And well-read, amicable, articulate people who are near perfect in every way like his characters, are unlikely to be found in any corner of our disgusting planet.
But even so, he is a good writer. Just because a book is being read and liked by millions, doesn't mean it has to be another Twilight or Fifty Shades of Grey. And I only appeal to readers to give Green the benefit of the doubt.