Men still have trouble recognizing that a woman can be complex, can have ambition, good looks, sexuality, erudition, and common sense. A woman can have all those facets, and yet men, in literature and in drama, seem to need to simplify women, to polarize us as either the whore or the angel. That sensibility is prevalent, even to this day.
Natalie Dormer (via cityoftris)
The Fault In Our Stars
(Contains a spoiler)
‘It would be a privilege to have my heart broken by you’
Nothing I write can ever do justice to anything John Green writes. He has an ability to not only develop a character and embed that character into your heart, but his words are poetry; so eloquent and thoughtful without being too pretentious or deep-to-the-point-of-bullshit.
When I read Looking For Alaska, the first of Green’s novels I managed to get my mitts on, I was struck my his ability to make every single character infinitely original and The Fault in our Stars has been no exception. Hazel is witty, intelligent, a typical teenager with an unfortunate ‘touch of cancer’.
I read some reviews - before I took the liberty of making my own opinion - saying the book is insensitive and not Green’s story to tell, which, in my opinion, is utter crap. Cancer plunges into the lives of anyone and everyone and it damn well make sure its exclusivity isn’t stapled to the direct sufferers. Family, friends, neighbors, the dog’s mother and the world’s wife are all unfortunately linked to someone who has suffered, if they aren’t the one suffering.
Hazel is a victim of cancer, but she wasn’t a victim of an author’s ego. I refuse to believe her character was written with the intent to make readers sad, obviously the story is supposed to tug not-so-gently at your heart strings but you know what I mean. It’s a love story, an unrequited, emotional, fictional story between two people who are young and in love and destined for a tragic ending. It’s everything you want to read in a love story. The only reason you may not, is because, to you, cancer is taboo. But isn’t that exactly what Hazel and Augustus wanted to avoid? The people who stare at them with the sympathetic eye, the cancer perks?
I am the biggest advocate for a happy ending, in fact, I get downright, trophy-throwing stroppy if it doesn’t end in a warm embrace; yet I had no great expectations for this novel, not in that sense anyway. It would, of course, have been lovely had they both survived and danced into a healthy sunset. But your heart is required to break for these young people and you’ll still be upset, even when you know it’s coming - because it still isn’t what you expect. And that is also what is amazing about The Fault in our Stars.
Don’t read the book as a story written by someone who doesn’t have cancer and therefore has no right to comment on cancer. It’s about a girl who has cancer, and deals with it maturely and emotionally. It’s about a boy who is perhaps too young for me to fall in love with, but never-the-less, forces it to happen anyway.
“You should date a girl who reads.
Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes, who has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve.
Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag. She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she has found the book she wants. You see that weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a secondhand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow and worn.
She’s the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because she’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author’s making. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the book.
Buy her another cup of coffee.
Let her know what you really think of Murakami. See if she got through the first chapter of Fellowship. Understand that if she says she understood James Joyce’s Ulysses she’s just saying that to sound intelligent. Ask her if she loves Alice or she would like to be Alice.
It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas, for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry and in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by god, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does.
She has to give it a shot somehow.
Lie to her. If she understands syntax, she will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world.
Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who read understand that all things must come to end, but that you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two.
Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilight series.
If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are.
You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time she’s sick. Over Skype.
You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots.
Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads.
Or better yet, date a girl who writes.” — Rosemarie Urquico