I’ve always wanted to write down (in the blog) what I felt after I read The Fault in Our Stars back in January but I never had the time. I always wanted to write about Looking For Alaska which I read last year but as you can see, that I wasn’t able to do also. Boo. But let me try to change all of that today. :)
The Fault in Our Stars
Note: What you are about to read is the very emotions that I had right after I finished the last page of the book. There are some spoilers here, you’ve been warned. Also, if you haven’t read the book, READ it.
Hazel’s dad kept saying that the universe wanted to be noticed; and that it would push itself to be noticed. Hazel, on the other, wanted the universe to notice them for once. She had been noticing the universe far too long.
I don’t know but it was in a way that it somehow looked unfair from their side that they felt love, and they were in love, but they were sick as hell and either one is healthier than the other or vice versa. They were in a path woven for each other but could never meet the ends. It will cross but it will pass straight the other direction. And I kind of think that it was unfair too.
However, this life isn’t all about us. Never is and never was. Sometimes we’re too succumbed by our own miseries that we feel that the world owe us something; that we don’t deserve to be treated any less; that we should always get what we worked hard for. But no. Until we learn to notice the universe, to give attention to what is far more important, we wouldn’t know that this, this life is more than just us. There is Someone Somewhere doing Some things greater (actually, all things) for each of us if we let it. Capital S.
We are in a universe where as much as we wanted it to notice us, it won’t. Until we see the bigger picture that we are only a part of Something greater, we won’t fully surrender. We got our own infinities and it can surpass other infinities and this world is gonna turn, it will, either up or down. It won’t care if we are hanging tight or letting loose. Try to see it in a new light, try to appreciate whatever it brings to the table, try to scratch off the idea that it is indebted to you. It is not.
Feel all the pain, the joy, the sorrows, the overwhelming peace. Feel the universe. Let your eyes see it. And whatever comes and whatever goes, may you find the courage to believe that Someone made it and you are only a part of it but even so, even there is so much more in life and the world you are in, Someone made you also matter. But sometimes you just got to see the bigger picture.
If not for their current health situation (Hazel and Augustus); if not for their paths that will cross, will meet but won’t stay too long – at least for life on earth – I think they won’t understand love in the way they did. At a young age, they got brave souls. They got that heart, the You Can Never Explain In Words kind of heart. They felt everything. They were everything. And I think they’re infinite, present tense.
Also. I don’t think there’s any fault in the way their stars were drawn. Yes, it wasn’t a And They Lived Happily Ever After because Hazel lived, yes, but Augustus died. But true love don’t die, does it? Even memory sometimes forgets, the heart will never seek to delete something it felt so genuinely pure and true as that of true love. The stars had crossed but at the time it met in the middle; that, they have. That, they keep. Keep in their hearts.
Praises for John Green’s rawness!
Looking For Alaska
When I read this book a year ago, this was my first encounter on how raw the story of a writer such as John Green could be. Unlike Fault, I wasn’t able to write down what I had felt after reading it and that was a major mistake. I could’ve caught myself saying something more fluid than what I could say now. (See kids, if you felt you got to write something down ((an idea, concept, poem, story)) you better write it down immediately. That’s the formula in writing.)
We all living under different stories in life. When we welcome people inside, when we invest on them, we experience something more magical. We see our life in a new light just like Pudge when he met Chip and Alaska. Theirs was a story of finding their own Great Perhaps, exposing themselves to what it means to truly live, what could courage do to you, what could life offer and what offer you don’t refuse. Even when life will let you lose something/someone, when it blows land mine in front of your face, when you can’t take the grief anymore, you got to believe that there is a place that will be beautiful – where everything will be beautiful. But for the Now, I hope we are living, we are taking life in the open: ready to be loved, to fall in love, to fall down and get hurt, to lose someone, to meet someone, to grieve, to cry, to just feel. Let’s all find our Great Perhaps and let’s all have the courage to live it.
And now it’s time for bookmarks! Or in other words, the feels, those conversations, monologues or statements that really strike me – those that captured my core.
Note: This is super KADUPER long. Again don’t tell me that I didn’t warn you. But if you’ll continue to read, it will be amazing. John Green’s words are wonderfully crafted and written.
The Fault in Our Stars
Hazel’s Mom: Hazel, you deserve a life.
And yet — I cut a glance to him, and his eyes were still on me. It occurred to me why they call it eye contact. (Hazel Lancaster)
Look, let me just say it: He was hot. A nonhot boy stares at you relentlessly and it is, at best, awkward and, at worst, a form of assault. But a hot boy…well. (Hazel)
Finally, I decided that the proper strategy was to stare back. Boys do not have a monopoly on the Staring Business, after all. So I looked him over…and soon it was a staring contest. (Hazel)
There were five others before it got to him. He smiled a little when his turn came. His voice was low, smoky, and dead sexy. (Hazel)
Oh, I’m grand. I’m on a roller coaster that only goes up, my friend. (Augustus Waters)
I fear oblivion. I fear it like the proverbial blind man who’s afraid of the dark. (Augustus)
I was a fairly shy person–not the hand-raising type. (Hazel)
There will come a time when all of us are dead. All of us. There will come a time when there are no human beings remaining to remember that anyone ever existed or that our species ever did anything. There will be no one left to remember Aristotle or Cleopatra, let alone you. Everything that we did and built and wrote and thought and discovered will be forgotten and all of this will have been for naught. Maybe that time is coming soon and maybe it is millions of years away, but even if we survive the collapse of our sun, we will not survive forever. There was time before organisms experienced consciousness, and there will be time after. And if the inevitability of human oblivion worries you, I encourage you to ignore it. God knows that’s what everyone does. (Hazel)
Literally. We are literally in the heart of Jesus. I thought we were in a church basement, but we are literally in the heart of Jesus. (Augustus)
Hazel: Why are you looking at me like that?
Augustus: Because you’re beautiful. I enjoy looking at beautiful people, and I decided a while ago not to deny myself the simpler pleasures of existence.
You’re like a millennial Natalie Portman. Like V for Vendetta Natalie Portman. Pixie-haired gorgeous girl dislikes authority and can’t help but fall for a boy she knows is trouble. It’s your autobiography, so far as I can tell. (Augustus)
You’re killing my vibe here, Hazel Grace. I’m trying to observe young love in its many-splendored awkwardness. (Augustus)
Hamartia: a fatal flaw.
They don’t kill you unless you light them (cigarettes). And I’ve never lit once. It’s a metaphor you see: you put the killing thing right between your teeth, but you don’t give it the power to do its killing. (Augustus)
Hazel: You choose your behaviors based on their metaphorical resonances…
Augustus: Oh, yes. I’m a big believer in metaphor, Hazel Grace.
He sighed in a way that made me wonder whether he was confident about the existence of someday. (Hazel)
Home Is Where the Heart Is; Good Friends Are Hard to Find and Impossible to Forget; Love is Born from Hard Times: My parents call them Encouragements. They’re everywhere. (Augustus)
In the darkest days, the Lord puts the best people into your life. (Augustus’ dad)
I liked that he was a tenured professor in the Department of Slightly Crooked Smiles with a dual appointment in the Department of Having a Voice That Made My Skin Feel More Like Skin. And I liked that he had two names. I’ve always liked people with two names, because you get to make up your mind what you call them: Gus or Augustus? (Hazel)
Don’t tell me you’re one of those people who becomes their disease. I know so many people like that. It’s disheartening. Like, cancer is in the growth business, right? The taking-people-over business. But surely you haven’t let it succeed prematurely. (Augustus)
Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book. And then there are books like An Imperial Affliction, which you can’t tell people about, books so special and rare and yours that advertising your affection feels like betrayal. (Hazel)
Without Pain, How Could We Know Joy?
The existence of broccoli does not in any way affect the taste of chocolate.
That’s why I said tomorrow. I want to see you again tonight. But I’m willing to wait all night and much of tomorrow. I’m serious. (Augustus)
I take quite a lot of pride in not knowing what’s cool. (Hazel)
In truth, it always hurt. It always hurt not to breathe like a normal person, incessantly reminding your lungs to be lungs, forcing yourself to accept as unsolvable the clawing scraping inside-out ache of underoxygenation. So I wasn’t lying, exactly. I was just choosing among truths. (Hazel)
Pain demands to be felt. (An Imperial Affliction)
All salvation is temporary. I bought them a minute. Maybe that’s the minute that buys them an hour, which is the hour that buys them a year. No one’s gonna buy them forever, Hazel Grace, but my life bought them a minute. And that’s not nothing. (Augustus)
I kept saying ‘always’ to her today, ‘always always always,’ and she just kept talking over me and not saying it back. It was like I was already gone, you know? ‘Always’ was a promise! How can you just break the promise? (Isaac)
Sometimes people don’t understand the promises they’re making when they make them. (Hazel)
But you keep the promise anyway. That’s what love is. Love is keeping the promise anyway. Don’t you believe in true love? (Isaac)
Dude, pillows don’t break. Try something that breaks. (Augustus)
Augustus: Feel better?
Augustus: That’s the thing about pain. It demands to be felt.
Say your life broke down. The last good kiss / You had was years ago. (The Blood Approves)
Maybe ‘okay’ will be our always. (Augustus)
Come over here so I can examine your face with my hands and see deeper into your soul than a sighted person ever could. (Isaac)
But I believe in true love, you know? I don’t believe that everybody gets to keep their eyes or not get sick or whatever, but everybody should have true love, and it should last at least as long as your life does. (Isaac)
Oh, my God! I can’t believe I have a crush on a girl with such cliché wishes. (Augustus)
If we’d put them in a vase in the living room, they would have been everyone’s flowers. I wanted them to be my flowers. (Hazel)
Augustus: You think they like me?
Hazel: Sure they did. Who cares, though? They’re just parents.
Augustus: They’re your parents. Plus, I like being liked. Is that crazy?
Hazel: Well, you don’t have to rush to hold doors open or smother me in compliments for me to like you.
You do not immortalize the lost by writing about them. Language buries, but does not resurrect. (Peter Van Houten)
But there is no shortage of fault to be found amid our stars. (Augustus)
You realize that trying to keep your distance from me will not lessen my affection for you. All efforts to save me from you will fail. (Augustus)
That’s why I like you. Do you realize how rare it is to come across a hot girl who creates an adjectival version of the word ‘pedophile?’ You are so busy being you that you have no idea how utterly unprecedented you are. (Augustus)
No matter how hard you kick, no matter how high you get, you can’t go all the way around. (Hazel)
I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once. (Hazel)
I mean, seriously: How did scrambled eggs get stuck with breakfast exclusivity? You can put bacon on a sandwich without anyone freaking out. But the moment your sandwich has an egg, boom, it’s a breakfast sandwich. (Hazel)
You’ve gotta pick your battles in this world, Hazel. But if this is the issue you want to champion, we will stand behind yoy. (Hazerl’s mom)
The weird thing about houses is that they almost always look like nothing is happening inside of them, even though they contain most of our lives. I wondered if that was sort of the point of architecture. (Hazel)
Observation: It would be awesome to fly in a superfast airplane that could chase the sunrise around the world for a while. (Augustus)
Contemporaneity specializes in the kind of battles wherein no one loses anything of any value, except arguably their lives. (An Imperial Affliction)
I’m in love with you, and I’m not in the business of denying myself the simple pleasures 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 there 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 yoiu. (Augustus)
Hazel: People always get used to beauty, though.
Augustus: I haven’t gotten used to you just yet.
I believe in Something with a capital S. Always have. (Augustus)
I believe in that line from An Imperial Affliction. ‘The risen sun too bright in her losing eyes.’ That’s God, I think, the rising sun, and the light is too bright and her eyes are losing but they aren’t lost. I don’t believe we return to haunt or comfort the living or anything, but I think something becomes of us. (Augustus)
I believe humans have souls, and I believe in the conservation of souls. If you don’t live a life in service if a greater good, you’ve gotta at least die a death in a service of a greater good, you know? (Augustus)
The definition of humanness is the opportunity to marvel at the majesty of creation.
It would be a privilege to have my heart broken by you. (Augustus)
The important thing is not whatever nonsense the voices are saying, but what the voices are feeling. (Peter Van Houten)
Some infinities are bigger than other infinities. (Peter Van Houten)
Our fearlessness shall be our weapon. (Hazel)
You have a choice in this world, I believe, about how to tell sad stories, and we made the funny choice. (Hazel)
The world is not a wish-granting factory. (Augustus)
That’s what I believe. I believe the universe wants to be noticed. I think the universe is improbably biased toward consciousness, that it rewards intelligence in part because the universe enjoys its elegance being observed. And who am I, living in the middle of history, to tell the universe that it — or my observation of it — is temporary. (Hazel’s dad)
It is a good life, Hazel Grace. (Augustus)
You say you’re not special because the world doesn’t know about you, but that’s an insult to me. I know about you. (Hazel)
Since I’m in reasonably good spirits, there’s no time like the present.
Writing does not resurrect. It burries. (Peter Van Houten)
I love you present tense. (Hazel)
Omnis cellula e cellula. All cells come from cells. Every cell born of a previous cell, which was born of a previous cell. Life comes from life. Life begets life begets life begets life. (Peter Van Houten)
Pain is like fabric: The stronger it is, the more it’s worth. (Antonietta Meo)
Grief does not change you, Hazel. It reveals you. (Peter Van Houten)
It is possible to live with pain. (Hazel’s mom)
It occurred to me that the voracious ambition of humans is never sated by dreams coming true, because there is always the thought that everything be done better and again. (Hazel)
My thoughts are stars I can’t fathom in constellations. (Augusuts Waters)
The real heroes anyway aren’t the people doing things; the real heroes are the people NOTICING things, paying attention. (Augustus)
You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world, old man, but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices. I hope she likes hers. (Augustus)
Looking For Alaska
The only thing worse than having a party that no one attends is having a party attended only by two vastly, deeply uninteresting people. (Miles ‘Pudge’ Halter)
So this guy, François Rabelais. He was this poet. And his last words were ‘I go to seek a Great Perhaps.’ That’s why I’m going. So I don’t have to wait until I die to start seeking a Great Perhaps. (Pudge)
Hot enough that your clothes stuck to you like Scotch Tape, and sweat drilled like tears from your forehead to your eyes. (Pudge)
Before you simply cannot draw these things out forever. At some point, you just pull off the Band-Aid and it hurts, but then it’s over and you’re relieved. (Pudge)
Well, before the adventure comes the unpacking. (Pudge)
Chip ‘the Colonel’ Martin: Yeah, everybody’s got a talent. I can memorize things. And you can… ?
Pudge: Um, I know a lot of people’s last words. It was an indulgence, learning last words.
Chip did not believe in having a sock drawer or a T-shirt drawer. He believed that all drawers were created equal and filled each with whatever fit. (Pudge)
I hate the rich kids here with a fervent passion I usually reserve only for dental work and my father. (Chip Martin ‘Colonel’)
When you’re walking at night, do you ever creeped out and even though it’s silly and embarrassing you just want to run home? (Alaska Young)
How will I ever get out of this labyrinth? (Simón Bolívar)
I learn that myth doesn’t mean a lie: it means a traditional story that tells you something about people and their worldview and what they hold sacred. (Pudge)
I may die young, but at least I’ll die smart. (Alaska)
I’m not going to be one of those people who sits around talking about what they’re gonna do. I’m just going to do it. Imagining the future is a kind of nostalgia. (Alaska)
You spend your whole life stuck in the labyrinth, thinking about how you’ll escape it one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present. (Alaska)
Sometimes you lose a battle. But mischief always wins the war. (Alaska)
I mean, it’s stupid to miss someone you didn’t even get along with. But, I don’t know, it was nice, you know, having someone you could always fight with. (Colonel)
You shall love your crooked neighbor with all your crooked heart. (W.C. Auden)
The miracle, at least in that time and in that place, was that Jesus–a peasant, a Jew, a nobody in an empire ruled by exclusively by somebodies–was the son of that God, the all-powerful God of Abraham and Moses. That God’s son was not an emperor. Not even a trained rabbi. A peasant and a Jew. A nobody like you. (Dr. Hydes)
The final exam: What is the most important question human beings must answer? Choose your question wisely, and then examine how Islam, Buddhism and Christianity attempt to answer it. (Dr. Hydes)
So this is how Noah felt. You wake up one morning and God has forgiven you and you walk around squinting all day because you’ve forget how sunlight feels warm and rough against your skin like a kiss on the cheek from your dad, and the whole world is brighter and cleaner than ever before. (Pudge)
That is the fear: I have lost something important, and I cannot find it, and I need it. It is fear like if someone lost his glasses and went to the glasses store and they told him that the world had run out of glasses and he would just have to do without. (Pudge)
Everything that comes together fall apart. (Dr. Hydes)
Because memories fall apart, too. And then you’re left with nothing, left not even with a ghost but with its shadow. (Pudge)
What is your cause for hope? (Dr. Hydes)
After all this time, it still seems to me like straight and fast is the only way out–but I choose the labyrinth. The labyrinth blows, but I choose it. (Colonel)
If only we could see the endless string of consequences that result from our smallest actions. But we can’t know better until knowing better is useless. (Pudge)
We need never be hopeless because we can never. E irreparably broken. We think that we are invincible because we are. We cannot be born, and we cannot die. Like all energy, we can only change shapes and sizes and manifestations. (Pudge)
Thomas Edison’s last words were: ‘It’s very beautiful over there.’ I don’t know where there is, but I believe it’s somewhere, and I hope it’s beautiful. (Pudge)
Most loves don’t last. But some do. (John Green)
I believe in hope, in what is sometimes called ‘radical hope.’ I believe there is hope for us all, even amid the suffering–and maybe even inside the suffering. (John Green)
And if you’re still not interested to read John Green, I don’t know what’s your problem anymore! Haha! Cheers! :)