I just finished reading THE best book of my 2013 list. Fault in Our Stars, by John Green, is the story of this amazing teenage girl named Hazel who is living with Cancer.
The C word has been such a fixture in my life. I was diagnosed with stage one cervical cancer when I was in college. Then an aunt of mine battled through it...then my husband's father's cancer (that was in remission) came back in two different organs...It's been everywhere (even in me) and yet I've never really 'felt' cancer until I read this book.
I know that sounds odd considering the fact that I heard that scary sentence, "You have cancer," and my husband lost his father to it...and one of my good friends lost her father to it...and I attended those funerals and felt the cruelty that disease leaves in your heart...but the book just put into words what I could never...or actually what I chose not to process out of cowardice. Well, it's told from the perspective of a beautiful wordsmith who has terminal cancer. Reading it was the most difficult, but necessary experience.
I caught myself crying and having to put the book down only to pick it back up seconds later because it didn't feel right to shut out something that's so fricking real. I just had to remind myself to be brave and keep going.
I loved the writing and the brains of these characters. Mind you the whole book is fiction, but it didn't matter. Mr. Green tapped into something magic.
I always find it funny when people discuss how a book ripped their heart out and then they add, "You have to read this!" but you really do. It's the equivalent of "Smell my finger." You think it's going to stink, but it's usually a good smell (at least in my case when I demand my husband smell mine.) I'm kind with my demands. Yes, you'll get sad, but you'll also experience one of the best reads of your life. It's a story that we all need to feel. I feel like these are the books that connect our spirits.
...And I'm all for connections.