I had the book The Fault in Our Stars on my bookshelf for a good year before I read a page of it.
Last week I grabbed it, dusted it off, and started reading, knowing full well it was about a couple of teenagers with cancer. It was made into a movie and I doubt it was made into a movie because it has a happy ending.
I made it to page 229, “I never took another picture of him.”
It doesn’t take a degree in literature to see where this is going and yet I kept reading to page 234, “a late-stage Gus.”
I started crying.
My husband came into the room to check on me. It takes me a little longer to get started in the morning than it used to so I thought doing a bit of reading was at least better than watching yet another episode of Law and Order SVU.
Through tears I said, “I got to the part where I should’ve stopped reading and I kept reading.”
He hugged me and I took a deep breath before putting it down, “That was a good book.”
As the book dropped to the floor between the bed and nightstand, I realized the poetry of that moment.
Gus and Hazel Grace bonded over a book that ended in the middle of a sentence. Fueled by curiosity, they travel to meet the author to ask him how the book ends. The author turns out to be an insufferable douche who never dreamed they’d actually follow up on his invitation. They never hear the ending of the book.
And I won’t either.
I stopped reading mid-sentence on page 242.
Gus and Hazel Grace keep living in my version of the book.
Maybe that’s the fault in my stars.