Sunday, March 18, 2012

Worrywart, or: This Story Has a Point, I Promise

When I was a child, I was terrified of sleep.

It is a widely-accepted fact that most kids are afraid of the 'monsters' that lurk underneath their bed or inside of their closets. There are whole movies based around this premise, around the cliche of the diligent father who goes to pains to show his child that are, in fact, no monsters. 

But it wasn't monsters that scared me--it was all of the scenarios my brain came up with while I was lying in bed, trying to fall asleep. Perhaps the downside of having a vivid imagination is that I can't turn it off, especially not during those agonizingly slow moments before sleep takes over. 

For a brief period, I was obsessed with the notion that I was going to die. It hit me harder than it probably did other children, the realization that my life was one day going to end. And from the moment I realized it, my brain has been making up reasons why it is going to happen now. So in those moments before sleep, all I could think about was how it could happen. I could have a heart attack. Someone could break through the window over my bed and kill me. I could spontaneously combust. I had cancer and no one realized it and it was just going to kill me, one day.

Obviously, none of those things happened, and eventually my brain got so tired of worrying about these scenarios that I learned to ignore that tiny voice inside of me long enough to go the fuck to sleep. 

I shared this anecdote because I have a confession. I am a chronic worrywart.

It started then and soon exploded to life with larger, more pressing issues: getting all of my homework done with as little effort as possible, trying to get the cute guy I like to notice me and embarrassing myself in the process, wondering whether or not I'd ever be able to escape my father or if there was not point, and always always always, am I a bad writer?

And now, in college, it's even worse. There's this small clenching that perpetually occupies my abdomen, a ball of worry whose apparent purpose is to ALWAYS STRESS ME OUT.

So, if you want to know a reason that I have not written in this blog in a while, it's because the idea of getting job and being professional and finishing college and being an adult is really bad without adding the stress of blog posts as well. My stomach clenches a little bit more just thinking about all the followers I had and how little I post anymore.

I guess: my life has gotten away from being about books.

Books were always a way for me to get away from myself, to go visit other worlds that I could almost make, because holy hell, I'm a writer too! But college has put me in the mind-set of NOW, of HERE, because there's so many things I feel I should be doing that I'm not. I'm not going to lie: I have time to have a blog.

But I also want a life.

So, this is not saying I'm quitting blogging or even going on a hiatus. This is saying that I'm going to post when I want, but I'm releasing myself of the responsibility of it. 

So, don't expect a lot of updates. And if there are updates, that might be more personal than about books.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Review: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Title: The Fault in Our Stars
Author: John Green
Page Count: 318
Date Published: January 10th, 2012
Summary: Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 12, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs... for now.

Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault.

Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind.

Review: I've read two book this year. I've been lazy. But anyways:

I received TFiOS a few weeks ago, when it first came out, and promptly dropped everything to read it. I LOVE John Green--I am an avid Vlogbrothers fan and I adore his previous works. I had a slight problem in the beginning of the book, because I couldn't help reading it in his voice, but that stopped about halfway through. Still, it was weird.

I loved this book but that isn't to say I didn't find some things a bit... off. Sometimes the prose was sparse where it shouldn't have been or Green's overuse of the word 'this' instead of 'the'. And I agree with a review I just read: this was a John Green Book. And like Sarah Dessen Books, the formula of an incredibly smart/witty character + shitty life thing happening to them + typical John Green humor. No one really talks like his characters do, but it's still fun to entertain the notion.

On one hand, I don't like books to be formulaic like that. I want something new, something that is pushing the limits with writing. And I felt like TFiOS didn't push any limits. In fact, the writing was not as good as in any of his previous books, because it seems like his editor got lazy.

But none of this makes sense because I gave this book five stars.

I feel an obligation to any book that I have to put down because it has hit me so directly. I cried for the entire last third of TFiOS. And not just like, cute little quiet crying. I pretty much used half a tissue box.

And when I finished it, I felt like a piece of myself had been ripped out.

So none of those things really matter to me as a person. As a reader, sure. But I can ignore them because this book has taken a peice of me with it.

Rating: 5/5 stars