“I’ve Gotten Really Hot Since You Went Blind”: The Fault In Our Stars

I just finished, for the first time, reading The Fault in Our Stars. 

It made me think. A lot. About lots of stuff. Partly to do with the book, partly not. But it was often the kind of thoughts that float around, but I can’t catch to expand on and really think about. As Gus would say, “my thoughts are stars I can’t fathom into constellations”. This quote applies to me a lot- I have ideas, but find it hard to commit them to paper or make others understand them.

I was kind of nervous reading TFiOS, because of all they hype-you will cry, you will laugh, it’s the best book ever written, etc. I didn’t cry, and I didn’t laugh, but I did well up, and I did find a big grin spreading slowly but surely across my face, at several intervals (I think the quote I featured in the title of this post, “I’ve gotten really hot since you went blind”, was the most noticeable of these). (that in itself is quite an achievement, as I don’t think I’ve ever cried at a book – Wonder by R.J. Palacio is the closest I’ve got. I have often felt like I’m going to cry, although the tears refuse to fall and I end up looking like I have a heart of stone.) After watching both the normal and extended film trailers though, I either got very very close or actually cried – I can’t remember which! Listening to some of the soundtrack has made me feel very sad, but happy-sad, so I don’t really mind!

I think TFiOS is brilliantly written- I felt as though I was there in a corner with Gus, and Hazel, and Isaac, and the Waters family, and the Lancaster family. Although I felt like I knew Gus, Hazel and Hazel’s parents pretty intimately, it would have been nice to get a stronger sense of Isaac’s personality (when not throwing eggs at cars or smashing up basketball trophies to get over his girlfriend’s cruel abandonment), and to have heard more about Gus’s parents, and about Gus, Hazel, and Isaac’s lives pre-cancer (other than Kaitlyn occasionally popping up, the past was very much ignored – but I guess one point of the book is to live in the present, not longing for the past or wishing for the future). Perhaps it would also have been nicer to get more detail on Gus’s and Hazel’s (particularly Gus’s) “cancer stories”. But then again, this is a story about two kids with cancer, that isn’t about cancer. 

Another aspect of the book that John Green won me over with was the complete realism of the lives portrayed – the guilt Hazel feels about being a “grenade”, the natural urge of Hazel’s mother to watch over Hazel virtually 24/7, Gus’s nephews’ obliviousness to the situation in a way that only young children can be, and even Gus’ desperation to leave a mark on the world, something to be remembered for. I cannot remember, at any point through the book, thinking to myself in a sarcastic tone “well that was predictable”, or even are you seriously saying that happens?!?” – much in a similar way to Hazel asking, exasperated, “DO NOT tell me he’s going to survive those seventeen bullet wounds?!”(or something to that effect) of Sergeant Max Mayhem in the The Price of Dawn series.

To round off my post, I decided to make a list of songs I think really suit TFiOS. The inspiration from this came from reading on the WWW a while ago, probably back when the film came out, about how loads of Bastille/TFiOS fans thought the Bastille song Oblivion would be perfectly suited to the film soundtrack. Further, more recent Googling, has indeed revealed that a lot of combined brainpower has gone into considering alternate soundtracks for TFiOS. Here we go then…

Oblivion – Bastille

The lyrics are all about “aging with grace” (which Augustus and probably Hazel will never know about for themselves, and never be able to comment on for each other), oblivion “calling out your name” as cancer refuses to relinquish its grip and death becomes inevitable, and also there is the obvious link in Gus being afraid of oblivion. The (just released) video also seems to be about carrying on a missing one’s memory, which strikes a chord with what Gus was so desperate to happen to him.

Stay With Me – Sam Smith

Smith’s lyrics include “still needing love, cause I’m just a man”, “I don’t want you to leave, will you hold my hand”, and “you’re all I need”. Although the song says “this ain’t love, it’s clear to see”, the whole “I need you/I still need love {perhaps, in the case of TFiOS, in the context of Gus still needs love, although he’s dying of cancer}/stay with me” aspect certainly chimes a bell with Gus and Hazel’s story. Plus, it kept coming into my head after I finished it. Oh, and for the bit where Gus omits to tell Hazel he’s had a relapse, Smith’s song “I’ve Told You Now” also kind of works, if only for the title than the remainder of the lyrics.

Alive – Chase & Status feat. Jacob Banks

I kind of imagine this being how Hazel feels after she finally realizes she is in love with Gus, and although she doesn’t want to be a grenade, knows that Gus will never stop loving her.

I have loads of other songs that I think would really suit this book – including “Latch (Acoustic)” by Sam Smith, but I want to hear YOUR opinions on the book, and what songs you think  suit this, or indeed any other, book. Let me know down below in the comments!

An Overthinking Teenager

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5 thoughts on ““I’ve Gotten Really Hot Since You Went Blind”: The Fault In Our Stars

  1. Kayleigh says:

    I fell in love with the book the way you fall asleep, slowly and then all it once. I read it last January and I don’t really know what I was expecting but it wasn’t what I had imagined. I knew it was going to be a cancer story so I knew it would be sad but I was surprised but how much the book made me smile. Then I started thinking, it wasn’t so much a book about cancer. It was more a book about two people living and falling in love who happen to have cancer.
    I’m not going to say it was John’s best book because in my opinion it wasn’t but it was still a book that made me laugh and made me cry like so many of his books. Although he broke my heart with the ending it was a privilege to have my heart broken my John Green twice!
    As for songs I feel I lived by One Republic fits with the book and film. I’ve always associated it with them since I re-read it before the film. The song played as I was nearing the end of the book and I feel it just kind of suits you know? Living a full life in a limited amount of time. Despite how things turned out they got a full life in a number of days. I’ve always felt it’s not about how long you get in this world it’s what you do with the time you’ve got while you’re here. That’s why I feel when you look at it in that perspective the song fits 🙂

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    • rainbowcakesandrockyroad says:

      This was the first John green book I’ve read (although I’ve now reserved three from the library!) I think a big part of the book is about what you do, not how long you have to do it in…I’m listening to that song now…I completely and utterly agree with you! It’s perfect, like the lyrics were written for the book…thanks for stopping by and commenting! 🙂

      Like

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