Last night I cried. Snot dribbled on my pillow and my heart heaved, I was a bit of a mess really. I wasn’t crying because of a death in the family or something serious, in fact it was a work of fiction that strummed my heart strings. I blinked away the tears and forced myself to read the last chapters of John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars.
Even as I’m typing this out now I feel a bit teary. And it makes me wonder, how fantastic is this author that a fictional story affects people in this way? John Green made me laugh and cry. How many authors can do that?
I never used to be such a fictional cry-baby. All through my teenage years I was a tough cookie. Yeah I liked The Notebook alright but why would I cry? I laughed at my friend when she cried at the movies while watching P.S I Love You, I found it soppy and lame. I felt sad when Dumbledore died but I wasn’t that emotionally invested in the wizard. I couldn’t even cry at the end of the Anne Frank movie, and that wasn’t fiction, that was pretty damn sad.
Then something happened to me. Hormones, life, age. Without the teenage shield of angst and Simple Plan albums my hard shell eroded and I became like this walking gooey centre. At twenty years old Marley and Me made me a blubbering mess. The Packed to the Rafters episode where Melissa died in the car accident I cried for a solid three minutes hoping my old housemate would not walk in and see me in a moment of vulnerability. Heck, even the WorkSafe ads made me tear up. What if the Dad didn’t make it home, who will play basketball with the boy then?!
But these were movies, ads, TV shows. They have the ability to use visual and musical aids to make a moment more dramatic, tragic and linger on. But a novel, all they have is words to create this affect which is why I was amazed at The Fault in Our Stars, it is one of very few books that have made me cry.
It is the first John Green book I have read so I don’t know if all the other books are just as heart-breaking but beautifully written. Mostly I was impressed by the characterisation, the love and the humour, despite the awful situation of terminal cancer.
“Because you are beautiful. I enjoy looking at beautiful people, and I decided a while ago not to deny myself the simpler pleasures of existence.”
What book have made you teary?