Friday, April 11, 2014

Does it live up to the hype?

This Spring in our book club we consciously chose books that were currently being made in to movies.  It has actually been a pretty good ride so far, and it will be interesting to see how some of them translate to the silver screen.

This book has had many, many reviews.  Right up there with the Divergent series, 50 shades of something, Twilights, likely Harry Potter series… funny that these are either dubbed 'young adult' or 'well talked about and poorly written erotica'.  I wasn't quite what sure what to expect. Overall, it is a good novel.  There are some times that the story goes off a bit.  The characters don't always act like normal teenagers, but then again, they do not have normal teenage lives.

I liked it.  I didn't all out cry over the ending (Art of Racing in the Rain got me more), but I did leak out a few tears.  You could see how it would end by halfway through, and it did make it a little more poignant to fully grasp this different take on a Romeo and Juliet twist of star crossed lovers that just don't have nearly enough time.

There are some beautifully poetic quotes that you can pull from this story, and I was surprised when I went looking for some pics to attach, how many of them are out there.  I would guess with the movie coming out, and the age that this really appeals to (especially when you hear it is being read in high schools), that really isn't all that surprising.  Star crossed love stories kind of elicit that kind of response from readers.

This was a quick read - three nights and it will be returned to the library by Saturday.  I do feel a bit melancholic now that I am done.  I can't help but think of one of my really dear friends that died nearly a decade ago from AIDS.  They were one of those good ones that died young.  That lived a bit of a charmed life before everything fell apart.  I miss his friendship, his smile, and his quirky songs.  In the last chapters of this book, you can't help but think of those you have lost (we all have), and what it is to be a survivor (I am writing this and you are reading this) of this thing we call life.  There is joy within the sadness, and hope.  There is also a leap of faith to love, and reach for the stars even if it is for but a fleeting moment.  That we should all reach out and take some happiness, no matter how short lived.  I talk about choices all the time - the choices we all make when we face each new day.  The characters in this book reflect this in their own choices in the face of disaster.  There is a place for gallows humour, a little bit of crass talk, and for respect instead of tolerance.

Knee jerk I would give this book many stars.  It does move you, I am sure we are going to have a good discussion when we discuss this at a future book club (I have to stop reading months in advance… I blame my new library membership for the timing of this read, I was on the wait list and my turn came up!).  Is it perfectly crafted, nope.  Does it need to be? Nope.  It is a good read, albeit a wee bit sad.

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