Literary Quote of the Month

"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies," said Jojen. "The man who never reads lives only one." - George R.R. Martin, A Dance With Dragons

Sunday, October 4, 2015

The Fault in Book Censorship or How could They Ban The Fault in Our Stars...

I just finished The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. After crying my eyes out for a good 20 minutes near the end of the book, I paused to think about how unfair life can be. I guess the unfair part is not life, but things that can happen because you have a life. How you have so many days, have no idea how many days that actually is until you have no days left and then probably still don't know how many days because it's just over… Thank you Hazel Grace and Augustus Waters for making me remember that you only get so many days, so let's enjoy them or waste them or do whatever you'd like to do with them, just remember to be conscious of them while it's going on…

I read The Fault in Our Stars for Banned Book Week. The book had been lingering on my Kindle for a very long time and Banned Book Week gave me the necessary push to read it. It was banned initially for a complaint by a parent that "the morbid plot, crude language, and sexual content was inappropriate for her children." My initial thoughts were that I was happy to see a parent paying attention to what her children were reading, or what was available to read, but let's not make those decisions of what's appropriate for other people's children. My thoughts after reading the book were how can anyone think those things about this book

I guess death is a morbid thought. I'm sorry but people die, and I'm even sorrier that children die, but wouldn't it be better to have a dialogue about this instead of putting it away into a closet? I thought the book dealt with Hazel Grace's mortality in a refreshingly honest way. I'm sure that the way Hazel and her teenage friends dealt with the subject is the way real teenagers would.

“I told Augustus the broad outline of my miracle: diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer when I was thirteen. (I didn’t tell him that the diagnosis came three months after I got my first period. Like: Congratulations! You’re a woman. Now die.)” 

Crude language?… OK, I guess when someone has cancer in a certain male area and talks about it, it could be considered crude. Actually, Hazel Grace made light of the counselor who survived his cancer, since at the beginning of every support group meeting he had to tell everyone once again about "his cancer".

And, finally sexual content… well, spoiler alert here…. 16-year-old Hazel Grace and 17-year-old Augustus Waters have sex, but it is primarily left to the imagination. No Fifty Shades, no graphic detail, just a few buttons, hoses and removal of a prosthetic involved. You could almost miss it, but just know that it happened. I imagine that this could be inappropriate for young children, but I'm sure teenagers know about sex. Good teaching opportunity here too.

So, what did I think about The Fault in Our Stars?! I loved it! It was amazing, compassionate, honest and shattering. I loved Hazel Grace immediately and was rooting for her and Augustus Waters from the start, even though I kinda knew that their love story was doomed. There was a twist that left me breathless and crying my eyes out and realizing that John Green is an amazing writer and I should have read this a long time ago. If you haven't read this, READ THIS! An amazing love story, an honest look at "how cancer sucks", and a reminder to all of us to live our life mindfully.


Tea said...

Thanks for reminding me of the book title. I'm sure the novel is very moving emotionally. Your review moved me to think about life and death, a good thing.

Suzanne Yester said...

Yes, Tea, the book really makes you think and that is a good thing. Great writing that left me in awe. Thanks for stopping by and sharing!

Anne@HeadFullofBooks said...

The good thing about banned/censored books is that teens gets all activated to read them because they hate it when someone tells them they can't do something. Ha!

My Sunday Salon

Suzanne Yester said...

Absolutely, Anne! And it also gets us bloggers going too! Thanks for stopping by!

Louise said...

Thank you for writing this review. I have the book and it has been staring at me for a very long time from my shelf. Must read it now.


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