I know my ability to process extreme trauma or tragedy in written form, film, theater, or mime (I am speculating on that one, as I have about a .004 second tolerance for mimes) is of a sub-par level, that can't even handle "The Giving Tree," so it is a Big Deal when I actively pursue, read, and love a book that (I am not giving spoilers, it is on the book jacket) is centered around teenagers with cancer. I mean, sometimes I am tricked into reading a sad book by my Kindle and it's "Oh, I know, you Allison, we are tight, you will like this" and the next thing I know Tricky Kindle has me ordering a book that I do not realize is about lovers separated by the Holocaust until I am already reading it (and I clearly knew where it was going, but I am not a quitter and have to finish a book I start, it is the law)
So for me to actively select a book that I know is going to mess with me, this is risking public humiliation for sure. I am a known sobber and wailer during sad movies and plays (went into hysterics first time I saw Les Mis and some strange lady started passing me tissues when the satin bow tied around the top of my Jessica McClintock velvet dress got soaked, I should have been crying about my outfit choice instead of Fantine), and books get me even worse.
That being said, The Fault in Our Stars is so good that I did not mind having to soak my eyes with cucumbers and randomly start crying in public when thinking about it.
The Fault in Our Stars is so lovely. It is about children/teenagers with cancer, so it is not a paperback with fancy shoes on the cover, be warned. But it is really, really well done, one of the best examples of a clear, true voice of a character and her complexities, not marginalizing illness or giving out automatic halos. And I cared very much that bad things may or may not happen to her or her friends, it totally affected me, but still I just wanted to keep reading about her and was completely absorbed. I tell my girls when they are reading something that affects them, like a scary scene in a Harry Potter or whatnot, that if the writing wasn't good, you wouldn't care about the characters or what happened to them. I loved it, and also was consumed with complete envy that John Green is so talented and gifted a writer to have created this wonderful book.
First time I read this book we were at Disney World and I am not joking, I was so engrossed that I would pull out my Kindle on the monorail or other times of kind of quiet, and read. It's not dense or heavy, just touching and impactful.
And yes, I do read on the monorail at Disney World. Don't judge. M girls are entertained by transportation (they love any form of public transportation, no idea why) and it is semi-quiet and it was a great book. I read it three times through without stopping. It is fantastic.