Book Review(ish): “The Fault in Our Stars” & Tahlia’s Memory

This will be a short review, for this book isn’t new and the author is well-known. It would be silly of me to tell you about this book because I’m sure you’ve all read it by now. Plus, this is actually the last John Green book that I’ve read; I’ve read all the others already.

The reason this was the last one that I read is because the book meant more to me than just a book. More than a book about sick teenagers. It was a sad book for me for more than one reason.

That’s because it was my old friend Tahlia’s favourite book. I use was, past tense, because sadly she died 3 years ago. April 17th, 3 years ago, I read the news that my childhood friend had passed away. She had suffered from Cystic Fibrosis for all of her life, and she had it in her lungs, and so she was a particularly bad case. However, Tahlia was so stubborn and strong and so I always thought that she would last twice as long as predicted. Sadly, though, the CF put up more of a fight than expected.

And just like in the book, there were some hard twists of fate between myself and Tahlia. There were some troubles at one point with us, but we moved past them and were always there for each other. She was one of the first people to buy the first edition of my fantasy book, too. I’ll never forget our amazing conversation about how much she loved Letti and Kaizen and how proud she said she was of me.

But I have regrets. I will always hate the fact that I didn’t get to actually see her face to face again one last time. And that feels like the kind of tragedy that John Green would write…

Anyway, yeah, that’s why I couldn’t bring myself to read the book, though I’d had it on my shelf for years. The girl in the book is like Tahlia, too. Hazel Grace Lancaster had a bite and wit and those were the things that made Tahlia so…Tahlia. So yes, it was hard to read it. It was hard to picture Tahlia when she was sick with her oxygen tank and the tubes in her nose, just like Hazel had. But for some reason, now felt like the right time. I didn’t even plan to read it around her anniversary, it just happened that way. Weird, that…

But the book moved me in all the right ways. It brought me closer to the memory of Tahlia, so thank you once again, John Green, for writing perfect characters and a sad story in the way that only you can.

I think I needed this book, and Tahlia’s memory, right now to remind me to live. Just live. Wholly and fully and beautifully and unapologetically…

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