The Fault In Our Stars – John Green

I am here to apologize for my wrong doings. I am here to beg forgiveness. John Green, I am sorry. I’m sorry for categorizing your book before I read it. I’m sorry I put an etiquette on it before I even knew what it was about. I’m sorry I thought you were just another writer who happened to make it big because he had the right subject at the right time for the right audience. I’m sorry for all of that.

Now, you’ll probably never read this, dear John Green. I am just another reader in an ocean of readers who happened to like your book. But I have to say these things, I just have to say them.

Your book is a majestic piece of writing that deserves every good praise it ever got. Your book is emotion, pure emotion, it’s raw feeling presented on a plate of spikes, which the reader has to willingly gulp down. It’s a flawless piece of writing, which shows through work, love and more than anything, heart. Heart is put into everything in this book – the characters, the story, the descriptions, freakin’ Amsterdam, everything is written about like a lover would write his last letter to his loved one.

It. Is. Beautiful.

Hazel, a 16 year old girl, is dying. She has cancer, and her newest treatment just bought her a few years. Because she is ill, she has mastered more maturity than most people earn in their lifetime. She is different, but not by herself. Her illness awoke something in her and made her see everything with a different pair of eyes.

At a Cancer Suport Group, she meets up with Isaac and Augustus. They become her friends, and one of them becomes her boyfriend. And then, as it always happens with kids that are in terminal phase and dying of cancer, one of them passes away.

This perfect book is written in first person narration, which if anyone has ever read about me or seen in one of my reviews, I absolutely hate. I have met with so few books that are like this and well written that I am enemy no. 1 when it comes to “I did” “I said” “I have”. But this.. I don’t think it has taken anything away from the story. Moreso, it added to it. It made it personal. This is not the story of a character, it’s the story of a person, of a human being. It’s the story of Hazel, not of some made up, imaginary friend of John Green’s. This is the feeling you get from bearing with Hazel throughout all that happens in the book.

Now, this does somehow fit into a specific genre. It’s part of the “new” wave of literature, what I saw published after 2000, and it has the same traits and perks that come with fitting into a certain style. But, again, it doesn’t chip away at how powerful the story is. It just makes it more readable. It reaches out to more souls than it would if it had been published in an underground sub-style of serious writers. Really. Mainstream, it is, but easy, it’s not.

It’s serious to the point you can probably make a PhD thesis on its subject. It has twists and turns and a different perspective on anything, and above everything, it’s incredibly funny.

John Green has managed to write something so deep and meaningful and still crack a classic joke here and there, just to show you who’s boss. I wouldn’t have expected, given my experience, to find such a good sense of humor in this kind of book, but it is unbelievably hilarious and it will have you laughing out loud in times when you will feel you should instead be crying your heart out.

Read this, please. Make it a cult. Let it become an obsession.

Green deserves every praise he’s ever got, deserved to have a movie made after his book (can’t wait to watch it now!!).

And I think we barely deserve to have such a good author publish some more books in his life.. that will probably surpass this one by far, given how well I understood he’s evolved.

So, Mr. John Green, I apologize for not believing in you. I am now an addict. I believe.

I do, John.

I do.

….. refference there, maybe? …..


2013 Highlights – Book selection, #1

As I promised on Twitter (and in private, to myself), this is it, one new post to delight you all!

2013 has been a full year for me, so full that I have barely managed to reach my goal of 100 books (which you can check out here). Now, I don’t consider it a shame in general to not read a certain number of books because frankly not all of us have the dedication or the time to achieve that. It’s mostly that I feel I could’ve read more. Actually, I know I could’ve read more. I’ve slacked off and stopped reading for like two months of my summer. How ironic is that? I stopped reading during my school break, because I didn’t have enough time for it! That is why I consider this year, from a literature point of view, a bit lost.

However, I have managed to read more good books (classics, by all continents) than I have ever read. This happened because having so little time to read, I picked mostly books that mattered, so as not to spend time (I won’t say lose time because I am a firm believer you never lose time when you read) on works that didn’t matter for my culture.

The books are not ordered randomly, but in the sequence in which I read them, starting with the beginning of the year and ending about a week ago. I didn’t plan for it, but when browsing through my Goodreads records for them, I picked exactly 10 without noticing it in the beginning.

So, here we go! Top 10 books read in 2013 are…

1. 1984 – George Orwell

Read from 8 to 11 of January 2013

Original thoughts as found in my review on GR:

1984 is pure, cruel imagery. I don’t know if it’s just because of my imagination or I’m the only one who felt this, but it’s a powerful book not just in terms of “what-could-be”, but also in terms of “what-is”. Not just “what-ifs”, but more like coming to terms with the fact that some of those “what-ifs” are already here.

I’m not saying our world is 1984esque. But it’s not that far either. It’s already started on that slope and if we start going faster and faster, who can guarantee we won’t end up like that?

Along the book, I met tons and tons of greatly written lines, of thoughts that were also mine, but in different shapes. As Allan Bennett says in one of his plays, “The History Boys”: “The best moments in reading are when you come across something – a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things – which you had thought special and particular to you. And now, here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even who is long dead. And it is as if a hand has come out, and taken yours.”


So, I was pretty impressed. It scored a 5 star rating from me with a standing ovation. Now, almost a year after finishing it, I still remember the plot and the force of the character and just how complex the writing is. Sometimes books like these lack in good writing, even if the subject is worth writing for. Orwell doesn’t do that. He is a perfect photographer of human emotions and thoughts and how we react to stimuli under different circumstances.

One of the classics that deserve this title, a powerful story of deceit and fear, and a clear incursion into the human mind.

Quotes I liked

Talking to her, he realized how easy it was to present an appearance of orthodoxy while having no grasp whatever of what orthodoxy meant. In a way, the world-view of the Party imposed itself most successfully on people incapable of understanding it. They could be made to accept the most flagrant violations of reality, because they never fully grasped the enormity of what was demanded of them, and were not sufficiently interested in public events to notice what was happening. By lack of understanding  they remained sane. They simply swallowed everything, and what they swallowed did them no harm, because it left no residue behind, just as a grain of corn will pass undigested through the body of a bird.

Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power.

He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.

The best books… are those that tell you what you know already.

To die hating them, that was freedom.

2. Delusions of Grandeur – Jason Najum

Read from 21 to 24 of January 2013

Original thoughts as found in my review on GR:

Yeah, we have them. These delusions, these unstoppable thoughts about our world, the one we inhabit without a permit, oh yes, we know all the facts. But then comes a man that decides to write about this, to write the truth. And, what’s even better about this, he does so in our time. This book wasn’t written 50 years ago, when Kerouac was telling the truth. This book isn’t created in the times of liberation. It’s actually created when we are becoming more and more sure of our imprisonment. Jason Najum kind of reminds me of Palahniuk. Palahniuk is a phenomenal writer, but he goes a lot on the dark side, he chooses to gross people out and remind them of the beasts they are, acting like they are not. Kind of like gorillas dressed in ballerina gowns. Najum doesn’t go there. He keeps it positive, he keeps it calm and decent and still delivers the same ideas: it’s time for a fuckin’ change.


I remember how I took up this book. The author direct messaged me on Goodreads to ask if I would be available to review his work and I of course said yes. I don’t say yes to everyone who asks me that (and, shamefully, sometimes I say yes but don’t come through due to lack of time), but I liked Jason and I thought why not give it a go.

I didn’t expect it to be this good. Honestly. I thought I would read it and maybe review it at 2.5 or 3 stars and that would be it. But I was instantly hooked and finished it pretty quickly.

For a debut book, by an unknown name in the industry, this was well written. Sure it has flaws and sometimes you can feel it’s been written by a novice but it has “heart” and a lot of substance to begin with. Well deserved 4 star rating from me!

Quotes I liked

I too have a secret identity. I too burn with an innate belief that I am meant for something more, for something big and beautiful. But I stop there. That is as far as I’ll go with the comparison. Because no matter how epic I wish my story was, no matter how much I suffer and struggle and hope, I know that Superman was not this much of a pussy.

Peel the layers off until you get to its core. And you will find us. We live and suffer in a world of our own creation. The systems that cause so much harm are built by our hands. The structures that confine us sit on foundations that we have laid. The corrupt political systems, the greedy corporations, the empty culture, the wasted lives. All of it made of people, by people. Almost any part of our misery can be reduced down to us. Choose something, anything, and if you reduce it down far enough you will find us sitting there, blood on our hands and dumb looks on our faces.

3. When We Were Orphans – Kazuo Ishiguro

Read from January 27 to 28.

Original thoughts as found in my review on GR:

And seriously, after I left it on the little table next to my bed and went to sleep, I felt good. And it’s when books manage to leave me with this sort of feeling that I know it was awesome.

From my perspective, the main character was wonderfully crafted. His flaws, his qualities, his laugh, his lines, his thoughts, his story were all so well integrated in his image that I had trouble realizing I don’t actually know this man, when I started comparing him to people!

In search of his parents, Christopher realized he never left the childhood period and is only now beginning to peek a different way of thinking. As a detective, you’d expect him to be extremely evolved on all fields, but turns out he missed on a couple of things from when he was a kid. And those couple of things were his own parents.


This was my first Ishiguro book and I became a junkie for his work. He writes poetry. His lines are perfectly balanced. His syntax is just flawless. He comes through as an amazing artist, playing with different wording styles and giving off emotion through every page. It’s one of the few works in the last 20 years that speak loudly to the public and demand their attention.

It was a 4.5 star rating on GR but a perfect read in general.

Quotes I liked

Perhaps there are those who are able to go about their lives unfettered by such concerns. But for those like us, our fate is to face the world as orphans, chasing through long years the shadows of vanished parents. There is nothing for it but to try and see through our missions to the end, as best we can, for until we do so, we will be permitted no calm.

It’s all right. I’m not upset. After all, they were just things. When you’ve lost your mother and your father, you can’t care so much about things, can you?

4. Brave New World – Alduos Huxley.

Read from February 17 to 18

Original thoughts as found in my GR review:

How is it that in the case of some authors, like Huxley, I can take one book of theirs, read it, hate it, and I can then read another of their works and love it? Aldous Huxley is a good example for that. I hated Point Counter Point, but I loved Brave New World. How come!? I can’t explain it..

Kind of like that famous quote: bread and circuses, that’s what you give them in order to maintain the low level of understanding. As long as they are fed and entertained, their bellies full and their minds blank.. they’re fine. You’re fine. Everything is fine.


This book I loved so much that I reviewed for my History class. It’s the opposite of 1984, if you will. While in 1984 the population if controlled by a repressive and demanding dictatorship, here you have none of that. The people are happy. They don’t need anything, they have no cravings, their wishes are constantly fulfilled by the drug they are given, the soma, and their fighting abilities are inhibited with the use of happiness. It really is the perfect system. Their minds are so empty that they are incapable of revolting. Not out of fear, as in Orwell’s book, but out of commodity. That is way scarier than any other totalitarian system.

Quotes I liked:

“All right then,” said the savage defiantly, I’m claiming the right to be unhappy.”
“Not to mention the right to grow old and ugly and impotent; the right to have syphilis and cancer; the right to have too little to eat, the right to be lousy; the right to live in constant apprehension of what may happen tomorrow; the right to catch typhoid; the right to be tortured by unspeakable pains of every kind.”
There was a long silence.
“I claim them all,” said the Savage at last.”

…most men and women will grow up to love their servitude and will never dream of revolution.

5. The Magus – John Fowles

Read from January 4 to February 24

Original thoughts as found in my GR review:

How I got to get this book? At my friend’s house, I was, as usually looking through her library when I saw this big, fat, fluffy book with a big title, “The Magus” (though in Romanian it’s different), by John Fowles. Evidently, my eyes sparkled as they do at anything longer than 500 pages that seems serious enough for me to read, as I love long stories; the longer they are, if it’s well written, the better for me. And my friend, Ana, told me that “oh yeah, I didn’t read that, but it’s my mother’s favorite!” And I thought “hmm.. Long book, seems to be serious, and it’s her mother’s favorite”. Yep, I wanted it.

The characters. I really liked all of them. This rarely happens for me, to like every character and to feel that they are there with a purpose and that if one wouldn’t exist, everything would be dull.


It’s really nice letting a masterpiece like this settle into your soul. It’s only when you remember random stuff from the book by just looking at its title that you know you loved it. John Fowles writes complicatedly, but this intricate syntax was not enough to scare me. It’s a pleasure to decipher what he wanted to say, what’s the motivation behind this dialogue, or that description or this interior monologue. I find it hard to understand why people didn’t like this book as it has qualities that make it both commercial and off-marketed.. But then again, I can’t criticize people’s tastes in literature for that is not my job.

Quotes I liked:

“The human race is unimportant. It is the self that must not be betrayed.” “I suppose one could say that Hitler didn’t betray his self.” “You are right. He did not. But millions of Germans did betray their selves. That was the tragedy. Not that one man had the courage to be evil. But that millions had not the courage to be good.”

“I acquired expensive habits and affected manners. I got a third-class degree and a first-class illusion: that I was a poet. But nothing could have been less poetic that my seeing-through-all boredom with life in general and with making a living in particular. I was too green to know that all cynicism masks a failure to cope– an impotence, in short; and that to despise all effort is the greatest effort of all. But I did absorb a small dose of one permanently useful thing, Oxford’s greatest gift to civilized life: Socratic honesty. It showed me, very intermittently, that it is not enough to revolt against one’s past. One day I was outrageously bitter among some friends about the Army; back in my own rooms later it suddenly struck me that just because I said with impunity things that would have apoplexed my dead father, I was still no less under his influence. The truth was I was not a cynic by nature, only by revolt. I had got away from what I hated, but I hadn’t found where I loved, and so I pretended that there was nowhere to love. Handsomely equipped to fail, I went out into the world.”

An apologetic post

I am here to apologize for doing you all wrong. Even if you are so few, I suppose I still feel compelled to say sorry.

I have no time to post anything in this period… and no computer from where to, either. My laptop broke and my sister’s computer is under occupation … by my sister, obviously. Even this is written off of my phone. Damned qwerty keyboard keeps correcting things for me.

I have too many things to do – that is my excuse and I humbly ask for it to be accepted! Between term papers, studying for my high school final exams, as I am in my last year, and applying for college, I can’t even find the time to shower. This has been my first half-free Saturday in ages an I of course used it for sleeping. Duh.

On a final note, as I don’t want to bore you with my pathetic apologizes, I will post some…thing…s… soon. I have some reviews that I hid in my computer for dry times such as these and I can dust them off and.. who the hell am I kidding?! I have exactly nothing. I will, however, create something.

Soon. Pinky promise.

You can still find a bit of activity on my part on the Goodreads page and on Twitter, because I just comment and share on those lately and it takes me exactly two minutes every day.

Dispatch. Over.

update on things!

It’s Friday night. I’m just listening some music on my phone because my computer moves way to slow, and generally keeping up with things on the web. Friday’s are always the time of my most socializing state, where I go on line and just bask in every type of site possible, from Tumblr, Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook etc. It’s the time for writting book reviews, poems, and useless stuff that I write just for practice like dialogues or killing scenes or long/short descriptions of things around the house, in order to get a better understanding of how I can use a lot or a few words and create an impression.

It’s also the time I get scared or melancholic about… stuff. Everything, really. Turning 18 didn’t help me calm down, it just made me want to work more and be even more active academically and just go on non-stop. I don’t have time anymore for anything except studying. And I sometimes wonder if it’s just a problem of mine or if it is how I’m supposed to be.

A completely unrelated idea: I discovered I like Dostoyevsky. I started reading Crime and Punishment and it hit me, how … depressing and incredibly beautiful it is. Hard to understand how a man can think of such a morronic and whimpering and idiotic characters, and make him seem such an infinite source of surprise for the reader. Anyways, a review on that book will be posted soon, because it’s sure worth it.

I’m currently working on a poem that kind of continues one of my old series of poems, but it’s separated in the way that I’m trying to make it longer and darker than anything I’ve written before. I feel this need to create characters and then kill them. It has already happened in a few short pieces, and I am quite scared with myself. I guess I’m just experimenting with different types of writing, but it gets on my nerves when I kill my favorite people over and over again.

Still haven’t managed to get a good night’s sleep in about three weeks, and it starts to take a toll on me. I have a competition next Friday and I want to badly to win it I keep studying and studying and studying and it’s tiring me out like hell. I’m missing on parties and friends because of this obsession with perfection in the academic area and it keeps being pointed out to me. I hate it when people do that.

I like diet syrup. Random fact. The one for diabetics. It’s addictive.

Also, I smoke too much. Got up to about a pack a day and it’s not good at all.

I need sleep!

Nice things I’ve discovered this week: and a course on Storytelling that I am going to start over email with some teachers at a British University. I am also enrolling for a course on A Philosophy: Politics, also on email.

So many things to do! So little time!
So few hours of sleep..

The new poem might go on line tonight, if I finish it. I just drank a large cup of Black Tea so I’m proobably not going to sleep for a while.

Have a nice night!