And I’m in Love With This Book

“I’m in love with you, and I’m not in the business of denying myself the simple pleasure of saying true things. I’m in love with you, and I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we’re all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust, and I know the sun will swallow the only earth we’ll ever have, and I am in love with you.”  – Augustus Waters, The Fault in Our Stars

I read this to Batman last night. I stopped reading, looked up from where I sat on the recliner and recited these lines. I had to. It’s just one of those things that you can’t hear just once. At least in your head. This paragraph, like so many others in The Fault in Our Stars, need to be repeated, recited and shared. It’s an insult to them if they aren’t because lines like these aren’t meant to pocketed in memory. They’re meant to be revisited. Over and over again, like an old friend.

I’m in love with this book. Is it obvious? I started it on Sunday night and here I am, Tuesday eve and I wonder how I had time to fall into this great, breathtaking love affair. Now I know you’re wondering if I cried. Pretty much everyone who reads the book/sees the movie cried. I thought I was above giving into those basic emotions when reading about a girl with cancer who falls in love. I told you—I believe it was yesterday—that I’d remain strong and I did. Strong enough NOT to cry at my desk. Strong enough to keep reading when I wanted to pretend there might be a different ending, even though the words were right there, on the page in front of me.

It was difficult.

Sometimes you read something and it stays with you an hour, a day, a week. It’s memorable, but with time, it becomes a series of rough points that you sort of remember. Or maybe it’s the feeling you remember. It’s how the material made you feel, what it got you to think. But even that, with time, will fade.  The characters (and their story) in The Fault in Our Stars will stay with me for a while, I’m guessing.  Because good stories, like theirs, aren’t easily erasable. And I don’t want them to be. They exist in a special place that we, the readers, hold secret. It’s a place where all our best friends reside, a place we can always go to seek refuge from reality and, if we’re in need of it, to chase those feelings that made us fall in love in the first place.

I didn’t cry, but I was at work. I had to force myself to keep reading, even though I was torn. Yes, I NEEDED to know what happened, but I also didn’t want to know. Because knowing made it real and the more words that passed, the closer to the end I would get. And that, in itself, is its own sad crime. I’m probably going to reread it again. Mostly because it demands a second read through, but also out of respect. Magical, lyrical lines like the ones that began this post deserve more than one turn to be heard; read. They deserve to live infinitely.

I will say, on a side note, that maybe I took an extra liking to the book because part of it takes place in Amsterdam, which, in my opinion, is a highly magical place. I’ve been twice (once in 2007 and again in 2010) and everything described of the canals and the bikes and the row houses is extremely accurate. (The author, John Green spent a few weeks in the city to write it). Hazel Grace and Augustus even visited the Anne Frank House which I’ve had the pleasure of visiting twice as well.

Because I can’t physically impart the emotions and love I feel for this book and DEMAND you start reading it today, I’ve included some pictures from my own trips. Hopefully you’ll get to the city. And what’s more, you’ll pick up this book and fall in love with a story you won’t easily erase. Hopefully, Hazel Grace and Augustus will stay with you in your secret space like they are (and will remain) with me.

 

Your basic AMAZING street view. Yeah. Heaven.

Your basic AMAZING street view. Yeah. Heaven.

And another angle.

And another angle.

Breathe it in.

Breathe it in.

The several bikes that you will find EVERYWHERE.

The several bikes that you will find EVERYWHERE.

The Rijksmuseum which is mentioned in the book.

The Rijksmuseum which is mentioned in the book.

So pretty.

So pretty.

Another big building. Awesome.

Another big building. Awesome.

The magical, beautiful night.

The magical, beautiful night.

And the Anne Frank House monument thingy.

And the Anne Frank House monument thingy.

Read it.

And fall in love.

Born a Tapestriest

I’ve been on a Jennifer Armentrout binge.

You know how sometimes you remember a certain scene you always liked or a bit of dialogue you enjoyed and you find yourself reaching for that book again and start rereading that scene or the few lines of dialogue and then, before you know it, you’ve committed yourself to the entire story or series, starting from the first page and sucking up ever delicious morsel like you remember it? Except you don’t really remember everything because it’s been a while since you read it, so everything is sort of new, but you know you’re going to love it because you already did?

Yep, this is what’s happening to me.

It’s AMAZING.

So, I’m in the process of writing the first draft of the third book in my Arizal Wars series and a lot of the first draft process is thinking. Just thinking. Planning and questioning and visualizing and basically staring up at nothing, trying to sew the tapestry with only balls of colored yarn. You know what it’s supposed to look like, what the end result will be, but you still have to put it all together. It’s definitely a challenge, but hey, you took up tapestry sewing for a reason, right? Or were you born a tapestriest? Is that a word? It should be.

As I was taking one of these moments to evaluate Reid and his strengths and weaknesses, one of my newly favorite heroes came to mind. Not that they’re particularly similar, but I kept asking myself what I liked so much about Dameon Black? Is it his bad boy attitude? His hot, take-me now looks? Or that he’s so much in love with Katy Swartz, the Lux series heroine? And then, for some ridiculous reason, I couldn’t remember the first exchange they had which was EPIC because she pretty much told him off. I think the bird was flipped too, which made me remember what a baddass she is. But I couldn’t remember the exact details, so the only logical thing to do was reread it.

So I did. And the next scene and the next. Damnit. I’d reread the entire first book in a few hours that was SUPPOSED to be used for writing. Hence my blog-lacking. Lo Sorrento, amigos.

But I couldn’t stop there. I’d had a taste and I needed more. So the second book was devoured and so on and so on. And really, I’m just torturing myself because the next one, book 6, doesn’t even come out until next year. Or maybe the end of this year. I’ll have to ask Mrs. Whatever because she was the one who introduced me to this reusable crack. Thanks.

So that’s where I’ve been. Not writing. Well, some writing. Mostly reading. BUT I have been moving closer to the end of the first draft of book three in my series, which I’m really excited for because you get to find out all sorts of new things and meet new characters. And I’m always down for new adventures.

Well anyway, I’m off to write again. Or *cough*…read…*cough* No, no, no… I’m writing. For real. There will be words typed and plots planned and tapestries being sewn… all good things. I’m excited.

You should be too.