Week 5 Connections - Kathy

Hello everyone! This week we read the first five chapters of The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, thus beginning the second part of this blog project. I'm here to bring relevant real life connections. This post may not be as long as my connections post for LFA was, but we'll see. :)

Right off the bat, we get Hazel's diagnosis with depression. For me, this hits home. "Late in the winter of [her] seventeenth year" would be February or March, and she would be sixteen (in your first year, you're zero, etc.) I was diagnosed with depression in the past couple of weeks, or late in the winter of my seventeenth year, and I know that this is a huge connection to real life for many people.

Cancer is a huge theme and it affects one in three of Americans, so statistically you or someone you are very close to has been affected by cancer. If not, consider yourself lucky.

Hazel establishes herself as very critical of religion with her criticism of support group and the assumption that praying to God will fix anything. Many of us have gone through times like this - everything seems so grim that religion seems like a fraud entirely. As well, she criticizes the idea of Support Group in general. I can understand this. After a while, the motivational BS you get even just as a regular teenager gets entirely ridiculous. I can only imagine how bad it must be for Hazel.

"There is only one thing in this world shittier than biting it from cancer when you're sixteen, and that's having a kid bite it from cancer." This establishes the pain of death but also the pain others feel when you die, especially if you die young. I haven't personally experienced this, but I have friends who have and family friends who have lost children to cancer and other diseases. My grandma lost a daughter to cystic fibrosis and it was harder on her and my grandpa than on anyone else.

"A nonhot boy stares at you relentlessly and it is, at best, awkward and, at worst, a form of assault. But a hot boy...well." So many girls I know think like this. While I can't relate - as I honestly don't judge guys based on their looks; it just doesn't happen with me - I get the general concept and it's extremely relateable.

Augustus's fear of oblivion is something I experience on a regular basis, but I also experience Hazel's response - knowing that one day we will all be dust. And that thought is comforting. However, I do fear not making a mark, not making a change, dying a lowly death - this is a recurring theme both in this book and everyday life.

Ironically, Hazel's deep connection with An Imperial Affliction is something I experience with John Green's novels, especially Looking for Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars, although I often do "preach" about their greatness if only because I hope others will find the same solace I do.

Okay, I'm a little ashamed to admit this, but Isaac and Monica's make-out session against the side of a church is something I entirely understand. My boyfriend and I had our first kiss at a church camp. You realize you're in a place of worship, but you honestly just don't care. And that's very relateable, especially since Isaac has little time left with his eye.

Hazel's instant connection with Augustus is something I am lucky to have experienced. The mental connection in which she knows that he wrote his number in the book he gives her, their mutual understanding of each other, etc. is something I have experienced with my boyfriend for years and I've experienced other couples with the same "mental synchronization".

Hazel's aversion to death and counting exactly how many murders are committed in the book she reads is something I would definitely do, being as nonviolent as I am.

"Kaitlyn had the kind of packed social life that needed to be scheduled down to the minute." While this seems a little extreme, I have friends like this. Actually, Kaitlyn reminds me strongly of Autumn, especially with some of the interactions they have. They're friends, but it's just a little bit off due to mixed interests. No offense, Autumn - Hazel and Kaitlyn are still friends, and so are we.

Hazel had a bad lecturer at one point in her 20th Century American Poetry class, something that I'm sure many college students can easily relate to.

Augustus freaks out over the end of An Imperial Affliction, which is very similar to what I did at the end of this book when I read it the first time.

Isaac's need to break something during the Night of the Broken Trophies is something that I, among every other member of my family, have experienced in times of severe emotional distress. Augustus and Hazel do everything they can to help, but there is truly nothing until the pain has been felt.

The invisible third space Hazel feels when she's on the phone with Augustus is dead on. I feel that all the time when I Skype with my boyfriend or call a friend I'm close to. You're physically at home, but you feel like you're with them in some strange third space.

Augustus's "grand romantic gesture" with taking her to the park and making all things Dutch in order to ask her to the Netherlands is something many girls dream about and few experience. It's a running theme among books, romantic movies, and the general idealization of a relationship. Unfortunately, most boys are not Augustus, nor are they any other romantic hero. And, in a way, neither is Augustus.

That's all for this week. Happy reading!


Autumn Skye said...

None taken babe, we have several mutual interests, but more non. But I'm here for you, and you're here for me. So...fwend!

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