“The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars.”

I’m late to the game, but I finally caught The Fault in Our Stars last night. I’d been avoiding this book/movie because it’s not about one sick person in a doomed relationship but TWO. You know this story will only end in tears, and I just wasn’t in the mood for it.

But Ed Sheeran’s All of the Stars music video, as well as Birdy’s Not about Angels, drove me to watch it at last.

The last time I cried so hard over a movie … Shoot, I can’t even remember. Even though I might have cried six times throughout The Return of the King (because LOTR will always have a special place in my heart), I didn’t literally sob into my palms the way I had at TFIOS.

Thank you, John Green. And I know my tweet was mildly sarcastic

But really, thank you. For creating such a beautiful, tragic, but somehow uplifting story that sheds light on cancer and the battle cancer patients fight every day.

I’m generally not into books with insta-love (Twilight was a phase – we all have our inglorious pasts), because I can’t understand how people can fall so completely head-over-heels for someone so quickly. Crushes I understand – but love?

But I suppose for Gus and Hazel, with only limited time on earth, they would feel everything more keenly. Insta-love in this case is not only justified, but credible. I love how they bonded not over their illness, but over a book, and a huge part of the story follows them on their voyage to Amsterdam to find the author, Peter van Houten, who changed their lives. And their interaction felt so real, you feel like you ARE Hazel falling for Augustus.

I also really like Hazel’s relationship with her parents. It’s not the “teenager wanting to be free and independent and hence rebels against the parents” trope you see in many YA stories. Hazel’s parents are protective without being stifling, and they have an implicit understanding with Hazel that they’re all in this together. It’s so nice to see a loving relationship between the teenage protagonist and her parents for once.

After Gus’s funeral ceremony, when Hazel just sat in her car, taking a moment for herself, I felt her pain. Her grief, her longing, her sudden emptiness. I missed Gus as much as she did. I missed his sweet and adorable text messages. I missed his bravado, his cocky smirk. I missed the reassuring smile he reserved just for Hazel. I missed everything about him.

But while the ending was devastating enough to bring even grown men to tears (what did you expect, right, with a love story of two terminally-ill patients?), it wasn’t depressing. John Green gave Hazel – and us – closure with Gus’s letter.

“Mr. Van Houten,

I’m a good person but a shitty writer. You’re a shitty person but a good writer. I think we’d make a good team. I don’t wanna ask you for any favors, but, if you have the time (and from what I saw you have plenty) please fix this for me. It’s a eulogy for Hazel. She asked me to write one and I’m trying, I – I just.. I could use a little flair. See, the thing is, we all wanna be remembered.

But Hazel’s different. Hazel knows the truth. She didn’t want a million admirers, she just wanted one. And she got it. Maybe she wasn’t loved widely, but she was loved deeply. And isn’t that more than most of us get?

When Hazel was sick, I knew I was dying, but I didn’t wanna say so. She was in the ICU when I snuck in for 10 minutes and I sat with her before I got caught. Her eyes were closed, her skin pale, but her hands were still her hands. Still warm and her nails were painted this dark blue-black color and I just held them. And I willed myself to imagine a world without us, and what a worthless world that would be.

She is so beautiful. You don’t get tired of looking at her. You never worry if she’s smarter than you cause you know she is. She’s funny without ever being mean.

I love her. God, I love her. I am so lucky to love her, Van Houten. 
You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world, but you do have a say in who hurts you. And I like my choices. I hope she likes hers.

Okay, Hazel Grace?”

– Augustus Waters

*

I feel so much better now after getting this out of my system. I spent the remainder of last night completely zombified, useless with my chores, because TFIOS is one of those stories that reaches into you and wreck you from within.

Plus, John Green is such a lovely human being!

I’m officially a fan.

Next up, If I Stay. Already have it on my Kindle, along with TFIOS, so bring on another bout of the feels. Yay for YA fiction!

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How a k-drama broke my heart

OMG you guys, I’m having so much feeeeels right now because of last night’s episode of Heirs.

It’s the second last episode, episode 19, and the final episode will air tonight. I realise I seem to always blog about a show on the second last episode. Maybe because that’s when everything builds up to the climax and the pathos really comes through?

Anyway, you probably won’t get what I’m about to ramble on about if you haven’t watched the show, but I just need to get this out of my system. It’s how I process all these feels. (I had to lock myself in my room for the rest of the day to process The Return of the King the first time I watched it.)

Yes, I’m aware this was from Fellowship of the Ring and not Return of the King, but my point still stands

So that last scene of Heirs. That. Last. Scene. Holy crap, it was amazing.

 photo myemotions_zpsa9e9d43a.gif

No words exchanged between Male Lead (Kim Tan) and Second Male Lead (Choi Young Do). But all the emotions were there. Everything seemed to have built up to that scene. Neither of them said a single word, but the audience – me, at least – heard every unspoken word loud and clear: these two boys, however much they may hate each other, need each other and are much more alike than they would like to think. They were friends before all the shit went down, and deep down they miss being friends. It’s themselves they blame, and now that they’re faced with their individual domestic problems (the figurative and literal fall of their once-powerful fathers is all I’m giving away), they’re equally helpless and lost.

You boys break my heart.

But I think Young Do has it worse. He doesn’t have his mom, he doesn’t have a lady love, he doesn’t have friends, and now that some legal shit has hit the fan he doesn’t even have his dad, with whom he shares a love-hate relationship. At least Kim Tan has Eun Sang, and his loving mom, even though his brother claims to hate him.

I might have started out loathing Young Do and swooning over Prince Charming Kim Tan

Sweet, caring Kim Tan
Who is also easy on the eyes *wink*

But now I just want to give Mistaken Rebel Young Do a hug.

Here’s my heart for you, Young Do!

And apparently, I’m not alone.  The girls over at Drama Fever, who review each week’s episodes with oodles of humour and insight, stole the words right from my mouth

Damn you, you amazing scriptwriter Kim Eun Sook, for creating a character I loved to hate but eventually hate to love!

I have NEVER felt this way about a drama character before, much less one who started out as an antagonist. Yes, Young Do started out as an asshole who kept getting between Female Lead (Eun Sang) and Kim Tan, and he bullied the weak and poor in the school (it’s a school for rich kids from elite families – think Gossip Girl). He frightened Eun Sang and kept threatening to give away her and Kim Tan’s secrets (no spoilers here), blackmailing them.

Back when he was evil incarnate
Who is in love with Eun Sang
And can’t get enough of her

young do 3

But now, all I see is a broken, wounded guy who’s struggling to maintain that tough-guy facade. His mom left him and his dad, his father despises him unless he wins at everything, his first crush (Eun Sang) rejected him and got together with the person who used to be his friend but now isn’t, he has no real friends because he terrorised everyone in school, and he just keeps spiralling into lonerhood.

Note the hairstyle change – bangs always make you look sweeter and less of a douchebag
Awww, poor Young Do, forever alone!

Gotta love these broken bad boys – they make such good material for writing.

Plus, the bromance in this show!

They might have come to blows one too many times…
kim tan and young do
But we all know they still love and care for each other!
The boys behind the scenes – awwww!

And the friendship between the mute housekeeper (Eun Sang’s mother) and secret mistress who’s incarcerated by her asshole husband, aka Kim Tan’s father!

Ajumma love!

And the cute romance between Kim Tan and Eun Sang!

I think it’s safe to say that Kim Eun Sook, scriptwriter extraordinaire, has done it again. She made Secret Garden (2011) magical and romantic and whimsical and funny and bittersweet. And now, with Heirs, she has outdone herself.

I now have this song (which was played during that final scene in last night’s episode) on replay:

“Why are these feelings coming to me” indeed.

Ugh. This is so perfect. I wish I could write a script like this and bring all these emotions to my audience. Kim Eun Sook, why are you so brilliant?!?!?!