Cover to Cover: The Fault in Our Stars, Ch. 10 Part 1

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Shhh, kids, Aunt Casey has a headache, a cold, and something in her contact. Try to keep it down.

I didn’t do a blog last week, and I’m sorry. I know how you little puppies pine when I’m gone, but I was sick and now midterms are happening and apparently I was only allowed 3 days of health before getting sick again, but that doesn’t make the midterms any less present. If my immune system doesn’t get its act together, it’s not getting a raise. I’ll outsource its job to the pancreas; it hasn’t screwed up yet.

So I’ve spent the last 2 weeks curled up in a ball of stress and misery and junk food.

It was kinda nice, excepting all the misery.
It was kinda nice, excepting all the misery and stress.

In my defense, you got two blogs last . . . whenever I posted last. So really, I’m absolutely on time, unless you count the fact that this was supposed to come out on Saturday.

But we’re not going to count that, because I’m stuffed full of painkillers that haven’t started working yet. Let’s do this!

Okay, this is all the energy I can muster. It'll have to do.
Okay, this is all the excitement I can muster. It’ll have to do.

So you know that we’ve been trying to get to Amsterdam for weeks and weeks and weeks now. And in this chapter we finally get there!

To the airport, I mean. We don’t actually arrive in Amsterdam until Chapter 11.

Because you see, there’s so much pre-airport stuff that is so important we just have to show it all! Like . . .

We could only take one suitcase. I couldn’t carry one, and Mom insisted that she couldn’t carry two, so we had to jockey for space in this black suitcase my parents had gotten as a wedding present a million years ago, a suitcase that was supposed to spend its life in exotic locales but ended up mostly going back and forth to Dayton, where Morris Property, Inc., had a satellite office that Dad often visited.

Informing us about the suitcase-carrying capacity of Sunshine’s family! And the exciting history of the suitcase’s travels!

I argued with Mom that I should have slightly more than half of the suitcase, since without me and my cancer, we’d never be going to Amsterdam in the first place. Mom countered that since she was twice as large as me and therefore required more physical fabric to preserve her modesty, she deserved at least two-thirds of the suitcase.

“Witty” banter!

I just rolled out of bed, put on my Travel to Amsterdam Outfit (jeans, a pink tank top, and a black cardigan in case the plane was cold).

Telling us exactly what she’s wearing, because as teenage (or preteen, or post-teen) girls (or gents) we obviously care about whether her tank top is pink or not! Such information couldn’t possibly have been left out of the narrative or the entire thing would’ve fallen apart! It’s these essential details that cement Green as one of the best writers of our age!

I just threw up in my mouth a little bit.
I just threw up in my mouth a little bit.

After all of this, we’re still not in the damn car. First we have to have breakfast with Mom and Dad, because if Green wanted to make this quick and painless, the book wouldn’t be 25 chapters.

Mom insisted that we eat breakfast with Dad, although I had a moral opposition to eating before dawn on the grounds that I was not a nineteenth-century Russian peasant fortifying myself for a day in the fields.

Stop trying to be funny, please; every time I cringe at your jokes it makes my headache worse.

You might think that Sunshine would spend this time talking to her dad—telling him she’ll miss him, thanking him for getting up so early, expressing the closest thing to love she’s capable of feeling. Really, even talking about what you’re going to do in Amsterdam and going on about how excited you are would be understandable. But that’s not quirky enough for our heroine, who won’t stoop to your plebeian normal conversation:

“Why are breakfast foods breakfast foods?” I asked them. “Like, why don’t we have curry for breakfast?”

“Hazel, eat.”

“But why?” I asked. “I mean, seriously: How did scrambled eggs get stuck with breakfast exclusivity? You can put bacon on a sandwich without anyone freaking out. But the moment your sandwich has an egg, boom, it’s a breakfast sandwich.”

Dad answered with his mouth full. “When you come back, we’ll have breakfast for dinner. Deal?”

“I don’t want to have ‘breakfast for dinner,’” I answered, crossing knife and fork over my mostly full plate. “I want to have scrambled eggs for dinner without this ridiculous construction that a scrambled egg–inclusive meal is breakfast even when it occurs at dinnertime.”

what

 

  1. Nobody cares.
  2. No, I’m serious; nobody cares.
  3. If you care, you’re wrong.
  4. Despite being exhausted, apparently she can still use elegant phrases like “ridiculous construction” and “breakfast exclusivity” before dawn. To be fair, I guess Russian peasants didn’t talk like that. But neither does anyone else.
  5. You want a nice dinner made with scrambled eggs, Sunshine? You mean, like these?
Found here.
Found here.
Found here
Found here
Stretching the rules a bit here, but I’m making a point.

If you don’t like any of those, Sunshine, maybe try one of these 14 other recipes I found by Googling for 20 seconds. Hey, if she can be a pedantic asshole, so can I.

Anyway, her parents are about as impressed with this speech as I am, thank goodness, though they don’t seem to realize that any of the above recipes exist, which is sad. Trust me, no one should be more culinarily inept than I am.

I knew it was stupid, but I felt kind of bad for scrambled eggs.

You feel worse for eggs than for the people in your support group.

WPrSv

Thank God, they’re finally leaving! I mean, they’re driving like 5 minutes to pick up Mr. Psycho, but I’ll take whatever forward momentum I can get.

As we backed out of the driveway, I kept waving at [my dad]. He was waving back, and crying. It occurred to me that he was probably thinking he might never see me again, which he probably thought every single morning of his entire weekday life as he left for work, which probably sucked.

“Probably.” The only person who cares less about these parents than I do is Sunshine. I don’t know why they like you so much. I guess that’s what parenthood does to a person; they learn to blot out all the poorly-written teen self-centeredness.

Anyway. Gus is here and we can all rejoice:

As we approached the house, I could hear someone crying inside. I didn’t think it was Gus at first, because it didn’t sound anything like the low rumble of his speaking, but then I heard a voice that was definitely a twisted version of his say, “BECAUSE IT IS MY LIFE, MOM. IT BELONGS TO ME.”

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Wow. That . . . was awful. I can’t believe anyone would write that line and expect us to take it seriously. I mean, I don’t even know what to say in the face of something that stupid.

Guys, this book sucks.

And you know what’s sad? One of my favorite internet reviewers, quite possibly among the smartest people in the world, loves this book. I don’t know how that’s possible, but it hurts me, because it means the infection can spread to anyone.

Check your loved ones for John Green Enjoyment. You could be their last hope. (This message is brought to you by the OH MY GOD HOW DID NO ONE NOTICE HOW RIDICULOUSLY MELODRAMATIC THIS IS?! Foundation.)

We don’t get to hear the rest of that conversation, though, because Sunshine’s mom is a buzzkill (and probably had to get away from the door before she burst out laughing and woke up the neighbors):

And quickly my mom put her arm around my shoulders and spun me back toward the car, walking quickly, and I was like, “Mom, what’s wrong?”

And she said, “We can’t eavesdrop, Hazel.”

seriously

Come on! That was the most interesting and unintentionally hilarious thing that’s happened in like 8 chapters, and you’re going to skip it? Why did we need over a full page of taking about packing and eggs just to run away from the stuff that might provide entertainment? That’s literally the opposite of how good fiction should work!

I hate you, John Green. So much.

My mom got in and closed the car door. “Next stop, Amsterdam,” she announced.

xrnlsih

Just kidding. We can’t miss out on any of the fascinating stuff between now and Europe, right?

The next stop was the airport parking lot, and then a bus took us to the terminal, and then an open-air electric car took us to the security line.

Thanks for clearing that up. I’d just assume you Apparated there if you hadn’t made sure to describe the minutia of your travel in agonizing detail.

The TSA guy at the front of the line was shouting about how our bags had better not contain explosives or firearms or anything liquid over three ounces, and I said to Augustus, “Observation: Standing in line is a form of oppression,” and he said, “Seriously.”

Reading this feels like a thousand tiny bees are pricking my skin, crawling inside of it, and eating their way into my bones.

Um . . . what is "Things I Hate Almost as Much as The Fault in Our Stars"?
Um . . . what are “Things I Hate Almost as Much as The Fault in Our Stars“?

Okay, they’re in the airport. What are they going to do in the airport? Basically nothing. Is Green going to spend five times as long as he needs to describing the nothing they’re doing in the airport? You betcha.

It sucks to have cancer, in case you hadn’t figured that out by now:

The pain was always there, pulling me inside of myself, demanding to be felt.

Really? Was that line so good you had to put it in twice?

But of course we can’t focus on things like her cancer, because that’d remind us that she probably shouldn’t be going on this trip. Instead we’ll talk about lighter things, like . . .

Augustus said, “I’m gonna get a hamburger before we leave. Can I get you anything?”

“No,” I said, “but I really appreciate your refusal to give in to breakfasty social conventions.”

He tilted his head at me, confused. “Hazel has developed an issue with the ghettoization of scrambled eggs,” Mom said.

“It’s embarrassing that we all just walk through life blindly accepting that scrambled eggs are fundamentally associated with mornings.”

I think this is the closest we’re going to get to a running joke. And it doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon.

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Also, good luck finding a burger before 10 a.m. Almost every restaurant has a breakfast menu. (I eat lots of fast food, all right? It comforts me when reading things like this.)

 

“I want to talk about this more,” Augustus said.

Please don’t.

So Gus goes off to get food and doesn’t return for a super long time. Sunshine is worried, which is understandable because he’s the only person she’s ever shown any real affection for and —

I was imagining all kinds of Amsterdam trip–ruining fates (arrest, injury, mental breakdown)

Oh, wait, never mind. She’s just as awful to him as she is to everyone else. I’m starting to wonder if she believes that she’s the only person in existence, and everyone else are robots who hover around to suit her needs.

You gotta admit, it’d make a lot of sense.

Well, we only get to worry about it for half a second, because Green doesn’t know what pacing or tension are, and Mr. Psycho returns just in time to get on the plane:

“Line got superlong, sorry,” he said, offering me a hand up. I took it, and we walked side by side to the gate to preboard.

He’s obviously lying. Are we supposed to think he’s telling the truth? Because there’s no way he is, unless you’re trying to suggest that he isn’t creating a “romantic” moment that automatically loses all its romance because he’s obviously lying!

Girls don’t love being lied to, Green. It’s not something that gets us swooning.

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And for some reason he says his real name is “Dickie.”

We’re not even halfway through, guys. There’s so much more about eggs and violence and love that we haven’t even gotten to yet. I know I’ve spoiled you with one chapter per blog for a while now, but this one’s bad enough it needs to be broken up.

See you next week for the second half . . . when they might actually get to Amsterdam!

Spoiler alert: They don't.
Spoiler alert: They don’t.
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11 thoughts on “Cover to Cover: The Fault in Our Stars, Ch. 10 Part 1

  1. First, I’m glad you seem to be feeling better!

    Second, I don’t know if you realized this, but I’m LauraRiddle in the Chez Apocalypse forums, and found it hilarious that we upvoted each other’s comments on the Green hater train. 😄 All I can say is that I’m glad that Kyle found it enjoyable and inspiring, despite me groaning when he read his favorite lines like they were actually worthy of being mentioned in the same video as Orson Welles. It was because he and Lindsay liked it that I decided to buy the fucking book and the rest is history.

    Third, as hilarious as “BECAUSE IT IS MY LIFE, MOM. IT BELONGS TO ME” is, it actually sounds like it came out of a teenager’s mouth.

    Fourth, this is how that breakfast scene should have played out:

    “Why are breakfast foods breakfast foods?” I asked them. “Like, why don’t we have curry for breakfast?”

    Dad cocked an eyebrow. “Do you want curry for breakfast?”

    “No.”

    “There’s your answer.”

    Great recap as always, can’t wait for part 2!

    Liked by 1 person

    • 1. Thank you! It’s probably not enough sleep (so, you know, I should probably go to bed, but I’m not.)

      2. Really? That’s awesome! Hi, friend! 🙂 And nooooo, Lindsay liked it too? Is it something I’m missing? I genuinely don’t understand what other people are seeing in it that I’m not.

      3. Oh, absolutely, but we’ve already established that Gus is smarter and more mature than mere teenagers.

      4. Why didn’t you write this book? It would’ve actually been good. (But that would’ve required someone standing up to Hazel and suggesting she isn’t the smartest kid around, and that’s clearly impossible.)

      Like

      • I’m terrible at writing real life fiction because I get hung up on small details and never make any progress. 😄 Hence why I write science fiction and fantasy. Anyway, I wish someone would stand up to Hazel, perhaps Kaitlyn during the shopping scene when she starts to notice that Hazel becoming more and more distant. Kaitlyn tries to figure out what’s wrong, Hazel openly condescends to her like she normally does everybody else, they fight, Hazel brings up her cancer, and Kaitlyn’s all, “It sucks that you have cancer. It more than sucks–it’s horrible, it’s worse than I can say. If you weren’t feeling well enough to come today, you should have told me and I would have understood.” Hazel says something that implies it’s not that she wasn’t well enough to come, it’s that she doesn’t like Kaitlyn anymore, which hurts her, but leaves her, their friendship ended. Yeah, there are people who abandon their friends when they’re sick, but Kaitlyn wasn’t one of them.

        Liked by 1 person

        • It actually kinda hurts to read your rewrite ideas, because they’re so much better than anything that’ll happen in this book, and then I just get sad that I’m stuck with this. Though I don’t write fiction either; I don’t have the drive, I don’t enjoy making up my own plots/worlds, and I get depressed by how there’s nothing original to create anymore. Mostly I write fanfic and meticulously try to stick to the established canon. It’s about as entertaining as it sounds. 😄

          Like

          • Duuuuude I’m writing a Warcraft fic and trying to stick to the established canon is making me pull my hair out, especially when their retcons are so stupid, so I’ll retcon the retcon because fuck it. Hopefully your experience with fanfic results in less teeth-grinding. 😄

            Right now I’m finishing a Jack Frost and Elsa fic for the kid I babysit, and then afterwards I’ll be able to work on my YA fantasy novel. IDK, the way I approach writing is not so much “is this original?” because original can still be crap, but rather “what do I want to read about?” and thus a plot bunny is born. Or I’ll have a conversation with someone and an unanswerable question comes up and another plot bunny is born.

            Like

  2. I HATED this book too. Ahhh what a relief! A few of my friends told me to read it and I couldn’t have a reasonable conversation with them afterwards without feeling like an asshole. Also, I’m new to your blog/blogging in general – love how you break down reviews by chapter. I’m having trouble figuring out how to reasonably update on 900+ books that take me weeks to get through! Great post.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Welcome to the party! You’re a brave soul for admitting that you hate this book, and I applaud your courage and good taste.

      Yeah, most people just review a whole book in like 600 words, but I don’t really enjoy overviews; I miss out on a lot of stuff I want to say (I can’t remember stuff from the beginning of the book by the time I finish it!), and I don’t get the chance to nitpick/snark/try to be funny as much as I want to. I guess it depends on what people are looking for: if you want to know whether or not to read something, my blogs are awful! But I’ve got those gifs for days. 😉

      Thanks for commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It sucks to hear you’ve been feeling ill! Have some blankets, tea, and a effigy of John Green to stab/burn/mutilate/all of the above!

    Ohhhhhh my god. I don’t think I’ve ever wanted to punch a book character as badly as I want to punch Hazel as of this chapter. At least, I’d like to beat her up and take her lunch money for being SUCH A PRETENTIOUS ASS. Who TALKS like that? I commented on how John Green obviously didn’t know how teenagers work because nobody talks like that, but oh my gosh, NOBODY TALKS LIKE THAT!

    “I said to Augustus, “Observation: Standing in line is a form of oppression,” and he said, “Seriously.””

    I actually groaned out loud at that line! Though I must admit I did also chuckle at the “BECAUSE IT’S MY LIFE, MOM”. At least that sounds *slightly* closer to how a whiny teenager might talk!

    The egg thing not being a recurring “joke” is too much to hope for, right? D:

    Liked by 1 person

    • I greatly appreciate all the get-well presents! Sadly, I can’t burn Green, because my college doesn’t allow fire in the apartments. 😦 I’ll have to get more creative with my effigy-destruction.

      This was a very hard one to get through; this entire chapter is full of nothing, and could’ve been at least half the length (or, you know, not existed) without losing anything of value. But I couldn’t agree more with your rant about Hazel and teenagers in general, because he takes everything bad about them and cranks it up to 11, without adding anything likable or realistic.

      And don’t worry, the eggs return next time!

      Like

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