I finally realized why I couldn’t rate All the Bright Places.
Because I was afraid. Something inside me said that people are expecting to see a rating that they would like. Because a lot of people loved the book and if I give it a rating that is not as high as that of the others, I’m out.
I was afraid of what other people (who cried A LOT) would think of me. I felt like I should have cried while reading the book because I’d be labeled a heartless person if I didn’t.
And I didn’t. I did not cry. This post is my attempt to explain why.
Maybe that’s the thing about pain, when you expect it, it just comes. But when you don’t, it comes and it hurts you more than you can imagine.
After reading My Heart and Other Black Holes, I told myself to write this post and tell you guys everything.
My Heart and Other Black Holes reminded me of All the Bright Places. But I was able to rate it because I didn’t expect anything from it. Sure, the title gave something, a clue of what the book is about, but aside from that clue, I didn’t have any other expectations.
I can now tell you that I can rate All the Bright Places, somehow. It’s something between 5-6. I can’t give an exact number because I didn’t rate it like how I rate other books.
My Heart and Other Black Holes did not make me cry, either. But there were a lot of parts where I almost cried, just like what happened with All the Bright Places.
As of this moment, My Heart and Other Black Holes is more special than All the Bright Places, but who knows what will happen after I watch the movies?
If you look at my Books that Mean a Lot to Me shelf on Goodreads, you’ll see 11 books. But only four of those made me cry. Tuesdays With Morrie, Allegiant, Summer of Yesterday, and Me Before You.
Yes. I didn’t cry over A Walk to Remember and TFiOS. But I cried so hard while watching their movies. The movies made them more special. Maybe because it’s more heartbreaking when you actually hear the lines and see the characters alive. (Am I making sense here?)
So I say, let’s wait for the movies. I don’t know about My Heart and Other Black Holes, but All the Bright Places will have a movie. I will watch it, but I will try my best not to expect anything.
What happened to me because of the two books led to a guideline that I’ll do my best to follow every time I read a book:
DROP YOUR EXPECTATIONS. JUST READ IT.
I also learned to not let other people’s expectations define me. I think differently, I feel differently, and that’s okay. We never see things in the exact same way. I’m just a person, sharing what I think, how I felt, and if you love/hate me for that, then fine. I don’t have control over what you feel towards what I’m saying. I’m not doing anything wrong, and I’m happy with what I’m doing, so I told myself to be fine with whatever other people think. Of course I care, what you think matters. But what I’m trying to learn now is to be okay with everything that’s happening in my life. There are reasons for every good/bad thing in this world.
The two books formed this thought in my head:
There are black holes everywhere, but you have to hang on to the bright places.
I’d like to believe that even if it’s been broken lots of times, even if it’s ugly and shaking with fear of getting wrecked beyond repair (in real life), my heart is still a bright place. Because it has hope in it.
I love you Jennifer and Jasmine. Thank you for writing these special stories that helped me in dark times. You two may be far away, but the stories you wrote made it possible for you to reach people who need you and give them warm hugs. ❤