Monday, May 7, 2012

Review of The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

The Fault in Our StarsDiagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 12, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs... for now.

Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault.

Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind.

I feel like shaking things up a bit for this review, because this is an exceptional book, and John Green’s work is beginning to hold a special place in my heart, so I’m going to start by telling you how I came to read The Fault In Our Stars.

1.)  Pre-order The Fault In Our Stars in July, despite having not read any of John Green’s books. Justify it by saying that his stuff is supposed to be great, plus all pre-orders will be signed.
2.)  Read Looking for Alaska in August and immediately add it to my all-time favorites list.  Become ten times more excited for The Fault In Our Stars.
3.)  Skip ahead to December. What?  B&N leaked several pre-orders so people are getting early copies?  Now I’m torn between jealousy and frustration on John Green’s behalf.
4.)  The Fault In Our Stars is out! Why oh why did I select  free aka slow shipping in this case?
5.)  It’s here!  It’s here! Why am I swamped with homework?
6.)  A few weeks later: I just turned in a major assignment!  Time to start The Fault In Our Stars as my reward.
7.)  Yet a few more weeks later: oh man, I just endured nine straight hours of class.  Time to curl up in my bed and finish The Fault In Our Stars because it’s SO GOOD. Oh, and I need to flag every passage I like, and there’s one of those roughly every 5 pages.
8.)  Two months after finishing: time to record my favorite quotes in the quote book! Wow, I loved this book. I love these characters. I love this story.  Can I read it again?

There’s a saying in the YA world that once you read one John Green book you’ve essentially read them all. When I thought about that shortly after finishing The Fault In Our Stars, I could sort of see that.  Some of the themes Green tackles in his latest work are similar to the themes in his debut, Looking for Alaska.  But then I sat down to record my favorite quotes, because I am bizarrely meticulous in some respects.  As I thumbed through the pages of my book, I remembered how much I loved Augustus and Hazel.  They are both quirky and intelligent, and I loved the way Augustus expressed himself.  I remembered that this book is filled with so much intelligent writing, but that the story felt accessible.  The Fault In Our Stars made my heart swell and ache.  I don’t mean to sound excessively sappy or like a fangirl.  I’m saying this because I think the reviews that have the most sway are those that contain genuine emotion, and this is the most honest way I can think of to tell you that I loved this book.  I hope you decide to pick it up if you haven’t already.

Disclosure: I purchased a copy of this book.

1 comment:

  1. You comment about Augustus and his letters makes me think of the last few pages. My heart is both soaring and sinking just thinking about it. I loved it. Plus I was so glad the book didn't end in the middle of a sentence like "An Imperial Affliction" did.



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