The Fault in Our Stars
The Fault in Our Stars
by John Green
Published: Dutton Juvenile (January 10, 2012)
Recommended Reading Age: 14 & up
In a nutshell: One of my reading goals for 2013 was to read more YA fiction, so I started out full speed with the heavy-hitter of 2012– The Fault in Our Stars. And boy, does it hit you. Like a book in the face. I haven’t cried that much reading a book since See You at Harry’s. I knew it was going to be that way. After countless recommendations from teachers who visit the library, and after my husband read it… the tears were inevitable. John Green gets under your skin.
Alright (cracks knuckles), here we go.
Hazel Grace Lancaster is a 16-year-old stage IV cancer survivor and things for her are looking anything but up. Between reading her favorite novel, “An Imperial Affliction”, again, watching American’s Next Top Model, trying to catch her breath with her extremely weak lungs — her circumstances isolate her from any chance of having a normal teenage life. And her situation as a three year survivor, teetering a fine line between healthy and sick, may never get better.
Hazel’s mother gently forces her to attend a youth cancer support group she dreads going to. Between the annoying group leader, Patrick, the sob stories, and the disappearance of members due to passing into life eternal, it’s no wonder Hazel is as depressed as she is. That is until the day Augustus Waters showed up. Augustus (Gus), a cancer survivor himself who lost his leg to osteosarcomais, is there to support his best friend, Issac, who will soon go blind. Intrigued by Hazel, he approaches her the moment the group ends their meeting and invites her to his house to watch a movie. And so their star-crossed relationship begins.
After sharing ‘An Imperial Affliction ‘and her obsession with getting in contact with the author, Peter Van Houten, with Augustus, he decides to use the wish he never used from the “Genie Wish Foundation” (think Make a Wish Foundation) to fly both of them out along with Hazel’s mother to Amsterdam to meet the recluse Van Houton.
Okay, here is where my nerdiness comes out. I love (other than that whole love at first sight situation at the cancer support group) that reading is what brought Hazel and Gus together at first. The sharing of their favorite, most cherished books, which I find a very intimate glimpse into someone’s perspective. It was the topic of their early conversations, and the driving force of evolution for their relationship.
I found John Green’s much hyped book, The Fault in Our Stars, honest and funny and heartbreaking. I thought I would be let down after all the positive attention it has received over the past year, but that didn’t end up affecting me. Instead, it left me with scattered clumps of moist tissues and a half-eaten gallon of cookie dough ice cream as I turned the last page in the late hours of the night.
Don’t take my word for it: “Green has a fantastic ability to create real characters you can connect with. Other readers have suggested taking on this book when you’re alone with a box of tissues – as those around you may give you strange looks, confused as to whether you’re laughing out loud or crying. You’ll fall in love with these characters, laugh with them and never want to let them go.” – review from Beyond the Bookend
Source of the book reviewed: Purchased fair and square from Lawrence’s local bookstore, The Raven.