Title: The Fault in Our Stars
Author: John Green
Genre/Audience: Young Adult fiction, contemporary
Publication: Dutton, 2012
Summary: Hazel is a 16 year old living with thyroid and lung cancer. Since her diagnosis three years prior, she has adapted a negative attitude about life, and remains somewhat of a recluse, staying home with her parents, and reading her favorite book, An Imperial Affliction, again and again, a novel about another young girl with cancer. The author, Peter Van Houten, lives in Amsterdam, and for years, Hazel has tried to contact him about the ending. The book finishes in the middle of a sentence, and it is Hazel’s greatest wish to speak to Peter and find out what becomes of all the characters. Her fan letters to him have been ignored.
The other thing Hazel does, besides read and watch reality TV, is attend a support group for other children with cancer. She dreads going, until one fateful night, when Augustus Waters, a 17 year old cancer survivor, shows up to a meeting. They connect instantly, and are soon spending all of their time together, falling in love. Hazel tries to push him away though. She says she is a “grenade,” meaning that she will die soon, and when she does, it will cause an explosion and hurt all those that love her. She doesn’t want to hurt Augustus when she dies, but despite her protestations, they fall very much in love.
Augustus still has his “Make a Wish” wish, and he uses it to bring Hazel to Amsterdam to meet Peter Van Houten, after he is able to connect with him via e-mail. When they arrive, he is incredibly rude, drunk, and vulgar, and worst of all, does not tell Hazel the ending, like he promised he would. Hazel is crushed, but things come crashing down when Augustus reveals heartbreaking news to Hazel that will turn everyone’s life upside down.
Though their love is hard, by knowing Augustus, Hazel learns to live again, and to love.
My Thoughts: This is really going to be a love letter of a review to a one John Green. Holy freaking cow, this book was phenomenal. I’ve had kind of a rough year, with a lot of big changes and heartbreak happening in my life, and I won’t lie, it’s really taken a toll on my reading and blogging. I’ve found it harder to connect with and enjoy books and blogging because my life has been in a bit of a disarray and this has really upset me… but anyways, this is all to say TFiOS made me feel that passion for reading again… FINALLY! While I was reading it, I remembered why I loved reading so much and for the first time in months, I couldn’t put a book down. As soon as I finished it, I made my mother read it. This was my first JG book, but it will NOT be my last. I’ve been wanting to read him forever now, and I’m so glad I finally have.
Basically, John Green freaking nailed it. For realsies. How he so accurately captured the voice of a 16 year old female, I will never know, but he did, and it was awesome. Hazel’s character felt so real and her emotions, negativity, outlook on life… all seemed so dead on. Augustus was charming, sweet, witty… and if I wasn’t over 18, I would for sure be like, “boyfriend!” I just LOVED these characters, which definitely contributed to my book love here.
Gahhh emotions. Oh, the emotions I felt, the highs and lows, the laughs, the almost tears… I felt it all. I love a book that can make me feel and I FELT so much during this book. I was so connected to the story, and invested in their lives and it was Just. So. Beautiful… all of it, even the sadness. I love that John Green captured the realities of this illness, and that he never once sugarcoated it. We saw the nitty gritties, and heard about all the nasty things having to do with cancer, BUT we also saw Hazel and Augustus for who they were as people, not just cancer kids. He brought them to life, even if they didn’t always feel like they were living. I loved the things they learned, the lessons they taught each other, the way they changed each other’s lives… it was all so powerful, but still down to earth and realistic.
I just loved this book more than words and I’m sorry for the babble. All I can say is READ THIS BOOK! READ IT NOWWWW!
My Rating: 5/5