Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Review: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Reading Level: Young Adult
Publisher: Dutton Books
Diagnosed 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.
So if you have an internet connection or have been to the bookstore in the past couple of months you have probably heard of The Fault in Our Stars. Maybe you thought it didn't look like your kind of book or you're a huge John Green fan and have been waiting for this book for ages. I was part of the former but thanks to the awesome people of the latter group I decided to pick it up. And boy was I surprised. So if like me you weren't planning on reading this book I'm asking you to change your mind. This book isn't for a certain type of person. It's for everyone and I think everyone needs to read it. It was so incredibly amazing and it took me completely by surprise.
This isn't just another sad cancer book, movie or TV show. I could see that from the first page. The main character isn't all upbeat and set on fighting the cancer. She knows her lot in life and that she probably isn't going to live very long. She's come to terms with that or at least as much as one can. Another way this book is different is that it doesn't try to cover up cancer in any way. It's not something that the characters just happen to have like someone might have a bad haircut. Cancer is horrible and gross and sad and this book shows that. It also makes you thankful; thankful that you can breath, thankful that you can see, thankful that your body isn't fighting against you, thankful for pretty much everything.
The characters in this book are some of my favorite characters ever. There was a point when I had to sit back and tell myself that these people weren't real outside of these pages. Sure characters are always real to me to an extent -that's part of the reason I love books so much- but I've never had to actually remind myself that I was reading about fictional characters. Hazel was amazing. She has gone through so much in her short life and all I wanted for her was some happiness, some good news. She is unlike any protagonist I've ever had the pleasure of reading about. The story wouldn't work the same if it wasn't told from her perspective. Augustus Waters how do I even begin to explain him? He is fabulous, funny, hot, honest and just everything you could ever want a love interest to be. He made me laugh, he made me cry and he will forever hold a place in my heart as one of my favorite characters ever. Isaac was the best. Why do blind guys rock so much? Don't worry Isaac I wouldn't break up with you even if though you’re blind. See what I mean about thinking the characters are real? Even if Isaac did exist he couldn't read that. I loved seeing how the characters family coped with the fact that their kids or siblings had cancer it was all so different.
The romance between Hazel and Augustus was so perfect. It was awkward but adorable and slow and there's so many quotes in my quote journal from this book it's insane. It was cute but still true to the fact that both these characters had or have cancer but love anyways.
Now let me warn you about this book. Yes it's amazing and wonderful and I loved every minute of it but I've also never cried so hard over a book in my entire life. Believe me I cry in books all the time but never like this. It was 4 o'clock in the morning tears were streaming down my face, my shoulders were shaking, my face was red and I was trying so hard to be quiet about it. There was even a point when I was laughing but still crying at the same time. It was gross y'all. I even started crying again when I was rereading the cute parts. But no John Green again I don't mean that in a bad way. I was crying so hard because I cared so much about these characters and I was so wrapped up in the story. The stronger a book makes me feel the more I like it and if I'm sobbing in the wee hours of the morning you know I like it.
I don't think I'll ever think about this book without wanting to cry and could be bad because I don't think I'll ever stop thinking about this book. It makes you look at life a little differently and makes you thankful for the things you don't realize you have. Reading this was such an amazing experience and I plan on experiencing it again and again. The fault in our stars is that I can't give this book enough of them. If I could give this book a thousand stars I would but I'll just stick with 5 and tell you to go read it. Read it now.