Title: The Fault in Our Stars
Author: John Green
Genre: Young Adult, Romance
Publication Date: 3rd Jan 2013
Goodreads Summary: Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 13, 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.
The Fault in Our Stars Review
Usually after I’ve read a book, I immediately try to throw some thoughts down on a page so writing the review is easier, but I couldn’t do that with this book because I was too busy rolling around on my bed wailing. I’ve seen so much hype about this book on the blogosphere and well, in life, but to be honest, if it hadn’t come through my letter box, I probably wouldn’t have picked it up. (Thanks, by the way, to whoever sent me the review copy). Half the time I feel like I’m about to have an emotional breakdown about the petty crap that goes on in my life so I was rather worried about reading an emotional story about real problems. That said, when it did come through my letter box I was ecstatic. I texted all my friends and ran around the house for a bit, a feat I don’t think any other review copy has managed.
The Fault in Our Stars follows the story of Hazel Grace Lancaster, a lung cancer patient – though, she probably wouldn’t be very happy if she heard me defining her by her disease like that. After being deemed to be suffering from depression, she is forced to attend a support group where she meets Augustus Walters, a gorgeous and muscley boy who for some unknown reason (to her) is interested in her. They develop a close relationship and I can’t really tell you much more without ruining parts of the story.
This book is written from the perspective of Hazel and her narrative is really witty and funny. I love that both Hazel and Augustus are so accepting of the disease that is such a huge part of their lives. Neither of them are self-pitying but nor are they unrealistically ok with what’s obviously a highly traumatic thing to go through. Obviously I don’t know what it’s like to live with cancer but I imagine that these two characters are quite a good example of what strong cancer patients feel like. Both of them are determined to live their lives as normal teenagers and it’s really saddening to watch them struggle to this. These characters are so inspirational and if I ever met anyone like them I would be completely blown away.
The romance between Augustus and Hazel was one of the most beautiful relationships I’ve ever seen development. This wasn’t insta-love and there aren’t many PDAs or anything like that but you can see a real connection between the pair of them. I also can’t imagine any other couple making ‘okay’ a flirty word. These two kids really care about each other and for lack of a better phrase, they have such bants together. At least one of their parents is often tagging along on their dates which I found a bit strange, but then these teenagers don’t exactly lead normal lives. There aren’t that many huge romantic gestures or anything silly like that in this book and to them hanging out and playing video games is just as good a past time as any which I really loved (and not just because I love video games).
I’ve read other people’s reviews and they said that they could see the end coming, but I couldn’t. I think perhaps I was in a state of self denial and was convinced that things would all turn out the way they had in my head, but they most certainly did not. The ending to this story was one of the most heartbreaking things I have ever read, ever. When I read the synopsis of this book, I thought I was going to be really saddened by the cancer, but not that affected since I don’t usually get too emotionally invested in these sorts of story lines but this book was different. I can’t tell you how many times I cried whilst reading this book.There is a certain point in this book where I just couldn’t contain myself anymore and full on sobbing ensued. I thought that if I were to cry at all whilst reading this, it would be because of the romance and most certainly not because of the cancer and whilst it was a huge mix of the two, I think it was actually the cancer story that hit me hardest. This must be one of the most painful stories to read if you’ve had any experience with sick relatives and I honestly can’t imagine what state I would’ve been in if I had.
Another random point, but something that made me love this book even more, is that the physical book itself is really beautiful. I love the simplicity of the cover and the paper and the font that were used made this a really nice book to read (I’m not a nutter, I swear).
I’ve never read any John Green books before so I can’t say whether or not this book is better than his others but the general consensus seems to be that this is his best novel yet. This is such an emotional rollercoaster and it is undoubtedly one of the best books I’ve ever read. This book is just so real and raw and the writing itself is just so darn brilliant. I tried to write some sort of coherent review and reign the fan-girl in but I think she’s about to pop out. Basically, all I really wanted to say is… akhkahfbkahfbklahfgvkahfkbajfhgbkafhgkadhgkdsjfgkdfhgkhsdjbahlkhfahAMAZINGakghkafhgkafhgkahfgkahfgkjhfdgshdfglsjdhfgksdhfgkdfjhgkhd.
Thanks again to whoever sent me this review copy. There wasn’t a note, but I’m assuming it was Puffin!