Book Review: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

 The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Publisher: Penguin
Release Date: 3rd May 2012
Buy: Kindle Paperback
Rating:
45

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“I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, then all at once.”

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

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The Fault in Our Stars tells the story of star crossed lovers, Hazel and Augustus (Gus). However, they’re not your typical teenagers. For starters Hazel is a cancer sufferer, Augustus has been diagnosed with cancer but survived (however he lost one of his legs) and they meet each other at a cancer support group.
They immediately become consumed with one another – despite Hazel’s fear that she will be a ‘grenade’ in Augustus’s life (in other words, their involvement will cause him great hurt when she dies). They make the perfect couple, after all each knows what the other one is going through and they also discover a mutual love for Hazel’s favourite novel, An Imperial Afflication which is also about a cancer sufferer and ends abruptly when the lead character, Anna, dies. Their desire to find out what happens after the end of the book takes them on a quest to Amsterdam as their relationship progresses and they discover the thrills of being alive and in love…but is their time running out and how much longer can this stage of their lives, being ‘between’ life and death actually last?

Ok, I’m very, very late to the party with this one. If it wasn’t for all of the hype surrounding The Fault in Our Stars, would I even have read it? Whilst I’m all for reading more Young Adult novels I don’t know if I would have chosen to read this book, were it not brought to my attention by the release of the film and many, many rave reviews I’ve read. Although I must admit – I’m very pleased I did read it.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I do feel that some of the hype surrounding it is justified. It’s one heck of a story and the characters in it are so real. You will genuinely care for Hazel and Augustus. Even their friends, Issac and Kaitlyn, whilst only featured a very small amount, still make for fantastic, funny and real characters who I loved getting to know. You really get an insight into what life with cancer is like for Hazel and Gus. Desperately trying to shrug off this image that they are ‘brave soldiers’ doing ‘battle’ with the disease; they want others to see that, actually, they are still just people. It’s not about what is happening to their bodies, but the people that they become in spite of this. Yes they may be continuing to live with this life consuming disease – but what choice do they have? This area of the story really opened my eyes to certain aspects of what it must be like living with the disease. But please don’t think that The Fault in Our Stars is only about cancer, because it’s not. There is so, so much more to it than that. There’s love, romance, books(!), family, friends, living and dying.
This book also takes a look at what, or rather, those left behind when someone dies. For example, Hazel overhears her Mum crying that once Hazel has died she will no longer be a mother & then there’s Gus’s fear that he will die without making a great achievement in his life. It certainly is one of those books that will make you stop and think. Then there’s that hideous question that you don’t-want-to-ask-but-can’t-help; who is going to be the one who is left behind – Hazel or Gus? (I know! I’m sorry!)
I loved Hazel and Gus and I wanted them both to live happily ever after, of course. They were funny, clever, realistic and completely loveable. I love how their lives switch from deep & meaningful conversations one minute, to talking video games & who has been voted off America’s Next Top Model the next…
Whilst I’m not sure I would say that reading The Fault in Our Stars has changed my life, it is one of those books that is definitely worth a read. It will widely appeal to most people and you will find yourself becoming emotionally involved with this story. It’s moving, tragic, funny and very entertaining.
I definitely want to see the film now and I hope that it does this powerful novel justice…

*The Fault in Our Stars was my own personal copy.*

 

ataJohn Green is the Michael L. Printz Award-winning author of Looking for Alaska and An Abundance of Katherines. When he was little, he wanted to be an earthworm scientist. (There is a word for such a person: oligochaetologist.) But he killed off his entire earthworm farm due to his general inability to care for pets. Later, he made a list of things he was good at. The list included “telling lies” and “sitting.” So he became a writer.

You can follow John on Twitter @realjohngreen

 

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