Book Review: The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
Published by Dutton Books, Jan. 10, 2012; 320 pg. This was a book club pick, sort of.*
“It was kind of a beautiful day…the kind of weather that reminds you after a long winter that while the world wasn’t built for humans, we were built for the world.” -Hazel Grace Lancaster
Hazel Lancaster is a teenager living with incurable cancer. With her oxygen tank as her constant companion, the extent of Hazel’s life consists of daily doses of cancer drugs, watching reality shows, reading her favorite book over and over, and reluctantly attending Support Group for teens.
She meets Augustus Waters at one of the teen support group meetings and life begins to take on a new hue. Augustus is hot as hell and seems out of place in the pathetic group of cancer misfits. She finds out his cancer is in remission and through his flirty doggedness, he and Hazel form a rapid friendship. With her parents and an author whom she had never met as her best friends, not to mention her oxygen tank named Philip, Augustus crashes into her quiet world and shakes up her reality. Gus shares with her a new view as to how she was going to live the remainder of her life. Hazel then shares her favorite book of all time with Augustus which sparks a journey which takes them to places they never thought they would ever see…or feel.
Wow. This was an amazing book! John Green gave each of the characters such unique voices that each of them felt as real as you and me. And they were funny! These characters were going through the worst time of their lives, death breathing down their necks, yet he gave them just the right amount of wit to give the story a bucketload of charm. Cancer was a character that hovered at the fringes of the story; you knew it was there. You can feel its hot, and stinky, breath on the back of your neck as you read. Yet, you watch Gus and Hazel and you find yourself hoping and praying they get a better shot at life then what they have endured so far.
I had no idea what to expect when I started this book except that it was about kids with cancer. I expected gloom and doom but instead I felt hopeful and humbled. The characters were witty, sarcastic, and smart as hell–I want to be them when I grow up, minus the cancer. But I guess the cancer is what makes them who they are. Who they have become.
You must read this book! It’s a 320 pages book that reads more like 180. It’s one of my new favorite books for 2012!
“My thoughts are stars I can’t fathom into constellations.” Augustus Waters
The author, John Green, blogs twice a week on his website at johngreenbooks.com and also has a YouTube channel called VlogBrothers where he and his brother take their turn on addressing current events or just being very funny self-proclaimed nerds.
*The title of our next book club selection was shared via text, actually two texts. However, I failed to read the second one that told me that the book selection had changed from The Fault in Our Stars by John Green to The Second Time We Met by Leila Cobo because Stars was only in hardback (we try to be thrifty when we can). So I arrived at book club ready to rave about the book…then found out I read the wrong book. Vintage Hallie moment right there. Total AYFKM, deer in headlights. But I was a glass of wine deep with another on the way while sitting on a rooftop deck with my book club posse and not one child with any of my genetic code was in my range of vision. And The Fault in Our Stars was awesome.