The Fault in Our Stars
Author: John Green
Rating: 5 stars
Summary: 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.
I never expected to write a review on this book. I mean, I don't read cancer books. And I've said that to anybody who's recommended it to me. Oh, but I am so glad I finally decided to give it a try. Now I just have to figure out how to put my thoughts into words.
First though, to be honest, this is the first book of John Green's that I've really liked. I read Paper Towns and Looking for Alaska a couple years ago, and I liked them okay, but now I guess I can say I'm a true fan, having read The Fault in Our Stars. (I'm a bit late onto that boat, but hey, I got there.) Before reading, I had no idea what the story was actually about, besides the c word, and someone named Augustus. (both of which I learned from religiously watching the videos.) I really love when books have small and unassuming summaries.
Okay. There isn't much to say. The Fault in Our Stars is a genuinely fantastic story, and I think everyone should read it. It'll probably change you, even if it's only a little. For me, I paused while reading, thought about what was said, reread passages a few times, that sort of thing. It's a thinker book. I don't come across those very often, considering how many books I read, and unfortunately it's almost unheard of in the YA section of fiction. Or maybe I just read too much fantasy.
The relationship between Hazel Grace and Augustus Waters is perfect. Perfect in the way that it's not perfect, which makes it feel so not-made-up. Their intellectual ponderings back and forth are so engaging, and there are many quote-worthy statements. On the other hand, their relationship with Van Houten is most fascinating to me, because I could never really guess how it would turn out. He is a very interesting and different character.
Even though this is a teenagers-with-cancer book...it's really not. It's a teenager book. The teenagers may talk about death a lot, well, because they'll die a lot sooner than most teenagers expect to. There is an international flight, which is slightly more unusual for a teenager book. And there is kissing. But it's safe to say any age reader would enjoy this story.
I guess, it's the way that cancer is talked about, that makes it different. Teenagers/young adults/kids have cancer...but they're still just that. Cancer is cancer, which sucks like no other, but to me, this story shows how people can separate themselves from it, if that's making any sense. The tone is uplifting, in a way that makes you crack a smile between the tears every now and then.
I think I found the right time to read this, too: A few weeks ago my mom finally reached her five-year-free of cancer anniversary. This past weekend, I walked the Susan G Komen 3-day walk with her and saw hundreds of cancer survivors and thought of the thousands that didn't. And I read most of the book with my cancerous cat wheezing on my shoulder. So safe to say, it was an emotional weekend.
My only regret upon finishing it. I wish I could go back and read it again for the first time. I didn't mind the crying, it was worth it.
Post Script, I totally can't wait to see the movie.