August 26, 2013

Review: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

 Title: The Fault in Our Stars

Author: John Green

Series: No

Published: 2012

Edition Read: Hardback

Level Recommended: Young Adult

 I loved this book so much I had to put it down for quite awhile before I could bare to finish the last one hundred pages. I just couldn't bare to see the characters I love go through heartache.  When I finally braved the last pages I wasn't disappointed. 

Summary: (Book) 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 am the last person to read and review this book. Before I start on the actual review, though, I feel like I should say this: I'm not a John Green book nerd. I was assigned to read Looking for Alaska for a Child Lit course around 2006. I don't know if I just didn't like it because I was swamped with course work and having to read and review books for that class or if I just didn't like it. That being said I am a huge fan of John Green. Lots of reasons why, and honestly being a fan of John Green pushed me to give his books another try.
But it's not a cancer book, because cancer books suck. Like, in cancer books, the cancer person starts a charity that raises money to fight cancer, right? And this commitment to charity reminds the cancer person of the essential goodness of humanity and makes him/her feel loved and encouraged because s/he will leave the cancer-curing legacy. 
(The Fault in Our Stars, Pg. 48-49)
I started The Fault in Our Stars around the time it was originally published, but only recently finished it. The reason? Green really pulled on my heart strings. When I was in high school I loved books like The Fault in Our Stars. I believe I read almost all of Lurlene McDaniel's books. Most of which had a central theme of teenangers dealing with life-threatening illnesses. 

John Green managed to make me do something I don't remember ever doing with Lurlene McDaniel's books. It made me put it down and not want to read it. Now, don't misunderstand. This wasn't a "I can't stand this book! I'm going to drop it because it sucks!" kind of put down. It was a "OMG I can't read any further because I just don't want to deal with the heartache that is about hit these characters that I love!" kind of put down. I literally did not want to read what would happen next, because I didn't want to cry over these characters that I had grown to love. 

I, of course, can't tell you what happened or what it was that caused me to say "No." to the heartache. It would give away a huge plot point. But, I can't think of a higher form of praise for Green's book. He made me love Hazel and Augustus. He made me root for them and their sweet teenage romance, and he made me love them so much I almost couldn't bare to pick up the book and read the last almost one hundred pages because I loved them so much. 

Green's writing also reminded me of the kind of writing I loved as a teenager. It was witty and snappy without being overly so. The characters played off each other with chemistry. They conducted conversations that made me laugh and cry. Maybe I wasn't too terribly into Looking for Alaska, but The Fault in Our Stars really made me want to pick up another book by Green.
Issac shot me a look. "Right, of course. But you keep the promise anyway That's what love is. Love is keeping the promise anyway. Don't you believe in true love?" 
I didn't answer. I didn't have an answer. But I thought that if true love did exist, that was a pretty good definition of it.  
"Well, I believe in true love," Issac said. "And I love her. And she promised. She promised me always." He stood and took a step toward me. I pushed myself up, thinking he wanted a hug or something, but then he just spun around, like he couldn't remember why he'd stood up in the first place, and then Augustus and I both saw the rage settle into his face. 
(The Fault in Our Stars, Pg. 61)
I can't promise you'll love The Fault in Our Stars as much as I did, but I can say that even if you do or don't love Green's books give this one a try. You may be pleasantly surprised. Just like me.  

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