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.Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning author John Green's most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.
Paperback, 316 pagesPublished January 3rd 2013 by Penguin Books (first published January 1st 2012)Source: Library
Four Stars: A well written, character driven story.
Hazel straps on her oxygen and prepares for another lengthy session in her cancer survivor group. She dreads these meetings, but today is different. She meets someone new: Gus. Before she knows it, Hazel is sharing books and swapping stories with Gus. They quickly bond over Hazel's favorite book, written by an elusive man who lives in Holland. Gus insists that they must meet this author and find out what happened to the characters after the book ends. Gus uses his wish and soon the two of them are on a life changing adventure. What happens when fate collides with love?
What I Liked:
- At last, I finally had the courage to tackle The Fault Within the Stars. I have long been putting off this read because of the subject matter: cancer. Who wants to read a book about teenage kids with cancer? Plenty of people that's for sure. After finishing, I can say that this book is well written, thought provoking, and I thought the author handled the cancer beautifully. If you are like me and have been afraid of this one, don't be. Mr. Green does an excellent job of engaging you with intelligent and precocious characters who use humor to detract from the big ugly "c" word.
- Let's talk about the elephant in the room: cancer. I am not a reader who enjoys reading emotional books especially when it comes to illness. I appreciated that Mr. Green didn't make the book all doom and gloom. There was plenty of humor sprinkled in to lighten up the mood, and I liked that he found a good balance between the dark and the depressing and the bright side. Yes, there are plenty of things that will break your heart, but there are also lots of things that will make you smile.
- This is a completely character driven story. Hazel and Augustus are two characters whom you can't help but fall in love with. They are both fighters and survivors who come together and love, live and laugh in the face of cancer. Their intelligent dialogue made me laugh. I loved them both, and I liked their relationship. There is also a strong secondary cast of characters. I especially liked Isaac. His situation was tough and heart breaking, but I liked how he came through it and was able to joke about his condition. Hazel's parents are very much involved in the story and they play a big role in the story. I liked that the parents had strong roles and I loved seeing how they handled everything. All in all, the characters are top notch and realistic.
- The ending... yes it is sad and you will likely shed a few tears, but I also liked that it had a positive message, and it spoke strongly to me. Life is short, take advantage of each day you have and don't take anything for granted.
And The Not So Much:
- I couldn't help but feel a tiny bit disappointed. I don't know if it was because of all the hype and expectation or my mood or what, but I didn't think this had the strong emotional impact I was expecting. I don't know, I think too much time was wasted on the weird author whom I could care less about.
- Speaking of the eccentric author, I didn't really get why there was such a strong focus on him. Hazel and Augustus fly to Holland to meet his whack job and he ends up being a horrible drunk. I kept expecting some big break through or redeeming moment with him, but I ended up being disappointed.
- I thought the whole thing with the eulogy was weird. Why would Gus involve the author after his horrid behavior? I thought it was a bit unrealistic.
- The book is open ended. I guess I just wanted a bit more closure with both Hazel and Isaac. After the emotional upheaval I wanted to know that they would be okay.
The Fault in the Stars is a book that tugs at your heart strings. It will make you laugh and then cry. It is an emotional journey worth taking. I thought the writing was excellent and the story was solid. Definitely a book you should read. I know it took me a long time to get around to it as I was afraid, but I can honestly say that it wasn't as gut wrenching or sad as I expected. I appreciated that the author packs in lots of humor to help lighten the load. If you are avoiding this book, don't hesitate, read it.
"The dead are visible only in terrible lidless eye of memory. The living, thank heaven, retain the ability to surprise and to disappoint."
"As he read, I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once."
"I'm in love with you, and I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we're all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust, and I know the sun will shallow the only earth we'll ever have, and I am in love with you."
I borrowed a copy of this book from the library. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.