review: the fault in our stars

29 August 2012

book info:
ages: 14 and up
grades: 8+9 and up
years: 10 and up
on sale: now!
copy from: school library
publisher: Dutton
pages: 313

title: The Fault in Our Stars
author: John Green

Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 13, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs... for now.

Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault.

Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind.

I can't believe I haven't read it until now. I've heard so many raving reviews, and I just now got to it. I've literally (wrong use of literately AHH see how the book is affecting me?) just finished and wow. Simply: wow. The only other John Green book I enjoyed was Paper Towns, but this simply phenomenal. I don't like reading cancer stories. I never did. All the writers were so gloomy, and heroic and sad: something that the characters in this one acknowledged (all other cancer stories) and blatantly defied.

I love how Mr Green's characters are so honest and funny and deep all at once. As a teenager, I wholeheartedly related to all of this. V for Vendetta, the behaviour of teenage boys, and the slang and the tone.

I've been exposed to a lot of philosophy in the past few days, with studying Life of Pi in my literature class and researching philosophies to help me with my essay as well as reading this book. I love this book, I'll flat out say. It's ruddy brilliant. I'm trying to form actual points that I liked:

  • The humour. 
  • The flirty banter between Hazel and Augustus
  • They're deep relationship expressed through their flirty, intellectual banter
  • The story. The entire story. The whole "using your wish" part, and  the ______(city)______ part (trying not to write spoilers, but it's so hard not to fangirl)
  • The beautiful writing. It's not chatty, and it's not too empty: it's a perfect combination that crunches down to: just right. 
  • The way philosophy is sort of weaved into it, and not written out in formal essays 
  • The characters
On that last point. Characters make the story. This story has unforgettable characters with incredibly original, absolutely real voices I've read in ages. Hazel is real. Augustus is real. Because the book makes it so. To write good characters, one should know what makes humans tick. Philosophy helps a great load, I think, and is what differentiates these characters from others I've read. I'm not saying other books are crap: I'm saying this one is amazing.

In fear that I'll turn into a hot blubbering mess, I'll stop right there and simply say this: read The Fault in Our Stars. You will love it for certain. I'm usually very reluctant to give out five trees to books, and I haven't since I don't know when, but tonight I will give John Green's ridiculously brilliant book five trees.

2 thoughts:

  1. OMG! Your school library has this book??? I want to go to your school...
    I want to read it so much :)
    Great review. I'm glad you like it!



  2. No worries: I still haven't read it either. I've heard SUCH good things about it, though. Thanks for the review! :D


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