Title: The Fault In Our Stars
Author: John Green
Release Date: January 10, 2012
Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 13, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumors 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 tumors 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.
Gawd… this book destroyed me. It was heartbreaking. I was definitely not expecting to be as moved by the story as I was. I’m not a big John Green fan. I have this thing against the way that he writes about teens… I mean, he makes them sound like hipster philosophy majors. It’s so bizarre. I don’t know any teenagers that talk like the ones John Green writes about, it’s not normal. It makes me so angry. Sure, there are probably some weird teens that are actually like the ones that he writes about, but I’m pretty sure they have no friend and everyone hates them. I would, but I’ll just move on, since that’s not the point of the story.
The Fault In Our Stars is about a 16 year old girl with cancer. I don’t think I’ve ever read any book about a cancer patient, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. There were so many ways the story could go. I was glad that the story centered around a support group for children with cancer that Hazel (the main character) attended and it didn’t focus on school as many YA books do. It was a nice and refreshing change.
Hazel’s home life was also given plenty of focus, as she did not attend school and her life primarily consisted of her being at home. I loved getting to know her parents (I say it like I actually met them…) and reading about how they were coping with Hazel’s illness. It’s another common theme in YA for parents to be killed, separated, or long dead, so having her parents be there from beginning to end was actually pretty cool.
This being my second John Green book, I was expecting to find characters that I hated like in Looking for Alaska, but I was pleasantly surprised that I actually liked everyone. I even tolerated Augustus’ (the love interest) ridiculous smoking metaphor thing. That drove me crazy at first… seriously, why was that even included? But that’s besides the point, the characters were all very well developed and they become sort of familiar to the reader, it was like I knew them in real life.
I am very impressed with this book, besides the dialogue nonsense that I talked about at the beginning, The Fault In Our Stars was superb. It was emotionally captivating and it was very moving. Though I felt that maybe John Green was just trying to milk the whole “teen girls love me” thing, it was a job well done and I am glad that I read it. I ended up kind of loving it, as much as it pains me to say it. Also, I have to add that I was not expecting the twist towards the end… at all. So kudos, John Green, you surprised me and caused some major waterworks.