5 Stars! Check out the review on our blog!
I love this book.
Just in case you didn't read that right, or chose to ignore it, or for some unexplainable reason didn't believe me the first time, I'll say it again.
I love this book.
The Fault In Our Stars is the craziest emotional roller coaster I have ever been on. And as my fellow bloggers can attest, I LOVE roller coasters. While reading this book, I: laughed out loud in the middle of class when the room was completely silent, banged my head against a tree Charlie Brown style, hugged the book to my chest vowing to never let it go (in public!), and cried myself to sleep.
The Fault In Our Stars opens with Hazel attending the cancer support group her mother forces her to attend for her "depression". Instead of helping her, however, it only increases her moodiness. That is until, she meets Augustus Waters. Augustus was diagnosed with osteosarcoma about a year and a half before, but after having his leg amputated has been NEC (No Evidence of Cancer) for about a year. While introducing himself, he reveals that he is there to support Isaac, another teenage member of the support group who is having his one remaining eye removed in an attempt to completely get rid of the cancer. When Augustus, after being prompted by the support group leader, Patrick, reveals that he "fears oblivion", Hazel speaks up willingly for the first time. "'There will come a time,'" she says, "'when all of us are dead. All of us. There will come a time when there are no human beings remaining to remember that anyone ever existed or that our species ever did anything. There will be no one left to remember Aristotle or Cleopatra, let alone you. Everything that we did and built and wrote and thought and discovered will be forgotten and all of this will have been for naught. Maybe that time is coming soon and maybe it is millions of years away, but even if we survive the collapse of our sun, we will not survive forever. There was a time before organisms experienced consciousness, and there will be a time after. And if the inevitability of human oblivion worries you, I encourage you to ignore it. God knows that's what everyone else does'" (Green).
If that doesn't sell you right there, I don't know what will. Add to that the fact that the title is taken from a quote from inspiration itself, Mr. William Shakespeare, and there is absolutely no question why this is now one of my favorite books.
The relationship between Hazel and Augustus builds slowly and believably. Their relationship is not by any means a normal one. There are many obstacles in their way, each of which is over come in an unexpected way. This book kept me guessing, and I was constantly engaged in the twists and turns. Though the plot was unexpected and page turning, it was always believable. As someone whose life has been fraught with cancer lately (in friends, acquaintances, family members, and those who feel like family), this book hit very close to home for me. I found The Fault In Our Stars to be spot on with the information I know about this subject, and while it in no way skirted around heavy subjects like cancer and death, these were treated in a way that most people are unwilling to publicize in such a public fashion. The characters were not characters, but rather very real people talking about very real things.
I love the characters in The Fault In Our Stars. Hazel is not your typical moody teenager, nor is she a happy-go-lucky, head-in-the-clouds, everything-is-going-to-be-alright type. She has mood swings. She is a bit depressed and moody, but it's to be expected of a sixteen year old diagnosed with terminal cancer. Unlike a lot of other characters in modern literature, however, Hazel has the ability to be happy and have fun. She doesn't walk around with a rain cloud over her head the whole book, which (honestly) she has every right to. And Augustus. There are no words to describe how much I love Augustus. He is the perfect foil to Hazel. Whenever she starts with her depressing commentary, Augustus immediately challenges her and forces her to see things from another point of view. Augustus is always there with a humorous quip which makes you burst out in laughter. And all of the supporting characters have their own personality and purpose. Isaac could make me cry and make me laugh all in the same page. Peter Van Houghten, the author of Hazel's favorite book, An Imperial Infliction, is the character that you love to hate. As a person I completely despise him, but as a character I adore him. Hazel's parents have their odd quirks, but you can see where they are coming from, and their love for Hazel shines through in all of their actions.
John Green is now one of my favorite authors. He is able to invoke so much emotion I never thought possible in 313 pages. I know I've started to ramble, but I simply con not help it. I. LOVE. THIS. BOOK. Go buy it. Now. I'm dead serious. I borrowed this book from the library, and I am now saving up to buy my own copy. It takes a lot for me to actually go out and buy a book. But The Fault In Our Stars is completely worth the 30 minute drive to the nearest book store.
For those of you (once you have finished the novel- there are a TON of spoilers here) who are interested, here's a link to an interview with John Green
Maggie@ YA Novelties