Book Review: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (5 stars)
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publisher: Dutton Books
Published: January 10th, 2012
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.
Let me begin by saying that I originally had no intention of reading this book. But then I had multiple people tell me that it was quite possibly the best book they’ve read all year…or ever. Okay. So, when I finally decided to pick up the book (which took several trips to the bookstore, since it always seemed to be out of stock), I was prepared to be disappointed.
THE FAULTS OF OUR STARS wasn’t the best book ever, but it deserved the massive hype.
It’s refreshing to read a book where the teenagers aren’t dumbed down into hormonal, whiny, selfish, depressed characters. In most YA books, the focus is either on survival or romance. In THE FAULTS OF OUR STARS, the characters already know they’re going to lose the battle against cancer, so all they have to do is wait.
I liked the philosophical debates between Hazel and Augustus. Considering that they don’t have any of the normal teenage activities to keep them busy like schoolwork, prom, or sports, it makes sense that they’d spend more time pondering the reason for their existence. My older brother was like that in high school. He had no interest in “normal” teenage activities and spent most of his time doing calculus for fun and debating scientific theories. What I’m saying is that there are teenagers out there that do talk like they do in THE FAULTS IN OUR STARS, so I, personally, had no problem with the philosophy or SAT vocabulary.
The author has a unique writing style that implies a lot and ventures into territory that most authors wouldn’t dare. His characters are politically uncorrect and make jokes that are only funny in inner circles. If you were to read sections of this book aloud, out of context. people will think you’re a heartless bastard. How dare you make jokes about a one-legged man or a blind cancer kid!?
The romance between Hazel and Augustus is atypical, yet touching to witness. They know that when one or both goes that there’s only a handful of people that will remember them. They don’t have the time or energy to change the world, but I think that the author managed to make these characters immortal in his writing. People will remember THE FAULTS IN OUR STARS long after the war with cancer is lost.
BTW, I didn’t cry. I did laugh through parts and the ending made me sad, but it takes a lot to make me cry.
(I purchased this book from my local bookstore.)