Thursday, March 13, 2014

Review: The Fault in Our Stars

Title:  The Fault in Our Stars
Series:  None
Author:  John Green
Age Group:  Young Adult
Published:  January 10, 2012 by Dutton Books
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.
My Review:  Did I like The Fault in Our Stars?  You mean you can't tell by the mountain of tissues and the tears still streaming down my face?  I loved this book.  I was completely drawn in by Hazel, Augustus, and all of the other amazing characters that made a place in my heart and then tore it to pieces. Though this novel dealt very closely with cancer, I felt it was more a story about Hazel and her interactions and love with and for the people around her. 

I love all of our characters but Hazel definitely has a special place in my heart.  She drew me in from the start with her wit, wry humor, and harsh honesty.  Sometimes she came off as prickly and mean, but I could completely understand and sympathize with her reason for being that way.  I appreciated how well rounded and truly real she felt as I was reading.  John Green did a spectacular job of getting into Hazel's head and making her sound authentic and believable.  I felt like at any moment, she might just walk off the page and sit down next to me.  I love her!  

And, of course, there is Augustus.  I fell in love with this boy the second he stepped onto the page with all his metaphors and selflessness and wanting to leave his mark on the world.  Every scene he was in, he pulled me closer and closer.  I couldn't get enough of him.  Just like Hazel, Augustus stood up from the pages and became real.  I just...I can't even explain how deeply I feel for and connected with this character.  Along with Augustus, we have a wonderful cast of side characters.  I adored Hazel's parents and loved that they were a real part of this novel and they had personalities of their own.  I also like Isaac.  I truthfully wouldn't mind getting a novel from his point of view.  

The story was beautifully paced and told.  It never felt rushed or dragging.  I loved all the sweet, funny moments between Hazel and Augustus but the entire time, there was a knot in my stomach just waiting for the shoe to drop which I knew it would.  I didn't know exactly what would happen but when it did ... I couldn't.  I sobbed, guys.  Like, can't breath, doubled over, red faced ugly sobs.  I had to go downstairs and tell my parents that no, I wasn't dying and no, they didn't need to worry.  It hit me so hard.  But at the same time, I liked how truthful it was.  There was no romanticizing this disease in this novel and I appreciated that immensely.  It hurt, but I appreciated the pain.  

The Fault in Our Stars has gone down as one of my favorite books.  I love everything about it.  I cannot recommend it enough or shower it with enough praise.  This book is more than worth the read.  So, go read it.  

Five Cards (I would give it more if I had them)

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