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.
(Description from Goodreads)
Has it seriously taken me this long to finally read this book? Yes, sadly, it has. However, I’m so glad I finally read it.
Words escape me when it comes to how I feel about the Fault In Our Stars. That’s probably why it has taken me several weeks to actually write this review. There were so many moments that just pulled at my heartstrings and when it was all over, I fell into a book hangover (which I had to immediately pull myself out of because of classes starting).
Let’s start with the characters. I liked ALL of the characters in this book and LOVED quite a few. Hazel Grace and Augustus Waters are by far some of the most remarkable YA characters I have encountered during my time of writing this blog. Yes, I know everyone loves them and there is such a following of them, but they deserve it. They brought many laughs to my face, they brought many tears to my eyes, and through it all, they provided a smile on my face, even during those moments that were heartbreaking. Cancer can touch anyone, not just adults, but the topic of children having cancer is far more taboo. Both Hazel and Augustus were truly remarkable characters and teenagers who were always looking at death in the eyes. Heck, all of the characters were remarkable in their own way, especially the parents. Thank you, John Green, for giving us a YA novel where the parents are there and supportive!
Everyone talks about how beautifully John Green writes and I can clearly see why. But I think there’s more to it than it just being a beautifully written book. It has a beautifully written meaning behind it. Like any other YA book, this one is full of love, friendship, hope, life, but unlike most YA novels, this one a powerfully, thought-provoking concept. Am I making sense? It’s hard to do this book justice in words, both because it has such a fanbase built up around it and because it’s one of those books that truly makes you lose your words. The connection between the characters, the stories that take place around each character, everything about it was beautiful. I’m sure there are plenty of people who do not feel the same way as those of us who absolutely adore the book and I can understand. There is a great deal of hype for this book and perhaps it’s hard to live up to that hype for some readers. There are also several aspects that occur in the book that I can understand would make people dislike it (for example, the almost miracle like drug that has kept Hazel alive for so long when she should have died years before) and that’s understandable. Cancer is a tough subject to portray and perhaps it’s a touchy subject for some. However, I do believe that John Green has written a rather unique story that deal with cancer patients, as it is not entirely doom and gloom and manages to have some light moments full of romantic gestures. Hazel and Augustus fall in love super fast, but that’s what teenagers do! Teenagers look at one another and bam, perhaps it is love at first sight for them. That’s nothing to mock or treat as a negative aspect, it just happens.
The only true problem I had with this book was that there were some instances where the dialogue felt forced or unnatural for a teenager, whether they had cancer or not. However, I think this is something that is very difficult to truly grasp, as most of those writing teenager dialogues are no longer teenagers. It’s hard to get that true feeling that a teenager is talking when the person writing has way more experience than the character they are writing for. And, I agree, that the conversation about breakfast foods was a little…obnoxious? But I think it was supposed to provide some comic relief for one of those serious times.
There are so many aspects of this book that I can talk about and want to talk about, but honestly, I don’t think I can do the book justice. I will say that if you haven’t read this book yet, do so. It may not be your favorite and you may even feel let down after hearing all the hype about it, but at least give it a chance. Yes, the hype is built up. Yes, the fanbase is huge. Yes, you will either love it or you will hate it. But don’t let any of those aspects deter you from this novel. I will end this review with the fact that I did cry while reading this book. Not a boo hoo cry, but tears were shed. I don’t normally cry from reading books, but this one made it happen.