Book Review #8: The Fault In Our Stars
Author: John Green
Genre: Young adult fiction
Days to Read: 4
Synopsis (as taken from Chapters): 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. Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.
My thoughts: Despite The Fault In Our Stars being a YA novel, I thoroughly enjoyed this beautiful — yet tragic — piece. From the first chapter, Hazel became a memorable character. She didn’t speak or think like the usual female heroines you see in most young adult novels, which was refreshing for me. She was determined in her seclusion, her situation and her future, and she didn’t care tuppence about what others thought of her — that is, until Augustus entered her life. He was her funny bone. He breathed fresh air into her atmosphere and renewed her outlook on life. They both gave each other just another reason to live. But, of course, once you began to fall in love with the characters, you knew something bad was lurking around the corner. I won’t say what, however, because I don’t want to spoil anything for those who haven’t read it yet. The characters were enticing, and each relationship between the characters only strengthened the story. I must say, though, I was not a fan of Peter Van Houten. I found him annoying and every scene he was in only dragged the story down just a bit. I’m not entirely sure what John Green’s reason was to include him, except perhaps to show Hazel and Augustus (and us too) that not everyone could live up to their expectations; disappointment will sometimes occur in life and they must rise with each challenge they meet. Still, he could have made Van Houten a little more bearable for the readers. On the whole, though, The Fault In Our Stars was a fantastic introduction to John Green’s work, and I can’t wait to read more of his stories!
I wrote a review on this novel for my university’s print newspaper, The Reflector, and I thought I’d share with you my first paid review:
“No book in January was given the amount of media buzz that John Green’s The Fault In Our Stars received. After hearing positive remarks about his new book, I decided to read it with an open mind. The Fault In Our Stars was a very difficult book to get through. Not because it was boring — oh no, quite the contrary. I found it difficult because it was so heartbreaking. John Green created his characters with such depth, complexity and honesty that I felt like I knew Hazel Lancaster and Augustus Waters for many years. It isn’t easy to write about cancer, much less deal with it personally, but John Green gives a convincing account of how cancer marks you. He doesn’t rationalize, sentimentalize or romanticize the realities of cancer, but rather touches you with the story of two teens looking for a forever within their numbered days. Once you open the book, I promise you will not be able to think of much else.”
My Rating: 4.5/5