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.
First line: Late in the winter of my seventeenth year, my mother decided I was depressed, presumably because I rarely left the house, spent quite a lot of time in bed, read the same book over and over, ate infrequently, and devoted quite a bit of my abundant free time thinking about death.
Title: The Fault In Our Stars
My edition: I have a paperback edition with 318 pages from Penguin Books.
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Fiction, Romance, Realistic Fiction, Teen, Death, Coming of Age, Drama, Love
I can’t even remember when I bought the book, because its such a long time ago. Then I’ve been putting off reading it. And since I’m sworn to always read the book before seeing the movie, I’ve been putting off seing the movie. I don’t know why it was time to finally read it right now, but it was time indeed.
The plot of this book is perfect. Not only is this a book about a young girl and a young boyhaving to deal with cancer and all it does to your life, but it’s also about two people finding each other in a world where they’re the odd ones and no one can relate to what it feels to be you. Because of that I think a lot of people can relate to the book even though they’re not exactly in the same situation. It’s also a perfect plot for a young adult contemporary novel.
These are the two reasons to why the plot of the book is amazing. I experienced it as a raw and in no way sugar coated version of dealing with cancer. Of dealing with death and counting your days, knowing for sure it won’t be as many of them as you’d hoped. Of having to live with that and still live life to the fullest. Or trying to at least. And it tells how many people cancer actually attacks. How it is like to be on the sideline, being the one without cancer having to stand by and watch, knowing there’s really nothing you can do about it.
Man, cancer sucks.
And then there’s the part of the plot where we meet this weird, geeky introvert who deals with a shitload of life’s lemons meeting a guy who can actually take them and make them into lemonade (if this comparison and overly-used metaphor makes it to the published text I am truly sorry and I want you to know that the clock is 03:44 and I just saw three sad movies in a row and my mind is not working). It’s a story about two people just dealing with it, finding each other and understanding each other in a world were no one truly can understand you. It’s a funny story of adventures and shared compassions and knowing that life is shit, but sometimes shit can be used as soil to make beautiful flowers (omg where do I get these comparisons from)
The writing is both easy (in the “I can flip 100 pages of this in one sitting” kind of way) and yet poetic. This books deals with a huge and difficult theme, which made me set my expectations high before reading it. You can not, and I can never state that enough, write a book about something like this and leave it to the actions in the book to tell the story. Books like these needs reflections, and it needs a main character that reflects upon her life and upon the theme. And that reflection needs to be so good that you almost nod while reading. So good that you want to go get your quote-book (because who in the world does not have a quote-book where they collect the bests quotes from the books who deserves to be part of it am I right) and write away.
John Green and Hazel Grace gives us that. The writing is a perfect combination of action and letting the action speak for the themes AND giving Hazel Grace enough time and enough voice to actually teach us a thing or two. Hazel Grace made me think. And that alone is reason enough for me to read this book.
While the Main Character Hazel Grace are by far exactly the kind of reflective character I wished for, what I love the most about her (and the whole book) is that she never became a cliché. I mentioned reflections as an important thing for making a cancer book good. But not making it a cliché (you know like that shitty metaphor with the lemons and making limonade of them I mean who even uses that metaphor anymore) is just as important. Hazel Grace is not a cliché. She feels real and she makes the world feel real. John Green allows her to be a human, she allows her to be selfish and yet reflective and not a victim but still someone you pity. Hazel Grace is a very well built up character, and I’m very pleased with her.
Then we have the brilliantly surprise plot twist of Hazel Graces life, Augustus Waters. Waters is a… complex character. I love how he is in no way an ordinary boy, but an equally weird intellectual weirdo like Hazel Grace. Then I kind of think he actually runs a little bit over my cliché stop line. Probably because of the smoking thing, which I’ve yet to decide if really was a cool metaphor who has been slaughtered online and my poor affected soul has let my opinion be poisoned by the internet or if it was in fact a little too much. I don’t know. But I’m pretty sure to say he is on his way to cross over to the other and illegal side of my cliché line. What I LOVED about Augustus was his relationship to Isaac. That bromance is real, and I love them both for showing it. And then I LOVED that John Green is letting us see his dark sides a little further into the book.
I also want to state that Hazel and Augustus together also never became to cliché and still was so darn cute I can’t even believe how John Green was able to charm me with this relationship and still being so far away from my cliché-line he probably didn’t even see it in the distance. So very few people manages to do that, and I think my cliché-line is very easy to reach and I’m always really skeptical about the romance genre because I seriously can not handle the cliché bullshit, but John Green did it for me. He made those two so freaking real I can’t really believe that he did it.
The hardest part about being a book reviwer is to try to be fair towards genres that aren’t really your favorites. This is one of these times. I don’t read much contemporary, and I certainly don’t read much romance. Because I hate cliché’s and I easily find contemporary to be a bit boring. John Green avoided my cliché-line for the most part, and I love him for that. But contemporary will always be contemporary for me, and apart from ONE book (A Man Named Ove by Fredrik Backman) I’ve yet to find a contemporary that wants me to laugh and cry and scream and toss the book on all of my friends and lock them in a room and not let them out before they’ve read the whole damn thing (I promise, it’s several years since the last time I did that). This book does not get a full score from me, and the only reason for that is because I’m not the biggest contemporary fan. it’s just not there for me. But it is a really amazing book with depth and so many funny and sad moments. And it avoided my cliché-line while being a romance. That never happens, but it happened here.
Yes. I did, and I don’t regret it.
Everyone who likes contemporary young adult books. It’s a really good book, and it’s worth reading.
“Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.”