Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Fault in Our Stars

Disclaimer: I am not a nerdfighter.
I have not read every single book by John Green.
In fact, I can't stand him as a person and his philosophy towards life is all wrong.
He believes in everything a Christian should stand against. (Don't most writers, though? Annoying.)

But I digress.

This particular book, The Fault in Our Stars, I wanted to read for a few reasons.
1. Super popular YA author? Guess I better check out his writing.
2. This is a book about teenagers with terminal cancer.
3. The title comes from a Shakespeare play. (Forgive me, but I can't remember which one at this moment. >_<)
4. I snagged a signed copy of it at Kmart for, like, 12 bucks. Hardcover, mind you.


Hazel Grace is a sixteen year old girl with terminal cancer. Pulled out of school at age thirteen when she was diagnosed, Hazel has not been all that social. She has a few friends, but mostly she reads her favorite book (An Imperial Affliction by Peter Van Houten which sadly is all completely utterly fictional), and goes to classes at the local community college. When she is also diagnosed with clinical depression, her mother decides that Hazel must (Absolutely Must) start going to a support group for young cancer survivors. Hazel does this rather unwillingly, but it is there, in the basement of a church, that she meets Augustus Waters, seventeen year old hottie that smokes unlit cigarettes (it's a metaphor, he says) and is probably the most existential teenager ever.
Augustus is quite insistent in getting to know Hazel, though Hazel is unsure at first. They hang out, watch V for Vendetta (Hazel doesn't much care for it, even though Augustus insists she looks like Natalie Portman), and exchange favorite books (Gus gives Hazel a novelization of his favorite video game, entitled The Price of Dawn). A friendship ensues, especially because Gus becomes just as enamoured of An Imperial Affliction as Hazel is.
Of course, the pair fall in love. But to give you anymore of the story would be telling. This is definitely not the kind of story I can give spoilers for.


Seriously, though.
The characters are brilliant.
I loved both Hazel and Augustus, their respective sets of parents, and even their mutual friend Isaac.
There were a few characters I disliked, but they were the kind of characters you were supposed to dislike.
The writing is quite good.
Somehow, John Green captures the mind of a sixteen year old girl very well.
Of course, Hazel is no typical teenager, so I liked that, too.
There was a lot of literature quoting, and some philosophy.


It's not a long book.
I laughed a lot.
I cried kind of a lot, too.
I read it in four hours; almost one sitting, but the kittens started climbing all over me when I had twenty pages left, so I had to take a break. :P
I'm giving this book five stars, because it was actually quite incredible.
Certainly the best YA book I've read in a long, long, long time.
Whatever else I don't like about him, John Green can definitely write.

So yeah, read this book.
You just might thank me for it.

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