The Fault In Our Stars by John Green (Book Review)
I haven’t posted many book reviews (okay, I’ve only done one) but reading is truly one of my favorite pastimes.
If I didn’t jam pack my schedule so full of things to do then I would probably read every single day because, to me, there’s nothing better than kicking back and relaxing with a good book.
I know it’s better for the environment to use my iPad to read with but I love the way a book feels in my hands. Plus, I have this weird suspicion that staring at a screen any more than I already do on a daily basis will permanently destroy my eyesight. Yes, I suffer from paranoia.
That’s not a knock against the book, I just have a habit of putting down a book I’m reading and then not picking it back up…for weeks. But I finally finished so let’s talk literature!
The Fault In Our Stars is narrated from the perspective of Hazel, a 16-year-old girl who has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Although she prefers to isolate herself from her peers, her physician recommends that she attends a weekly cancer support group where she meets Augustus Waters, a young boy in who is in remission. Augustus takes an immediate liking to Hazel and their romantic relationship quickly blossoms. Their experiences living with cancer brings them closer as they search for answers to Hazel’s favorite novel that ends ambiguously.
My Review (Without Spoilers)
After reading the first few pages of this book, I was hooked. John Green’s style of writing is full of sarcasm, humor, and depth and he drew me in with every sentence.
Admittedly, I am guilty of occasionally skimming over certain parts of a book if I find them to be irrelevant or boring but that didn’t happen at all with this book. I found his writing to be very raw and honest and it captivated my attention the whole way through.
The way he explores what it feels like to be young and dying of terminal cancer is somewhat brutal. Augustus yearns to leave his mark on the world so that he can be remembered after his death while Hazel takes a more simplistic approach to life, trying to take in all that surrounds her, or “notice the universe” as she describes it.
The author doesn’t glamorize or sugar coat any part of the painful reality that is cancer and it might be uncomfortable and emotionally challenging for certain people to read.
I started reading this book only a week after we lost Gigi so I was feeling extremely vulnerable at the time. I know it might seem ridiculous to compare your dog’s terminal cancer to a human’s, but she was constantly on my mind as I read this book which resulted in quite a few tear fests.
I also thought of my grandfather who lived with cancer for quite some time before passing away almost five years ago. It was extremely painful to imagine how he must have felt for all of those years and to think of my grandmother who had to say goodbye to her soul mate. (And I’m crying again as I write this…awesome.)
Honestly, this book made me feel angry. Maybe I am still grieving in some way but it reminded me how much I HATE cancer. It is such an ugly, awful, horrible thing that I would give anything to magically cure.
So, as I’m sure you can tell from my review, this book isn’t exactly uplifting. Reading it on the cusp of such a difficult loss made it hard for me.
But there is light among the darkness and he does a fantastic job finding the humor in such a depressing topic. I think he is trying to convey a very important message about life, whether you are suffering from cancer or not and it left me with a new perspective and appreciation.
The character development in this book is extremely well done and my only criticism would be the occasional unrealistic banter between Hazel and Augustus. I don’t know any adults 16-year-olds who are that intelligent and witty, but I didn’t find that it took anything away from the story for me.
Overall, if you are looking for a deep, funny, and heartfelt read, then I highly recommend this book. It is one of the best books I have read in a long time and I’m looking forward to checking out more of John’s Green work in the future.
What was the last book you read?
Am I the only person who sobs while they read?