Author: John Green
Publisher: Dutton Group, a division of Penguin
Genre: YA Fiction
Despite the tumour-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.
As my readers may know, I don't read much YA. It takes an exceptional book to break that barrier and The Fault in Our Stars is just that. Why, you may ask, did I pick up this YA novel? Was it all the hype, the reviews, the movie which was just released? Well, yes, it was a bit of all of this though I can't say the choice was wholly attributed to its popularity. Ranking is not solely a precursor to book selection for me. No, it was more because of a fellow co-worker who loved the book, staff-picked it and then was greatly dismayed when the CEO of the company staff-picked it as well, necessitating the removal of his sticker of approval and recommendation. That, for me, was the deciding factor. It meant that much to this individual that I had to read it. So I did.
The Fault in Our Stars is as remarkable as all the reviews have indicated. Herein is the story of a teen-age Hazel with terminal cancer whose parents are concerned with her reclusiveness and encourage her to attend a Cancer Kid Support Group. It is here she meets two remarkable young men who leave a permanent impression in her life; one of whom steals her heart.
Augustus was tall, lanky, gorgeous with a crooked smile and blue eyes that lit up when he saw her. He didn't take no for an answer which perturbed her as much as it flattered. He's in remission and she struggles for breath, an oxygen tank her permanent companion. She's afraid she is a grenade who will tear apart the lives of those close to her when her time has come. She is more fearful for those she loves and cares about than for herself. She is beautiful that way. But it's her book recommendation of An Imperial Affliction that really brings them together and offers them a summer to remember.
They are different and yet a lot the same. They banter back and forth, joke around, have similar ideals. After posting an ad that they constructed together, to give away her childhood swing set, titled "Desperately Lonely Swing Set Needs Loving Home"..... Hazel and Augustus settled on the couch where Augustus read from An Imperial Affliction aloud and as he read she fell in love "the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once."
And before she tells him he tells her:
"I'm in love with you, and I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable.... and I know the sun will swallow the only earth we'll ever have, and I am in love with you."
Such a romantic notion and so tragic. No wonder every teenage girl who reads this novel loves it!
It's not only the romanticism, it's the beauty of the language and the imagery.
"The sun was like a toddler insistently refusing to go to bed."
Dessert: "a succulently rich cremeux surrounded by passion fruit - was too good not to at least nibble."
I love this book. It's genuine, bold, tearful and funny. You will feel every gamut of emotion in the human repertoire, just as I saw with a young lady who sat in the store and read the book cover to cover over a few hours. She laughed, she cried, she smiled. She loved it!
I highly recommend The Fault in Our Stars. Read the book, see the movie. Personally, I'm waiting for the Blu-Ray. I refuse to sit weeping in a theatre. Tissues strongly suggested for both the book and the movie.
About the author:
John Green is the award-winning author of Looking for Alaska, An Abundance of Katherines, Paper Towns, Will Grayson, Will Grayson (with David Levithan), and The Fault in Our Stars. His many accolades include the Printz Medal, a Printz Honor, and the Edgar Award. John is on Twitter: @realjohngreen and tumblr: fishingboatproceeds.tumblr.com and online at: johngreenbooks.com. He resides in Indianapolis, Indiana with his family.