The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

alternate text

Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 12, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs... for now. Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault. Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind.

Rating: 

Cover Art: Not a fan of the text in the blue background. Too simple, could have had more to it. I do like the typeface of the title and author.

Review:

This is the first John Green book I’ve read. I have heard a lot of great things about John Green’s books, so picking this one up was a no-brainer. The book itself is a quick read. It delves into the lives of teenagers dealing with their diagnosis of life threatening cancer. Is it sad? Yes, of course. However, I did not cry. Nor did I get the least bit choked up. Does that make me a robot or did I not invest enough into connecting with the characters or was the book too short for that to happen? I don’t know the answer(s), but I am giving the book five stars, so this non-crying issue has little to do with my review.

I enjoyed reading the characters, their conversations, their interactions, their personalities and quirks. Hazel and Augustus connected so well for me. I loved that they had such great vocabulary and spoke in such “weird” ways to each other. Sure they’re only teenagers, but in my opinion, good vocabulary can only make the story easier to connect with and create imagery that common words can’t. John Green does this very well, and I am going to pick up another of his books just because of that. [Suggestions?] Even his minor characters [Peter Van Houton, Isaac, Hazel’s parents] were really well written. Their personalities were different and each of them had their ‘moment’ in the story and the reader can easily feel for these characters.

The book was written so well, with such great vocabulary, and the diseases were real and not “fluffed up” – I really appreciated this fact and these were my main reasons for giving it five stars. However, a few minor issues with the story. I didn’t feel as if the ending worked for me [too short? no closure? something about Hazel having a story but does not end up telling all of it?.], Augustus and his cigarette “theory” was unbelievable [stupid], and the physical relationship between Augustus and Hazel [wasn’t expecting it, did not like reading about it, tainted their characters and the relationship development in my opinion].

All in all, such a good book, super fast read, and if you like contemporary novels, this book will hook you in.

~C

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  1. April 9th, 2012

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