Title: The Fault in Our Stars
Author: John Green
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult
Publisher: Penguin Books (3rd January 2013)
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 Kids Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.
Rating: ***** (5 stars)
It took me a while to pick up The Fault in Our Stars, not because of the subject matter. Instead I hesitated to pick the book up because almost as soon as it appeared on the book blogosphere it became THE book to read, and seemed to be universally loved by everyone. I steered clear of the reviews for the most part, but seeing five star after five star review in my inbox made me a little leery. Could a book really be THAT good? Fast forward until the beginning of January, when the hype seemed to have died down, and I came across a copy of the book. I was still somewhat dubious, but I thought why not.
I’m glad I decided to pick up a copy of The Fault in Our Stars. It is honestly one of the most beautifully written books I have read. It made me laugh and it made me cry (literally in both cases), and it also had me reading out sections which I thought were awesome. I can totally see why everyone fell in love with it. I fell in love with it too.
The Fault in Our Stars tells the story of Hazel Lancaster, a girl who has terminal cancer, whose Mom forces her to attend a Cancer Kids Support Group where Hazel meets Augustus Waters. Despite the fact that because of the subject matter The Fault in Our Stars seems to be about death, I would argue that it is actually about living. By the start of The Fault in Our Stars Hazel has known about her illness for years and has come to accept the finality of it, but when Augustus Waters comes into her life things start to change.
The Fault in Our Stars broke my heart. It made me cry. It also made me laugh and smile. Reading the book was one hell of a journey, one which once started I couldn’t stop. Green did a brilliant job in making the world and characters in The Fault in Our Stars feel real and accessible. I could totally understand Hazel’s view-point at the beginning of the novel, and watching her journey through the book was a privilege. I really liked the way that Green wrote the different relationships in the book, I particularly enjoyed Hazel’s relationship with her parents and her fear about their future. I also loved the way that Green wrote the interactions between Hazel and Augustus. And I liked the way that Green touched upon the gap Hazel felt between herself and her “old” friends (her pre-diagnosis friends).
If, like me, you’re worried about the hype surrounding The Fault in Our Stars don’t be – give the book a chance, Green might surprise you! If you’ve not read this book then I suggest you do, even if contemporary books aren’t really your cup of tea.