The Fault in our Stars – John Green

January 23, 2013 1:58 pm

The Fault in Our Stars

I’m here to review a book about a 16-year-old girl (Hazel) with terminal cancer who falls in love with another cancer sufferer (Augustus). Sounds rather cheery doesn’t it? But if there is one thing that you need to know about The Fault in our Stars it is this: Hazel does not feel sorry for herself. Therefore Green does not invite you to feel sorry for her either. This quickly turns it from a depressing book about a couple of kids with cancer, into a book about navigating life whilst dealing with disease. That being said, let’s get on with a plot summary.

Hazel has been suffering from terminal thyroid cancer her entire life, and in a bid to allow her to lead some semblance of a normal life, her mother forces her to attend a cancer support group. It is here she meets Augustus Waters, a cancer survivor. They begin a romance and quickly bond over their love of video games and good books (more specifically Hazel’s favorite book, An Imperial Affliction). That is all I can really say without giving away too much of the plot. And even though the ending is slightly predictable, it would be better if you read it to see how it plays out.

An Imperial Affliction

The first thing that really struck me about the novel is how un-clichéd Hazel is. How John Green, as a thirty-something-year-old man, manages to really get under the skin of Hazel is beyond me. Furthermore, she has completely accepted that she does not have the luxury of a long life and instead of wallowing in self-pity, chooses to try and see the brighter side of things.

Augustus arrives in the novel as a symbol of hope and offers some much needed lightness and humour. He allows Hazel to fulfill a dream that she has held for a long time, and after overcoming her initial fears of breaking his heart, she lets herself go and falls for him completely. Every now and then I felt that Augustus stopped sounding like a 17-year-old boy and more like a 40-year-old man, particularly by labeling the act of having an unlit cigarette dangle from his mouth as a metaphor. How many teenagers actually think of that?

Hollywood

Although the novel has been labeled as a young adult book, I feel like that line has already been blurred with the rising popularity of books such as: Harry Potter, Twilight and The Hunger Games.  A lot of these books are being turned into big budget films and I wouldn’t be surprised if this is another one that follows suit. So I recommend you read it before that happens.

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