“The Fault In Our Stars” by John Green
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary Fiction
Summary from Goodreads:
Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 13, 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.
This is my first John Green book! I’m not sure whey I held off on reading this for so long. I was a bit hesitant to read his books because everyone seemed to love them. I didn’t want to be that person who doesn’t like his books. Thankfully I was pleasantly surprised with story. I only had a few annoyances.
The story surprised me a bit because I was expecting it to be a bit more mundane. I thought the story was going to cover Hazel and Augustus’ day-to-day lives. There’s nothing wrong with that though. The “boring” storylines allow the author to develop the characters more. The unexpected part for me was the middle-ish section of the book where they travel to the Netherlands. It was a nice and different touch to the story.
I tried really hard not to fall for Augustus’ charm but I couldn’t do it. I loved that he was a fully rounded character. That’s hard to come by in YA love interests. He’s able to be charismatic and a good friend even when faced with difficult situations. He’s able to let himself be angry and mourn but still continue with life. That’s a lot of strength for someone so young.
I really liked how raw the book was. I’ve never been around anyone with cancer so I don’t fully “get” it. We got to see all angles of cancer in this book. We saw Isaac and how he’ll probably live a decently long life. We saw Hazel and how she’s making the slow decline. And we saw Augustus who went from doing pretty well to his death bed in a matter of months. We even saw glimpses of how things are for the families of cancer patients. Green didn’t sugar coat anything. He showed us the dark, depressing reality of the disease.
Now to my annoyances…I really liked Augustus but I didn’t find him to be realistic. He’s not like any 17 year old boy that I know. He had a great personality but he didn’t talk or act in a way that I could believe (for the most part). I guess there’s nothing wrong with that per se. It was interesting to read and if that type of writing is in Green’s other books, I’ll probably like those books. I know that shouldn’t irk me but it does. I guess it’s because if I’m reading a contemporary fiction book, I want the characters and situations to be something I could believe that would happen.
Somewhat related to that is I had a hard time believing the “big” stuff in Hazel and Augustus’ relationship. Yes, I can believe they became close really quickly. No, I can’t believe that both sets of parents would be okay with sending their kids to a different country when the kids has only known each other for a couple months. (Maybe that’s one of those “cancer perks”?) I won’t touch the love situation because my followers know how I feel about instalove/ love after knowing each other for a few months.
The bottom line? I really, really enjoyed the book.