on January 10th, 2012
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 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.
I used to not read a lot of contemporary. Actually, except for Sarah Dessen (who is one of those authors who I will read anything from, no matter what it is), I don’t think I read any contemporary at all. I’m not much of a romance fan, and contemporary just always seemed like a lot of…fluff.
The Fault in Our Stars changed all of that. Like, seriously. I cannot believe I hadn’t read it sooner. It’s one of those books that every single person except you has read, but you haven’t picked it up yet because you didn’t know if it would actually live up to the hype. Except, it does. It really, really does. And if you’re one of those mythical creatures who hasn’t read it yet…you.need.to. (Okay, fine, Sarah Dessen hasn’t either.) But I really do love this book, and so please excuse me as I attempt to organize my flails into understandable jargon. (Or maybe just GIFs…)
I started this book because I wanted to see what the fuss was about. As I kept reading, I kept getting sucked in a little by little, until, before I knew it, I was completely immersed. I laughed, I cried, and felt every other emotion possible while reading this book. (Wait, me cry? Never! I don’t do that…)
Hazel Grace is a teenage girl with cancer. She is terminal, although she has been doing fairly well for the last few years. Even though she absolutely hates it, her parents still force her to go to Cancer Support Group once a week, and it is here that she meets Gus.
First off, I loved the characters. They were so beautifully written. Each one has so many different layers to them, and I feel that John Green wrote them very well. They were realistic, because they were relatable. Hazel has times where she’s going to be depressed and sad, and Isaac is going to have times where, no matter what else is going on, the only thing he’s going to think about is his girlfriend because he’s a dude, and there are times where Gus is going to be cocky and arrogant. And that’s okay. But they were also hilarious, thoughtful, kind, passionate, crazy, and lovable. Each was written with such depth and carefulness that made them enjoyable to read about.
I have heard some complaints about how normal teenagers don’t act/talk like Hazel and Gus do. Although I agree with that, it didn’t take away anything from the book, to me. I mean, when you have cancer, and are homeschooled, it just sort of happens. It didn’t make the book seem any less realistic for me. And when you’re a teenager, who doesn’t know how much longer you have to live, thinking a lot about death and the meaning of life and philosophy doesn’t actually seem that strange to me. I found Hazel and Gus to be very mature and intelligent.
I also loved how involved the parents are, and how they were also there for them, both Gus and Hazel. So often in YA books, the parents are just missing, whether explained or unexplained. But here, Green shows how pivotal parents are to a young teen growing up. I loved how close Hazel was to her parents. Yes, she is always at home and they have to take care of her so much which would explain why she would be so much closer to them than other teens, but it was nice to see another perspective on things.
My absolute favorite part though? The dialogue. Between Hazel and Gus, between Gus and Isaac, between Hazel and her parents, anyone. (I tried using Hazel’s whole “why are eggs breakfast food” speech on my mom the next morning. It didn’t work.) The little jabs Gus and Hazel would exchange made me laugh (and probably goofy-smile a lot more than I’ll admit). Gus and Isaac would joke about death or Isaac being blind, or all sorts of things that aren’t funny, and I would be cracking up and then would realize…that’s a terrible thing to joke about. But it’s Gus, and Isaac, and so it was funny.
Hazel is also obsessed with this book, called An Imperial Affliction. Although I can see how this is important to the story—lessons Gus and Hazel learned, etc.—the whole trip to Amsterdam was kind of…strange. Like, it didn’t fit. I mean, I guess it made a way for romantic scenes and I mean, Amsterdam is pretty darn cool, but the whole deal with Peter Van Houten just seemed out of place and sort of forced. It doesn’t take away from the story as a whole, but that would be my only criticism.
And for what actually happens in the end, the only thing I can say without spoiling anything is…
And while yes, this is a story about Hazel and Gus’s love story, it is about so much more than that. It is about life, it’s about death, about family, love, dreams, and hope. It is a beautifully written masterpiece. It’s one of those books that everyone seriously needs to read. You will love, laugh, cry, grieve, and grow with the characters. Oh, and bring tissues.
Although I usually hate reading books after its cast because then I only see those characters in my mind, this didn’t happen with this book. Surprising. I saw people that kind of looked like Shailene and Ansel, but not really. Isaac looked nothing like Nat, and the rest I didn’t even know. So it didn’t ruin it for me.
Huge thank you to Rachel Marie! I haven’t read The Fault in Our Stars but thanks to all the twitter pressure and this review I am so grabbing me a copy ASAP! Thank you for the fantabulous review!