Saturday, 17 March 2012

Book Review: The Fault in Our Stars

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.

This is probably one of the hardest reviews I've had to write. I just don't know how to put into words how truly amazing and touching this novel was. I can tell you this much however, it definitely wasn't what I was expecting at all. Based on the synopsis, I knew that The Fault in Our Stars would be somewhat sad and depressing, especially considering how many people I've known in my life who have been affected by cancer, but what I wasn't expecting was the humour that was also intertwined throughout the text. John Green somehow manages to tell a deep and meaningful story about the way that cancer affects those who are battling against it, along with their family and friends, while simultaneously weaving a touching love story that makes readers both laugh and cry. 

What I was especially shocked about, however, was how well John Green managed to write from the perspective of a female character. Hazel and her emotions felt so real to me that I couldn't help but imagine her as a real person who was sharing her story with me. In fact, all of the characters in the book had an essence about them that seemed so real and tangible. Even Hazel and Augustus' parents, who sit off to the side for most of the book, really demonstrated how difficult it can be for any parent to watch their child become sick. I think it was the realness of these characters which ultimately made the ending of the novel so difficult for me. I wish I could explain further, but I really don't want to ruin the ending of the book for others. 

Now I know many people may be hesitant to pick up The Fault in Our Stars because of how potentially depressing they think the storyline will be, but I can't stress enough how truly wonderful and amazing this novel is! For every moment you shed a tear you will spend at least twice as much time laughing and smiling. All I can say is that you should definitely pick up a copy and give it a try! I wish I could have provided a better review of this novel, but as I said before, I've found it impossible to find the right kind of words to fully express my thoughts.  I think my friend Chelsey, however, did an amazing job of summing of many of the feelings I had while reading the book, so check out her review of The Fault in our Stars here!  

Rating: 5/5 Stars


Jenny said...

I haven't liked Green's other books but I'll read this one because everyone seems to be loving it.

TG said...

I read this one recently but couldn't find the words to write a review for it. I completely agree with you on how John Green writes female characters; Hazel and her mother felt so realistic. I must say, though, the character I fell the most for was Augustus Waters. It'll take a very special YA to dislodge Gus from the number one spot in my heart.

Ikhlas said...

Great review, Natalie! I've had a copy sitting on my bookshelf for awhile, but have been too scared to pick it up. Hopefully soon!

Chelsey said...

I know exactly how you feel about not being able to adequately describe this book -- but you did a wonderful job =)! I felt the same as you with all the laughter and the wondrous characters! Wonderful review, my friend =).

Hanna said...

You know, I hadn't even HEARD of John Green until this book started popping up everywhere, and now I'm absolutely desperate to read it. I don't think I've seen a bad review of it anywhere!

I'm just waiting for my library to buy a copy and then I'll pounce on it :)

Great review!

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