Sunday, September 15, 2013

Fault in Our Stars review

The Fault in Our Stars Review

Sixteen-year-old Hazel Grace Lancaster has been diagnosed with stage 4 thyroid cancer since she was thirteen, and has only been kept alive by an experimental drug. On her parents’ insistence to keep up a social life, she attends a support group at a local church where she meets Augustus Waters, a former basketball player who lost his leg to cancer. A friendship quickly blossoms, and soon the two find themselves falling in love. The book is a whirlwind of events, from hospital visits to a trip to Holland to meet the author of Hazel’s favorite novel. The book brims with real emotion, and I found myself crying and laughing throughout it.

What I love the most about this book is how it approaches the topic of teens with cancer. The main character is not the cliché perfect, peppy do-gooder who creates her own organization and changes the world. She’s sarcastic, selfless, blunt, intellectual, and accepts her own mortality. However, she isn’t angst-ridden, constantly bearing this aura of decay and disease. She’s complex and completely original.

The Fault in Our Stars is definitely my favorite novel by John Green. It’s refreshingly different from his other books, yet it also contains the same philosophical quotes and musings that the previous ones share. It’s witty and heartbreaking and thought-provoking, funny and poignant and romantic. It’s a tragic love story right from the start, yet it’s irresistible and unforgettable. Normally I don’t enjoy romance novels, but Green does this one flawlessly. He doesn’t over-do the romance for Hazel and Gus. It’s cute without it being mushy.

I recommend this book to teens and adults alike. I was able to read it in a day; it catches your interest and holds it throughout the whole thing, with the ending leaving you wanting more. There’s something to learn and love for everyone in here, and there’s a simple, quiet beauty in it that’s hard to find in other young adult novels. It is highly-acclaimed, named TIME Magazine’s #1 Fiction Book of 2012, Entertainment Weekly’s Best Fiction Book of 2012, and a #1 New York Times Bestseller, to name a few.

If you like The Fault in Our Stars, you might want to check out Green’s other novels: Looking for Alaska, Paper Towns, and An Abundance of Katherines, as well as Will Grayson, Will Grayson, which he co-authored with David Levithan. Before I Die by Jenny Downham is also another excellent teen cancer book.

A film adaptation for The Fault in Our Stars is also in production, with Shailene Woodley as Hazel, Ansel Elgort as Augustus, and William Dafoe as Peter van Houten. Both John Green and his son Henry will make cameo appearances.

Review by Kaitlyn San Miguel on September 14, 2013

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