Book: The Fault in our Stars
Publisher: Dutton Books
Date Published: January 10th, 2012
Date Started: May 29th, 2014
Date Finished: May 31st, 2014
Other Books Reviewed: An Abundance of Katherines, Looking for Alaska
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 apologize for the lengthiness of this review. There was just so much I had to say concerning this book.
The one that rips your emotions apart. The Fault In Our Stars. Many of you have probably heard of this book, and are anticipating the movie. I know I am. I’ve been wanting to watch the movie because I love Shailene Woodley. But since it comes out next week, that means I had to read the book beforehand. (Yes, I’m one of those people that has to read a book before the movie comes out.) That meant embracing something I’ve been putting off for so long. So what did I put off for so long? This is a story about a girl named Hazel Grace who has terminal cancer. She attends support group for cancer, but it just makes her roll her eyes. One night at a normal meeting, she meets a beautiful boy named Augustus Waters. Afterwards, they rewrite each other’s stories.
So I’m going to be brutally honest here. I was afraid to read The Fault In Our Stars. I have read so many reviews of this book, and mostly people just talk about how much they cried. And not just cried, but ugly snot dripping out of your nose mixing with your tears cried. I’m afraid of books like this. I guess I’m afraid to get emotionally involved in a book because its going to open up my own personal wounds and emotions, no matter what the subject matter is of the book. But there was another reason why I was afraid to read this book. When it comes to tough topics, like cancer for this book, I am afraid of over cheeziness. I don’t know why, but I despise books where a character goes through a tough journey and the author spits out bits of “inspirational” sentences that are created solely to make a person feel some sort of emotion. I have never found inspiration in these types of books or sentences, and this is probably the fact that I have been overexposed to these kinds of things, and i’m kinda sick of them. I’ve seen many people quote these kinds of books, thinking they are beautiful and true, but never once have I seen people follow these guidelines to life. These are sentences like “He found that he was struggling on his journey but he knew that love would take him where he needs to go, free his soul, if only he could just allow himself…blah blah blah” I’m not trying to take anyones thunder away. If you find solace in these kinds of passages, then by all means, please ignore me. My discrimination against these types of passages is a personal one.
But what I loved about this book was that it stripped a lot of these passages apart. Don’t get me wrong, there were some beautiful passages in this book, but it wasn’t the same old inspirational passages that are sometimes found in books about tough topics. What I always found difficult in books about tough topics, was that their struggle became who they were. I always questioned what happened after these characters overcame their obstacles, and I always imagined that they fell apart because their journey was so ingrained in who they were, that there was nothing left after it was over. But thats not what happens in this book. These characters aren’t their sicknesses. I felt endless possibilities for these characters after the book was over, and I was okay with that.
I believe that this is a book that you will either love or you will be bored with it and hate it. I’ve heard both sides of the argument. And thats perfectly understandable. Some people aren’t moved by this type of story. I’m going to be honest, I wasn’t as emotional as I thought I would be. There were a few times that I thought I would cry (and believe me, it takes A LOT for me to cry because of a book. And so the fact that it even got me a little close to crying is a very special feat, in my opinion) I know there were people that were balling their eyes out over this. I never felt like this was a book that was written just to make me cry. I believe thats left to the books that become overly cheesy, as was discussed earlier. I just think that there were topics that were inevitable in this book, I mean the topic of the book is cancer and love. Some would argue that those two ingredients are a recipe for disaster. And because I knew that these topics were a part of the book, I wasn’t as emotional as I thought I would be. Now, thats not to say that I didn’t think the book did its job. I think my emotions were completely normal.
I really don’t want to discuss the plot line here, because I don’t want to reveal anything. I had my assumptions about what would happen in this book, but I was wrong. I don’t think it was a plot twist or anything, but rather I was just wrong to assume. If you are going to read this book, which I believe many of you are, then I want you to take in what happens to the plot as you read it, and not from some assumptive view from someone whose already read it. I want you to enjoy it as I did.
As for the characters. These characters aren’t extraordinary except for the fact that they have/had cancer. And I think thats fantastic. I didn’t want some dramatic story about a person who had accomplished so much in their life and were given the unlucky card of having terminal cancer. These were normal teenagers. This made the story more believable. More relateable. There were ideas and topics in this story that were fathomable to us. Most of us cannot fathom what having cancer is like, but the story is written in such a way that we can arrive at some kind of understanding, and thus a sort of appreciation. We’ve all dealt with situations in life where something was taken from us too early. But thats the beauty of this book. Its a story that becomes an everyday story for some people. Something thats normal for someone else.
I am a huge fan of John Green’s work. This is the second book of his that I’ve read, the first being An Abundance of Katherines. I had mentioned earlier that I wanted to read a different John Green book other than TFIOS because I didn’t want that to become the standard in which I compare all his other books. I’m really glad that I did that. While John Green has a fantastic way of writing, each story felt really unique. I sometimes feel that when authors write a new book or series, some things bleed from the other books or series.
I’m not going to promise that you will love or hate this book. This is a book that will catch your attention or make your eyes roll. I truly believe it depends on your personal experience and how you choose to relate the book to your own personal experience.