Tuesday, 3 April 2012

The Fault in Our Stars - John Green

So I bought my copy of this in January after it came out, but unlike my peers, I didn't read it straight away. I'm a John Green fan but obviously not a huge one at the time. I wanted to read this book...and the copy I bought at my work was signed so erm, SCORE.

My friend, Emma, read it straight away. Within a day I believe, and that day she was reading it was the day I realised how awesome her book choices are and so begun a BEAUTIFUL relationship.
Another friend, George, then did a book swap a couple of weeks ago with myself and Emma. She read Emma's copy of The Fault in Our Stars WITHIN TWO DAYS. And one of those she was working. With these two and others battering at me to read this book because it was - I quote - 'fricking amazing', I thought it was time. My reaction?

Synopsis: Hazel is 16, a typical teenager with Stage IV thyroid cancer. She was due to die when she was diagnosed at 12 but after a medical miracle at 14, she is on borrowed time - connected forever to an oxygen tank to help her 'crap lungs'. At 16, Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. Enter Augustus Waters, a 17 year-old remission who suddenly appears at her Cancer Support Group. 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.

Review: A slight warning but this review is going to be me ranting and rambling about how great this book is because, well, it certainly is.

When you start this book and are introduced to the extraordinary characters of Hazel Grace and Augustus Waters, there is this little nagging feeling deep down, where you know as a reader how and when this will end. It has evolved out of cliches in other less appreciated books I guess but you know something bitterly terrible will happen - you're just not quite sure what. I started this book and read most of it with a solid idea of what would happen in my head, like many others did. However, then, around 70% of the way through, I was hit by this bomb that changed by views, emotions and ultimately, the narrative of this book. 

I can tell you now, it is rare for me to cry over a book. In fact, I don't think I have ever cried over events in a book, how sad I may find it. I'm just not the type of person to show these emotions over something like a book. However, TFIOS made me well up with the emotion and just the beautiful writing that John Green gave me as a reader in this book. If any reader of this book does not find the events extremely sad or cry physically, I would doubt they had read the book at all. 

Here is a point that I think sums up the amazingness and superiority of this book. 
Most of the time I read books, however much I enjoy it, however high I rate the book I'm reading, there is always this point where the narrative dips slightly - where the reader (or me at least) am slightly bored or don't understand. It's in mostly every single book and movies. For example, my favourite musical movie has to be Hairspray (from 2005). But the part where Tracy's parents are making up and then, Maybelle and the others go on that march and Queen Latifah's singing so nicely and like 'Yeah, we'll beat them'. Watchers of this movie, you understand which bit I'm talking about? I find that bit boring. So boring - the song 'You're Timeless to Me' I find a little weird with John Travolta dressed as a woman and although I like Queen Latifah's singing and the song itself, I prefer the more bouncy songs like 'You Can't Stop the Beat'. But I still love this movie regardless.
   So where am I going with this then? Well, as we've established every book has his section, however small, where it isn't as great or a tad boring/frustrating - even the best ones. But The Fault in Our Stars is without any of these moments for me. I was hooked from the first sentence and thrown back out at the end in slight shock and awe at this book. It is truly brilliant.

Some people criticise John Green for using the same characters in all his stories but putting them in different situations - much like they do with Sarah Dessen for her books. But this time, well, for those that didn't like his use of the same characters, do not fear because this is the complete opposite. Hazel is no Alaska or Margot. Augustus is far from Miles nor Quentin. Hazel and Augustus are unique in every way and they became characters I loved to see and hear about. Their conversations are hilarious and they do seem although doomed, like the perfect couple. In short, boy, any girl that reads this book would want their personal Hazel and Augustus as their BFF's. 
Many people have said they do not talk like teenagers. Erm, I am a teenager and that hardly bothered me because many of the conversations were like ones I have myself with friends. They may not be typical teens - but they are from the era, we have to remember that.

The thing I found the most amazing was the twist and turns of my emotions while reading. John Green gives you this book with a rollercoaster of emotions felt for the situation and the character's themselves. Through the majority of the book, I was happy and found the book rather funny and warming until literally in a page this changes completely.

I shan't say any more. If you really are interested with this book and want to know more, I suggest you read it than read more of my rambles - this is the best book I have ever read - it has changed my views on death (something I do fear) and of cancer itself. I know Hazel and Augustus's story will never ever quite leave me. I shall leave you with some quotes:

'That's the thing about pain...it demands to be felt'
'It seemed like forever ago, like we've had this brief but still infinite forever. Some infinities are bigger than other infinities 

'The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves'

I give it 5 out of 5

Author's Website: http://johngreenbooks.com/
Pages: 313
Publisher: Dutton
Challenges: None

I found some great websites with reviews and an interview with John Green that are interesting, courtesy of Emma - Review  |  Interview

Other reviews of John Green's Books: Looking for Alaska  |  Paper Towns

1 comment:

  1. I bought this book when it came out too and still haven't read it I'm too cared of ALL THE FEELINGS.


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