The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
|The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
|Reviewer: Mary Esther Judy
|Summary: Incredibly written, emotionally devastating, beautifully life-affiriming and unbelievable real; this is a book destined to change your point of view forever. A must-have, must-read novel from the pen of one of the most magnificent writers today.
|Date: January 2012
|External links: Author's website
Having been diagnosed at age 12 with stage 4 thyroid cancer, Hazel was prepared to die. Then at age 14, a miracle treatment shrunk the tumours in her lungs...for the time being. Hazel could live for years, or she could die at any time, but her days are spent tethered to an oxygen tank and under constant surveillance and treatment to keep the cancer at bay. Hazel is now 16. With her life in a constant holding pattern, Hazel meets Augustus Waters at a cancer support group. Augustus is gorgeous, sharp-witted, in remission and completely attracted to Hazel. As their relationship blossoms and grows, Hazel finds she has to re-examine her attitude about life and death, illness and wellness and love. Their brief journey together leaves a lasting legacy behind that will change everything.
This book is simply riveting. There is a genuine quality to Hazel, as there is in all the characters and the relationships between them. We see young people fighting cancer, not as paragons or noble sufferers, but as simply people playing out the hand they have been dealt. The reader is not only given a realistic view of young people in the impossible situation of living with the reality of terminal illness, but also a look into the hearts and minds of developing adolescence and adulthood. It is tangible, palpable; their pain, joy, points of view is all too real. The adult characters truly take a back seat here, which is as it should be for this is not their story. Even the descriptions of the medical care are incredibly tactile. The touching, yet typically teenage quality to Hazel and Gus’ relationship reveals both a charming naivety and a powerful maturity. I won’t give any spoilers here, but what I will say is the story does not resolve itself in the way you think it will. The conclusion is emotional and shattering, yet fills the reader with a surprisingly life affirming sense.
John Green is a magnificent writer. His ability to capture atmosphere, time and place and true voices for all his characters is unparalleled. The voices of the characters are poignant with great and subtle attention to detail, and the painting of the story incredibly lyrical without being saccharine or trite. 'The Fault In Our Stars' is heart-breaking, as any book dealing with the subject would be; but it is also joyful, life-affirming and completely unforgettable. Highly recommended for everyone! (For ages 14 years +)
Of course, you also must read John Green's other books; Looking For Alaska and Paper Towns. But I also have to recommend the exquisitely beautiful Before I Die by Jenny Downham and If I Stay by Gayle Forman.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Fault in Our Stars by John Green at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Fault in Our Stars by John Green at Amazon.com.
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green is in the Richard and Judy Book Club Spring 2013.
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