So I finally succumbed and read John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars. I feel like this book has been almost universally raved about in the book world, and this review is no exception! Summary from Goodreads:
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.
I didn’t think I would enjoy this book as much as I did. I mean, it is very very far out of my reading comfort zone and although I enjoyed Green’s Looking for Alaska, I wasn’t as blown away with it as much as some people were.
I really loved Hazel as a character. She was complicated and layered, and didn’t want to be defined by her illness, and hated the fact that it made her parents sad and that she was so cut off from “normal” life. It didn’t feel like a 30 something year old guy narrating (which is often my problem with authors that try so hard to find that teenage voice and completely fail at it!), Hazel’s voice felt true, and although she was coping with this horrible diagnosis, the teenager in her still shone through.
I also loved Augustus. He was charming and charismatic and lovely and just a great literary crush character! I thought the relationship he had with Hazel was developed beautifully and handled with care.
This book is sad. Really sad. I don’t know whether I can say I enjoyed it, it was heart wrenching and horrible but it is a fact of life that teenagers and children suffer from and die because of cancer. John Green writes beautifully, as normal, and although I probably wont be buying his next book the minute it comes out, I definitely think that I will read it.
I really really recommend TFIOS, its one of the few books that lives up to the hype, and delivers completely, and I am so glad I read it – because breaking out of our comfort zones – whether that be reading comfort zones or life comfort zones – is always good.
I hope you have all had a lovely week, and have a relaxing weekend!