Monday 22 April 2013

Review! The Fault in our Stars, John Green

Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 13, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs... for now.

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.

Review: A friend lent me a copy of this book telling me that an had to read it. It sat on my shelf for a couple of weeks before I eventually sat down to read it over a weekend. Boy am I glad that I gave over a whole weekend to this book, because this is the kind of the treatment that this wonderful novel deserves. I was really worried about the fact that this novel dealt with death and cancer and even worse-the death of young people. But what I found was a beautifully written novel with a wonderful storyline-I can see what all the fuss is about.

When I began reading the book, I wasn't sure whether I was going to like main character Hazel. She seemed terribly self-absorbed and self-important but then I am not used to reading novels featuring teenagers and so I found that once I accepted the fact that she was just exercising her teenageness so to speak, I could relax and live the story along with her. By the end of the book I thought that she was a wonderfully accepting character. For a young girl to deal with the things in the way she did is truly admirable, and I think John Green wrote her character remarkably well. He doesn't turn her into some kind of martyr and neither does he turn her into someone who is unrealistically upbeat and positive, despite having cancer.

Augustus Waters, oh Augustus Waters. Even I found myself wanting to drool over him, and I'm a grown woman! I think that as a character, he will give a lot of hope to younger girls that there are guys out there like him who will look out for them and love them in the way they are supposed to be loved. The book wouldn't be the same without this character and that shows just how strong a character he has been written as.

Overall I thought there were some slower parts in the storyline, some parts where I found myself wishing it would go on, because I knew something good was bound to be coming up soon, but I think that it deals with some very difficult issues, as a lot of YA books do, in a sensitive and well-thought out way, the main thing for me about this book was how beautiful the writing style was. I don't want to give any spoilers about the plot, but I think that everyone should give this book a go, to enjoy the plot, enjoy the characters and most f all enjoy this beautifully crafted piece of modern fiction!

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