The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
I’m predicting that this will be one of our favorite books of 2012, even though the year is less than a month old. John Green is amazing writer who’s able to capture the smart and sardonic teen attitude and voice with perfection. Be forewarned that although this sounds like a sad story, most readers will find it totally uplifting because the story of first love counter-balancing the teens’ tragedy of cancer is told with effortless simplicity. The story is narrated by Hazel, who has stage IV thyroid cancer that is in remission due to some new, miraculous chemotherapy drug. At sixteen, she’s already lived two years longer than her doctors originally predicted, but is finding living with cancer both painful and depressing. That is until she meets Augustus Waters in a support group her parents coerce her into attending. He is tall, gorgeous and in remission from his cancer, but comes to support his pal Isaac, who’s lost one eye to the disease already. It’s the way the characters think and talk that make this book so awesome. Upon first seeing Augustus, Hazel thinks:
“I looked away, suddenly conscious of my myriad insufficiencies. I was wearing old jeans, which had once been tight but now sagged in weird places, and a yellow T-shirt advertising a band I didn’t even like anymore. Also my hair: I had this pageboy haircut, and I hadn’t even bothered to, like, brush it. Furthermore, I had ridiculously fat chipmunked cheeks, a side effect of treatment. I looked like a normally proportioned person with a balloon for a head. This was not even to mention the cankle situation. And yet–I cut a glance to him, and his eyes were still on me. It occurred to me why the called it eye contact. ”
Hazel and Augustus fall tentatively in love, each one nervous about the other and the repercussions of their feelings. Their feelings, relationship and sickness give them both have the opportunity to rethink the importance of life, heaven, disease and the mark one leaves on the world.
I adored this book, and felt as if I were living through their trials and triumphs with this young couple. I would recommend this to all teen readers, especially fans of John Green. We have multiple copies of his other most popular book, Looking For Alaska, which is reviewed HERE.