Sunday, 9 September 2012

Book Review: The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green

Title: The Fault in Our Stars
Author: John Green
Genre: YA realistic romance
Published: 10 January 2012
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.

The following image summarises my thoughts about this book perfectly:

Seriously, though. This book makes you feel emotions you didn’t even know you could feel. Basically, Hazel Grace Lancaster is a 16-year-old girl with Stage IV thyroid cancer. I googled it, and it pretty much has a 50/50 chance of killing you. So, Hazel goes to a Support Group, after a medical miracle that allowed her to survive, where she meets Augustus Waters, to whom she becomes attracted. The book is about what happens after they meet.

I loved this book. It is way out of my comfort zone and yet I loved it. It is the first John Green book I read and now I’m craving more. I really liked the story. It was sad and happy at the same time. It had its fair share of humour, sass and sarcasm, as well as deep philosophy. It made me suffer and, to be honest, I cried. Not in the wailing, uncontrollably sobbing sense of the word, but more like a light shedding of tears. That was just me, though. Apparently, most people cry like crazy.

This book hit me hard because I know what it’s like to know a person with cancer. Earlier this year, a friend of mine had leukaemia, but fortunately they were able to control it and get rid of it.

I loved both Hazel and Augustus. Hazel was such an interesting character. She was probably more intelligent than your average 16-year-old, but she also had evident flaws. She is caring, which is the main reason she does not want to pursue a relationship with Augustus at first. She sees herself as a “grenade,” because of what could happen to the people around her after her death.

Augustus was this out-going 17-year-old guy, former basketball player and an amputee. He had osteosarcoma, due to which he had his leg cut off. He shows from day 1 that he likes Hazel, but she doesn’t want to hurt him. He is such a caring guy, both to Isaac, his best friend, and to Hazel.

The climax was unexpected. Completely. Seriously, I did not think that would happen, ever. It does end abruptly, and apparently John Green refuses to tell anyone what happens after the ending (*cough* van Houten *cough*). I have a love/hate feeling toward that. On one side, I don’t want to know what happened and I think that’s the beauty of it all. But on the other side, I really want to know what happened to Hazel.

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