Monday, December 23, 2013

Review: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Rating: 5 stars
Source: Local Library
Buy the Book: Amazon
Summary: "Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten."

ReviewI am in serious book love, people.  A friend of mine said that this is a book that you feel more than you read.  I think she nailed it on the head.  Hazel and Augustus are not your typical high school kids.  But their story about confronting life and death, hope and bitterness, empathy and apathy, all transcends their situation.  It was an absolute pleasure to read this character driven novel.

I think people are drawn to musings about death.  It is one of two events that occur universally to everyone, everywhere.  (The other event, of course, being birth.)  It is, therefore, natural that we as a people are fascinated by it, despite its morbidity.  How life and death affect us and those around us is the main focus of this novel.  It's a deep topic, and the book treats it as such.  But it is not preachy or manipulative or esoteric.  Instead, it shows what it feels like to confront your own mortality, and the mortality of those around you.  It makes you feel grief, fury, despair, hope, longing, tenderness, and love.  In short, it completely batters your heart.  But don't let that deter you from reading this book.  What are hearts for, after all, if not for feeling?

I disagreed with some of the philosophies the characters held, and recognized that the dialogue was probably too witty, but I was more than willing to forgive those faults for the sake of Hazel and Augustus' story.  It made me laugh, it made me cry, it made me want to be better, kinder, and more thoughtful. It's smart, unapologetic, difficult, poignant, and yet somehow hilarious. It's one of those books that make you look at life a little differently.  I would give this book 6 stars, if I could.  I loved it.

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