Published by Dutton on January 10th, 2012
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
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.
I’m not going to give this book a long review because (a) it doesn’t need it, and (b) no amount of words I type would do it justice. Just know that you should read this book. It’s on so many lists as one of the top books of 2012 and it aptly deserves it.
Reading The Fault in Our Stars is a difficult decision to make, in a way. With all that is written and said about it, you know in advance that there is a love story there that is too beautiful for words, but the inevitability of the plot ensures that tears will be shed. I think the talent of John Green shows in that despite this foreknowledge, the story completely sucks you in and you become part of it yourself. You agree and sympathize with Hazel Grace’s thoughts and views on life (or the many side-effects of death). You melt at every suave and witty comment made by Augustus. When tragedy strikes, your heart is torn into a million little pieces. And still you manage to feel slightly uplifted at the end.
There is little to say. The story is amazing and solid. The characters are brilliant and well-developed. The prose I absolutely adored. It’s a brave and honest portrayal of cancer patients that hits really close to home for me in particular, but to many, many others as well. Extremely thought-provoking, I can tell this is a book that will stay with me for a long time, and I’m confident I can put it on my all-time favorites list.
As to more personal things: I’ve been proud to call myself a nerdfighter for about two months but had not read John’s books before. I’d been itching to of course, not only because of the great reviews they get, but because of his wonderful personality and thoughtfulness. I can now say I absolutely love his writing style and I cannot wait to check out his other books.
And as to the Netherlands! Despite knowing that John loves the country, visited often, and lived there for two months to write the book, I was amazed by how accurate his vision of the country was. Reading it felt like I was right at home. He sure did his research and made a beautiful depiction. (My only question mark was at Hazel’s ability to wear a sundress in May – HA! That sure doesn’t happen in my country too often.)