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Friday, January 17, 2014

Book Review: The Fault in Our Stars

Release Date: January 10, 2012
Author: John Green
Publisher: Dutton Books
Length: 313 pages

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:

Protagonist: Hazel Grace has survived much longer than she thought she would. Armed with a quick wit, sarcasm, and her oxygen tank she embarks on the greatest and saddest adventure ever. I loved Hazel's character, and while I still believe that Kenzie from the Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten series is my book soulmate, Hazel comes in at a very close second. She's brilliant, realistic, and will easily take advantage of "cancer perks" when she can. In the beginning of the book she's a bit reserved and really only interacts with the rest of the world when she attends her cancer survivor support group. Then she meets Augustus Waters and he opens her up to the world around her. She doesn't really become  that much more social, but he gives her a reason to get out of bed in the morning. Her development through this book is amazing and I loved every minute of it.

Romance: So yes there is a fair amount of romance in this book, enough to make it more of a plot than a sub-plot, but it really worked here. Normally I'm not a big fan of too much romance, but in contemporaries it's different and this love story was epic! It felt real given the unlucky circumstances of their love. It progressed at a natural pace and it was the bright spot on this sometimes devastating book. The chemistry between these characters is electric, they aren't super alike, and at times they but heads, but at the end of the day they really love each other and they just fit.

Author's Writing Style: So this is the first John Green book I've read (I know, I know, what took me so long?) Since I'm so unfamiliar with his work I was absolutely blown away by how this book was written. It was profound, but not pretentious, and it was uncensored, meaning that these kids who any most other YA novels would have refrained from cursing or saying and doing things that in reality kids their age do, they act like real teenagers. Now I know the latter example was more character traits and development than "writing style," but it's a testament to how committed this author was to authenticity.

Sadness: So the one thing I kept hearing about this book was how sad it was, and that I might need a box of tissues, and yeah most of that was true. This book has a few really sad and emotional parts and yeah I did tear up when the most devastating part came, but in the end I think I built up too great of a sadness expectation that  I wasn't as effected as I would have been had I just picked this up without knowing anything about it.

Predictability: So again, going back to how much I'd heard about it, I never heard any spoilers and I did everything I could to refrain from seeking them out, but I do think that the whole sadness factor plus the fact that I knew so much about the (non-spoiler) plot of the book, led it to be a bit too predictable. Now I'm not saying that I wasn't shocked or taken aback at any point while reading this book, on the contrary there were many times I didn't see something coming, but most times those were smaller things. It was the "BIG" thing that I saw coming the thing that left my best friend and my cousin in tears and probably a lot of people who read it. Since I saw it coming so soon I think that I wasn't as effected by it if I, again, knew nothing about the book and two wasn't reading it in public.

Ending: This book ended much later than I thought it would, but in actuality I was happy for that. It was sort of like having an extended epilogue. The ending while very somber in tone still added a lot of depth to the book. While I had hoped that some things would have happened differently I did feel that what happened was realistic. There was no sugar coating on the end and things didn't end particularly well, but it did end on a higher note.

Rating:


So it should come as no surprise that I've rated this book 5 crests. It was unbelievable amazing, I was sucked in from the first chapter and it never let me go until I was done with the book. If you're afraid it won't live up to the hype (like I was) don't fear it's AMAZING!

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5 comments:

  1. I just read TFIOS last year and I agree with everything you said (except I was constantly surprised). If you liked this book I'd definitely suggest reading John's other books!

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  2. I have heard great things about this book. But I'm scared to read b/c I don't want to cry! LOL!

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  3. This book is absolutely amazing! If you didn't know, the movie trailer came out two days ago! I think the movie is going to be really great!

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    1. I know! I may or may not have teared up watching the trailer, can't wait to see it!

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