Sunday, January 15, 2012
Book Review: "The Fault in Our Stars" by John Green
Curse you, John Green, for writing a book that hooked me so hard I stayed up until nearly 2:00 this morning finishing it. Curse you for writing a book so emotionally gripping that I was sobbing on my couch in the middle of the night. And curse you for writing a book that I cannot get out of my head, one that I am so sad to have finished. By curse you, of course I mean "thank you."
When teenagers Hazel Grace Lancaster and Augustus "Gus" Waters meet in a support group for kids with cancer, they are drawn to each other immediately. Gus is in remission from the osteosarcoma that took one of his legs a few years ago, and thanks to a miracle drug trial, the tumors in Hazel's lungs aren't continuing to grow, although she knows that's just a matter of time. The two are snarky, sarcastic, sensitive, and wise beyond their years, and begin an intense friendship that brings them both joy. Hazel introduces Gus to her favorite book, called An Imperial Affliction (she calls it her best friend next to her parents); their mutual love for the book and desire to know what happened to the characters after its abrupt ending sends them on a memorable journey to track down the reclusive author. Green's depiction of both Hazel and Gus, and their interactions with friends and family, felt totally genuine and moving.
John Green is the co-author of one of my favorite books from 2010, Will Grayson, Will Grayson, and this new book is easily one of the best I've read in quite some time, both for the quality of Green's writing as well as the emotions it evoked in me. Clearly, a book about teenagers who meet in a cancer support group is headed in a direction you don't want it to, but even the journey Green takes you on is worth the sadness. I loved this book tremendously and honestly cannot say enough good things about it. It's not for everyone, but if you know what you're getting yourself into, I think you'll agree how much you'll love taking Hazel and Gus into your hearts.