True story: The day after TFIOS released I was in the library, picking up another book from the circulation desk. As I turned to leave, I happened to glance at the YA book display.
The Fault in Our Stars!
I may or may not have yelled, “Aah!!!!” as I ran to grab it.
Wow, that story sucks. Sorry.
Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 12, 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.
What I liked:
-How matter-of-fact Hazel was about her cancer. It kept me from dissolving constantly into tears. I definitely had my moments, but it was more overall and mostly coming from an adult perspective. If you love any kids/teens, then you understand. Kids think they are invincible and sometimes I wish they were.
-Isaac. How awesome was he? Maybe it sounds crazy, but he was my favorite character. He seemed the most real.
-Parents. In YA??? Yes, please!
-The literal heart of Jesus. I keep laughing to myself over this one.
What gave me pause:
Obviously John Green is insanely smart and it comes across in his characters/books. Which is fine and more than welcome, but sometimes I think:
Really? Are people always “on” like this?
I know some super smart people and some witty people and some super smartly witty people, but even they aren’t constantly philosophical like this.
Without a doubt, the book was beautiful and moving, but there were a few places where I felt like the dialogue was going right over my head.
Maybe because I’m not exceptionally philosophical. Years ago, I accidentally bumbled into an existence conversation with another person. We both got confused and freaked out, so he took us for ice cream.
But other than that (and maybe because of it), this is one of *those* books, the ones that stay with you and make you think and reevaluate and all those other things good books are supposed to do.