Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Review: The Fault in Our Stars

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.

Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning-author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love. -- Dutton Children's


Normally, I just turn to my shelves for my next book; however, after reading so many book blogger's "Best of 2012" lists, I knew I had to head to my local library to get a copy of THE FAULT IN OUR STARS by John Green. This novel has received so many accolades and I can certainly see why. I absolutely adored this book... and feel like I should read everything this man has ever written!

For those of you who aren't familiar with THE FAULT IN OUR STARS (although I swear I'm the last blogger alive who hasn't read it!), this novel tells the story of Hazel, a teen girl who has survived one cancer scare but still is living with the knowledge that she is terminal. With all of her health issues, Hazel's life is far from normal, but things begin to look up when she meets Augustus at a cancer support group meeting. Hazel falls hard for this charming boy and begins to see her own life in a new light!

Truly, THE FAULT IN OUR STARS took my breath away. I read it in one day (almost one sitting if it weren't for carpooling duties!), and I was blown away by this story. While the book does deal with some very heavy issues (heck, it's about kids with cancer), somehow the story was still funny and smart; and it dealt with some very universal issues like first love and living each day to the fullest.

I could go on and on about all of the amazing things about this novel, but I'll just touch upon a few or else this review would be very long (even by my standards.) Plus I don't really feel that I can add any more to the already fantastic review out there. But I wanted to mention that Hazel and Augustus were incredible characters, ones that will remain in your thoughts for a very long time. Not only were they complex and interesting because of what they have had to deal with in their young lives, but they were also extremely real. The way the author portrayed their personalities, and even their humor, made them seem like typical teens when in reality they were far from typical!

Probably what stands out to me the most about THE FAULT IN OUR STARS is how much it affected me. I finished this novel while waiting for my son at his karate class, and I ended up sniffling and crying. Even though I knew what was coming, I felt so close to these characters that I couldn't help but cry for their losses. Yes, this book is sad -- very sad if I'm being honest, but I loved how it made me feel. I walked away from this story realizing that each and every day is a gift, and I am so fortunate to have some very special people in my life. I also realized that I need to live my life to the fullest and stop feeling sorry for myself. There are kids out there (and adults) who are dealing with a heck of a lot more than I am. Talk about some powerful messages!

I do want to mention that this book is geared towards kids 14 years old and up, and as a mom, I agree with that. I loved this book so much that I debated passing it along to my 13 year old daughter; however, I decided that one more year (or so) wouldn't hurt. There are a few adult issues (i.e. sex) as well as some emotional ones that I think she might be better equipped to handle once she's a little more mature.

Given the topics explored in this novel, THE FAULT IN OUR STARS is ideal for teen book clubs or even mom/daughter ones. I think a discussion of cancer and even death can be a good one for teens; however, there are actually so many other pertinent issues that warrant some additional thought. For example, this novel delves into subjects like friendship, first love, guilt, parent/child relationships, and more -- so much to discuss!

Needless to say, I highly recommend THE FAULT IN OUR STARS! And thanks to all of you book bloggers out there who convinced me that I should read this book! You were absolutely right!

16 comments:

rhapsodyinbooks said...

LOL - I agree you are probably the last blogger alive to read this! LOL

bermudaonion said...

You're not the last - I haven't read this yet. I know I need to read it but I'm afraid I'll use a case of tissues when I do.

Laura Fabiani said...

I'm so happy you loved it too! You're right that there are so many more issues than cancer in this story.

Stacie said...

Well, I guess I am now the last blogger to read this! I keep seeing how great this is, so I better get it moved up on my list!

Audra said...

Wow, after a review like this, I really feel like I need to get this book and stat!

Sandy Nawrot said...

It is a gorgeous book isn't it? I REALLY didn't want to read about dying kids, but it transcends all that. It is smart and sweet and precious, and I will never forget this book.

Carol said...

I haven't read it yet, but I tend not to read books that I know will make me cry. It is one of my daughter's best friend's favorite books of all time.

hillary roberts said...

I cried when I read it. I think I used up a whole box of tissues. I am glad you liked the book.

Jonita said...

I haven't read this one yet either! After reading your review I think that I should :)

The Many Thoughts of a Reader said...

I loved it! We are discussing it tomorrow night at my book club. ;)

Ali said...

Another blogger here who hasn't read it yet. I know I'll love it, but I'm afraid it will be too sad.

Marg said...

Wasn't this book amazing! I cried - ugly, sobbing crying! But it was so satisfying to read this book

Kari said...

My 16 yr. old daughter just finished reading this for her YA Lit Class. She loved it and wants me to hurry and read it so we can discuss.

Beth Hoffman said...

Terrific review, Julie. I read this a while ago and really liked it.

Melissa Mc (Gerbera Daisy Diaries) said...

One of the best love letters. Ever.

ChaosIsAFriendOfMine said...

I have this on my shelves and I still haven't read it! I need to remedy that - I've heard such great things about it from pretty much everyone.