book review: the fault in our stars by john green

the fault in our starsMy book club will be discussing The Fault In Our Stars by John Green at the end of the month. I flew through this book in less than a week which is a record for me. This was definitely one of those couldnotputitdown kinda books. I’m looking forward to our group discussion this month, but in the meantime – here are my thoughts on the book:

Description from Goodreads.com:

“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.”

This was one of those books that I knew was destined to break my heart. Given the plot of the book, there was no way I was going to escape this story without tears involved. What I didn’t expect was how much laughter there would be also. Hazel and Augustus are two very clever, witty teenagers and their dialogue and Hazel’s narration make for a very funny read, even in the more heartbreaking of chapters.

Green is a sharp writer who does a good job of balancing the light and heavy moments of his story. He gives the reader what they want but at the same time he does a good job of avoiding cliches, providing a fresh story that feels real and sometimes fantastical all at once. The story winds up in places you wouldn’t expect and just when you think you know what is coming next, you’re wrong.

I would really highly recommend this story to anyone – don’t discount it given the subject matter. I tend to get squeamish and sulky about books that deal with kids and dying, but Green does a really great job with this one and I’m so glad I gave it a chance. If I can get through this one, I’m pretty sure anyone can and should.

I would venture to say that The Fault in Our Stars by John Green gets the somewhat rare honor of a five star rating from me and the label of “favorite” on my list of Top Books I’d recommend to anyone.

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