Book 40: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Summary from goodreads:
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.
Let me start by saying that this is the first John Green book that I’ve read. I’ve heard great things about his writing, and I’ve been meaning to read his work for a while, but I hadn’t gotten around to it before. Then one day I was at Kroger, and I really needed a book to read (because I was going to have a lot of free time at work and was about to finish the book I was currently reading and was away from home without a backup), and I saw this one. I picked it up, read the first page, found myself not wanting to put the book down, and decided to buy it.
I really enjoyed this book. I loved the way it went from being laugh-out-loud funny to gut-wrenchingly depressing in a matter of moments. I’m not going to lie – I cried while reading this book. Not quite as much as I thought I would have, but there were definitely tears. Hazel and Augustus were really interesting characters. They definitely didn’t talk like most teenagers I see today, but they still seemed realistic to me, given everything that they’ve been through. I also really enjoyed reading about Isaac. He’s not a huge part in the novel, but his scenes were definitely some of my favorites.
The Van Houten section of the book was a little strange. I understand why that whole bit was there – and, really, there wouldn’t be that much to the plot if you took it out – but it seemed a bit unrealistic to me, especially as the book went on. And I wish we could see more of a reaction to the letter that Hazel reads at the end of the book. I’m really not sure what to make of it. It kind of sounded insulting at times, and yet it was also very sweet. At the very least, it forced me stop and think for a while, which isn’t something that every book does, so that was refreshing.
This isn’t my new favorite book or anything, but I definitely enjoyed it, and now I understand why so many people love John Green. I will definitely be reading more of his books in the future.