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.
I have a confession to make. This is my first John Green novel. I’ve heard so many good things about this book but knowing it was a book about a girl with cancer, I’d put off reading it since it was published. There was never a right time to read the book – I’m feeling sad at the moment, I’m on my period, it’s not a good time etc. And then I ignored all that and read it anyway, mostly because the movie is about to be released and I really wanted to read the book first. I hadn’t intended to read it all in one sitting but that’s exactly what I did one Saturday morning.
Hazel has cancer but she’s on some kind of wonder drug that has shrunk her tumours. She’s still terminal but this has bought her some time. Her lungs don’t work properly and she’s forced to carry around oxygen wherever she goes as a constant reminder of her illness but Hazel isn’t all “woe is me” though. She’s a teenager who is quite rightly a bit pissed off at having cancer and lungs that don’t work properly. She’s sarcastic, but smart with it and thoughtful. She’s just trying to live her life the best way she can. Her mother however thinks that Hazel is getting depressed and so she sends her to a support group which is where Hazel meets Augustus (Gus). He’s a cancer survivor but lost a leg in the process. Together, they share the same sense of humour and a way of looking at the world but Hazel keeps Gus at a distance because she knows there’s no future for them. But love won’t be denied.
I’m pretty sure I can’t add anything new to what’s already been said about this book but it was definitely a great read and surprising since I wasn’t sure I would like it. There were quite a few laugh out loud moments in the book, especially through something Gus would say and I fell in love with the characters “slowly, and then all at once.” John Green is obviously a very intelligent writer with an extensive vocabulary that quite frankly intimidated me at times. This was mostly through one character in particular who was meant to be a pompous ass but even the teenagers used big words at times and I wasn’t entirely convinced of the authenticity of that. I didn’t know what some of the words meant now, let alone when I was seventeen and I consider myself to be well educated! Anyhow, what I liked the most about this book was how the characters dealt with having cancer. It didn’t become them, it was just something annoying that they carried around with them. I have to applaud John Green on his portrayal of cancer sufferers because he didn’t dress it up or only show you the nice parts. He showed you the reality, warts and all.
The Fault in Our Stars has got to be one of the best books I’ve read about teenagers with cancer and one that will stay with me for a very long time. Do yourself a favour and go read it before the movie comes out.
The Fault in Our Stars was published on 10th January, 2012. To find out more about John Green and his books, please click here to visit his website.