Release date: January 10th 2012
Published by: Dutton Books
Genre: Young Adult
Rating: 5/5 stars
Find it on: Goodreads, Amazon
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.
Everybody talked about John Green when The Fault in Our Stars came out, and honestly, I didn't know why. I mean, was this novel really that special? However, I was curious, and that's why I bought a copy and started reading it. And now I know why people loved this book so much. The Fault in Our Stars is a book about death, about life, and a lot more than that.
Hazel, the main character, is easily someone I could become best friends with. She was honest, simple, and snarky. The kind of protagonist that can make you love the story just because of her. Cancer crushed her childhood dreams and expectations, and you can see that as the plot unravels. And when she meets Augustus Waters... well, that's when the book really pulls you in. Their relationship is at the same time fast and slow. Their dialogues were so constant in the chapters that I grew tired of it, all the while yearning for more. I honestly don't know how John Green made me feel that way, but he did, and only an extremely talented author has such power over the reader.
It took me almost a week to figure out how to write this review, and even now, I'm struggling with it. Not because I had mixed feelings over the book, but because I was so overwhelmed by it, that my thoughts just flew out of my head. What I really loved about this novel isn't the romance that I just described, however. It's the way it's written. John Green writes fiction books, but The Fault in Our Stars was real, somehow. These characters, Hazel, her parents, Augustus, his parents... they were so real, and the situations they went through so realistic, that this felt like a diary, not a fiction book.
John Green exposes the truth about cancer, things that we all know, but prefer to ignore it. A 16-year-old girl isn't courageous, and she isn't fighting the cancer bravely. She's suffering, and this disease, this awful disease, is destroying her from the inside out. It's not something brave, it's something painful that she has to endure because there isn't anything she can do about it. That's exactly how John Green portraits Hazel, and it changed a part of me. This beautiful novel is a story that not only opens your eyes; it changes you, makes you see everything so differently that you wonder why the human population haven't read this book yet.
I know, now, why my Goodreads friends loved The Fault in Our Stars. I know, now, why John Green is considered one of the best authors in the world. To him, I can only say "thank you". And to every reader out there, I can only recommend this novel. It's an unforgettable ride.