Genre: YA Realistic Fiction
Pub. Date: January 10, 2012
Source: Personal Copy
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Goodreads says, "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."
Hazel has been dealt a tough hand in life. She has stage IV thyroid cancer that spread to her lungs and she was told that she wasn't going to make it. Thankfully, a new drug shrunk the tumors in her lungs and she survived, but she doesn't know for how long. She doesn't go to school anymore (she got her GED) and spends most of her time in a depressed state at home with her oxygen tank, her parents, and America's Next Top Model. Her mom convinces her to go to a support group and there she meets Augustus Waters, who also suffered from cancer, but is currently in remission. He's good looking, smart and charismatic; Hazel isn't sure why he likes her. As they get to know each other, they deal with issues that no teenager should have to deal with; nonetheless, they are both irrevocably changed in John Green's beautiful story, The Fault in Our Stars.
The Fault in Our Stars is the type of read that while I am reading it, I am laughing at a line or re-reading a line over and over and wanting to share a few sentences with someone. It's brilliant, thoughtful, smart and heartbreaking and those types of books make for memorable and life-altering reads. I knew The Fault in Our Stars was going to be special as soon as I read the first page.
Green is a magical author and I am kicking myself for not having read his books until now. I'm ashamed! As I said before, Green's writing is the type of writing that you want to quote, analyze, and think about. You want to discuss it and you want to marinate in it. I can't say it enough, but I am obviously now a huge fan of John Green.
Here are some of my favorite quotes from The Fault in Our Stars:
*“My thoughts are stars I cannot fathom into constellations.”
* “I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, then all at once.”
*“That's the thing about pain...it demands to be felt.”
*"I'm in love with you, and I'm not in the business of denying myself the simple pleasure of saying true things. I'm in love with you, and I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we're all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust, and I know the sun will swallow the only earth we'll ever have, and I am in love with you.”
*“What a slut time is. She screws everybody.”
*“Grief does not change you, Hazel. It reveals you.”
* "But it is the nature of stars to cross, and never was Shakespeare more wrong than when he has Cassius note, ‘The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars / But in ourselves.”
I don't want to give away too much regarding the plot, but Hazel and Augustus are such memorable characters. I adored every second of The Fault in Our Stars, even though cancer is so tremendously heartbreaking and scary. Plus, I must admit that thyroid cancer really hits home for me, which is probably why I pushed off reading this book; however, I am so-so-so very glad I did. Green really pushed me to think about life, love, and what it all means after we are long gone.
The Fault in Our Stars changed me and I don't say that about many books. It made me laugh, it made me angry and it sure made me cry. It's definitely one of my favorite books and I imagine it will be for a long time.