August 12, 2013
Book Review: The Fault In Our Stars
The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
Summary: 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.
The Good: I went into this book expecting to cry. And I did. But I also laughed. John Green infused melancholy with humor and created a masterpiece. It's not just another cancer book. Hazel and Augustus feel like teenagers. They seem more mature than most kids their age, but who wouldn't, if they had cancer? Plus, there are many real teenagers who act more like adults (I have moments like that). I also liked that Hazel sounded feminine. Oftentimes, female characters written by guys sound masculine. Well, Hazel doesn't. I mean, she's not overly girly, but I found she sounds a bit like how I do. John Green was also good at dropping total bombshells. I didn't see a major plot point coming, to be honest (although now that I've read TFIOS a few times, I definitely see it a bit), and the ending surprised me. Finally, the parents (both Hazel's and Gus's) were well-written. They were all present and acted like parents.
The Bad: Peter Van Houten was supposed to be a frustrating character, I get that. But he was so frustrating that I wanted to jump into the book and yell at him (although, I'm sure it would do no good). I also wasn't a fan of how Augustus and Hazel could get just about anything (champagne, for example) solely because of "cancer perks." I'm sure it's pretty accurate, but the manipulation rubbed me the wrong way.
The Ugly: Language and romantic content is always a big deal for me. I usually don't finish or enjoy books with too much swearing or romance that crosses PG-13 lines. Surprisingly, I found those things easy to ignore in TFIOS. The language didn't take away from the plot (partly because, I think, most of it wasn't too offensive), and the main scene where the romance is PG-13 doesn't tell too much.
Would I recommend TFIOS? Most definitely, but I think it's best-suited for anyone 15+.
And now for my favorite quote from the book.
"I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly and then all at once."