Author: John Green
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Publication date: January 10 2012
Hardcover: 313 pages
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.
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
How did I get this book: Bought (pre-ordered it as soon as the author promised to sign all pre-orders of the book).
Why did I read this book: Because it’s John Green, one of my favourite writers.
10 Things I Hate About You, The Fault in Our Stars
10. I hate that you reminded me that the Internet is a marvelous place but also a very complicated environment for a book reviewer to be. You reminded me that we should be really cautious and aim for full disclosure at all times, because close interaction with authors – on Twitter, on Youtube, on Blogs, on Goodreads – is a reality today. And my own piece of this reality is: I am very biased toward your author. I think he is made of awesomesauce, I follow his blog, his Twitter feed and his channel on youtube. I think he is an Important Person and as such I don’t feel I can be really critic toward his writing. More to the point: I don’t want to. Sometimes, The Fault in Our Stars, I just want to fangirl over a book, no questions asked. Hence this post. 12
9. I hate that you made me love Augustus Waters so, so much. I hate that he was so quirky, and smart and funny and sexy and just so full of life that he overshadowed your own protagonist, Hazel. Even though the book is from her point of view and she is a well-developed and great female character (your author’s best female character to date), the way Augustus was portrayed made me feel like HE was the protagonist. I loved Augustus with the force of a billion supernovas and although I realise this is a good thing, I also wished I had loved Hazel with the same intensity. I hate that because of point number 10, I can’t bring myself to care too much that I loved the male character the most, even as he was not the protagonist.
8. I hate that you are so goddamn well written, so quotable and so full of truth: yours is a story that features several characters with terminal cancer and yet you manage not to be a book about cancer. You are a book about living and about those who stay, and those who go and about the unfairness of it all, about the nature of heroism, about things that matter, about leaving a mark. I hate you because I know that anything else I read in the next few days will simply pale in comparison:
“I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, then all at once.”
“I’m in love with you,” he said quietly.
“Augustus,” I said.
“I am,” he said. He was staring at me, and I could see the corners of his eyes crinkling. “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.”
“You have a choice in this world, I believe, about how to tell sad stories, and we made the funny choice.”
I could go on but I am afraid I am already starting to tear up again. Which brings me to:
7. I hate that you made me cry (and I am not sure you are aware that not all mascaras are water proof?) so much till I sobbed and gasped for air. But I also laughed really hard. Sometimes I did both at the same time. I guess this just means that your author followed through on his promise to make me feel ALL THE THINGS so perhaps I can’t hold that against you.
6. I hate that yours is a great example of romance in ContempYA. The kind that is smart and slow burning, that is thoughtful and sweet and cute and also hot and sexual and deep. Because of you it will be even more annoying when I read a book with the dreaded Insta-love.
5. I hate how, even though there were moments in which some of your plotting felt contrived and even unbelievable; or that sometimes it was hard not to think of your teenage characters as pretencions and even unrealistically mature, it is impossible for me to think of those as deal-breakers because fundamentally you are a book about deeply relatable, realistic, complex characters going through some real shit.
4. I hate that you reminded me that when I went to Amsterdam, I actually did spend more time in the red light district and visiting a beer factory instead of going to Anne Frank’s House. I KNOW. I was very young then, The Fault in Our Stars.
3. I hate that you have a character in you that made me remember the seminal truth behind reading: that the characters of a book are not alive and do not live on after you close the pages. Except they do, The Fault in Our Stars: they do when they are important to readers, so in a way you also made me remember how important reading can be, and how a reader’s experience of a book is separate from author’s intent. Both of us know and acknowledge how equally important readers’ experiences are. I will remember them – Hazel and Augustus – The Fault in Our Stars, I will, because now there is a scar.
2. I hate that even though you are not perfect, you are probably one of the best books I will read this year and now you have set the bar really high for all other ContempYA I read in 2012.
1. Oh, ok, go on then. I don’t really hate you, The Fault in Our Stars. Not even close. Not even a little bit. Not even at all.
Rating: 8- Excellent
Reading Next: Everneath by Brodi Ashton
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