I have been simmering my thoughts about this book for a couple of weeks now. And I still don’t know where to start. Maybe with the fact that I have loved every book I have read by John Green: Looking for Alaska, An Abundance of Katherines, Paper Towns, and even Let It Snow. So, I was very eager for his next book to come out. So eager that I preordered The Fault in Our Stars back in June, snagged it from the hands of the UPS man before he could set it on my porch, and devoured it immediately.
Hazel Grace Lancaster has terminal cancer that is okay for now. But, as depression is a side effect of dying, she is forced to attend a Support Group. And there, she meets Augustus Waters. He’s in remission. He’s charming. And they hit it off in a series of exchanges that knocked my socks off. Here’s a portion of the first one:
“Why are you looking at me like that?”
August half smiled. “Because you’re beautiful. I enjoy looking at beautiful people, and I decided a while ago not to deny myself the simpler pleasures of existence.” A brief awkward silence ensued. Augustus plowed through: “I mean, particularly given that, as you so deliciously pointed out, all of this will end in oblivion and everything.”
I kind of scoffed or sighed or exhaled in a way that was vaguely coughy and then said, “I’m not beau–”
“You’re like a millennial Natalie Portman. Like V for Vendetta Natalie Portman.”
“Never seen it,” I said.
“Really?” he asked. “Pixie-haired gorgeous girl dislikes authority and can’t help but fall for a boy she knows is trouble. It’s your autobiography, so far as I can tell.”
His every syllable flirted. Honestly, he kind of turned me on. I didn’t even know that guys could turn me on–not, like, in real life. (16-17)
Then, things ensue. Big things. Little things. Things that made me laugh, and things that made me cry. Things where Hazel and Augustus attempt to face the oblivion that awaits them (and all of us at some point). While Hazel was a refreshing change from John Green’s otherwise all male lineup of narrators, I actually preferred Augustus. Scenes wherein he was present shone brightly. But all of the characters were real. And the writing is less reliant on obvious character quirks and obsessions than some of John Green’s previous works. (I’m sorry; I can’t seem to refer to him as anything other than “John Green.” Odd.)
Like each of John Green’s other books, TFiOS left me aching. In an exquisite kind of way. Hazel and Augustus’s adventure is both small and epic. Like all of our adventures.
The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green [rating:4]
Have you read or reviewed this book too? Feel free to jump in with your thoughts or leave a link to your review in the comments.