The Fault In Our Stars – by John Green
This book has been a YA bestseller since its publication in January, and I’d been planning to read it for a while. A few days ago I started it in the afternoon – and stayed up until 1am that night to finish it. This is why:
Hazel Grace Lancaster knows she’s dying. The experimental drugs managed to buy her a few years, but the cancer will still win in the end. It sucks, don’t get her wrong – but Hazel’s impending demise isn’t all there is. There are still books, America’s Next Top Model, days with her mother and father, and even support group. And then one day, in support group, Hazel meet Augustus Waters – a gorgeous boy who thinks Hazel Grace is amazing.
Over the course of their small infinity together, Hazel and Gus are truly alive. And sometimes, they can even forget that their forever might not be as long as others’.
This novel’s plot is almost impossible for me to describe because it’s not the point – the point is the experience these two people have, with each other and independently of each other, and the point is also the reader’s observation of and involvement in their story.
I don’t remember the last time I identified so quickly and so thoroughly with a character. By page 5 I’m already blown away by how authentic Hazel is, and all I want is for her to somehow be okay; whether that means that she somehow beats her diagnosis, or just that she has the best possible experiences she can, and that she isn’t a girl defined by her cancer. From the outset it’s clear that Hazel is not her disease: she’s much more. Augustus, too, is a young man who fights to be seen independently of his cancer. He and Hazel are well matched, they know better than most how to support each other, and they don’t let each other get away with anything.
John Green’s writing is exquisite; painful, honest and perceptive. His characterisation is raw and extremely satisfying. And this story is unforgettable, a reading experience everyone should have.
Have you read The Fault In Our Stars, or anything else by John Green? If you haven’t read this novel yet, I can’t recommend it more highly. I’m about to go and read everything he’s ever published!