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.
"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."- Augustus Waters
The excitement over The Fault in Our Stars was infectious, and I purchased this novel with high hopes that it would be one of the best novels I've read. Period. Now, in normal circumstances, having such high standards can be a bit dissapointing, but in this case, not at all. In fact, I'm in such awe that I loved it so much, I'm still staring at it like, did that really happen?
I adored mostly everything about this novel. John Green's characters are out of this world, and there's almost no way that Hazel, Augustus, Isaac, and the entire cast aren't living their lives in Indianapolis today. They all felt so real, its like meeting new friends and family. John Green is one of the only novelists I've read in the YA genre to write an intelligent novel that is not in the least pretentious. It awakened my desire to further learn the craft of fiction, and seek out gorgeous classic poetry to read.
I loved Hazel, her thoughts on life, the books she read, and her overall voice. She makes great points about cliched literature featuring cancer patients who are wise beyond knowing, and heroic up until the end of their battle with cancer. This type of literature does not portray accurately what it means to truly battle cancer. It's beautiful to read a novel of this type that doesn't drench itself in heroics, but shows naked human spirit. And Augustus, what can I say? He's one of the best characters I've encountered. He's witty, intelligent, charming in an 'adorkable' way, and challenging. As he and Hazel bond over the novel they read together, reveal their thoughts on living, dying, and fighting, I found myself further pulled in.
What I loved most about this novel is that Green manages to create a highly realistic novel that is moving as it is heartbreaking, whilst also, creating a beautifully rich romance that has all of the qualities of a fairytale (without the cheese). I loved Hazel and Augustus' adventures as they cope with their situations in a proactive and zealous way! Green's writing completely captured the beauty of young love, Amsterdam, life, really, everything. There are wonderful lessons to ponder. I wanted to underline so many passages, and I feel I might have missed some. There are moments in the novel that are so heartbreaking, but beautiful all the same. It was quite hard to read, and realize how many people live lives like this everyday, and it gave me a greater awareness of what it is like to battle cancer.
The only thing I wasn't very fond of in the novel are the characters sarcastic/disdainful opinions about God, and the church where they attend support group. Although it wasn't often, and it seems plausible that these would be the opinions of teens going through this situation.
Bare in mind: This novel contains profanity and sensuality.
I will have to reread The Fault in Our Stars because I was actually saddened to end it. I'm happy that although I have three other Green novels, this was the first one I picked up.
I give The Fault In Our Stars by John Green 5 out of 5 cups of Earl Grey with a tray of macaroons, and bubbly like the stars.
Feel free to check out my diary-esque entry about how The Fault In Our Stars effected me and my writing.