Saturday, August 25, 2012

Review: The Fault In Our Stars

  • Publisher: Dutton Books
  • Release Date: Jan. 10, 2012
  • Page Count: 336
  • Would Appeal To: Fans of My Sister's Keeper, Anyone who appreciates magnificent writing/simple but brilliant insights
Favorite Quotes: (Narrowed down from 13, had to omit certain sigh-worthy dialogue scenes to keep the element of surprise for future readers...Also, if you really want to read this, you might skip a few of these quotes so you can be just as truly satisfied as I was.)
"Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book. And then there are books like An Imperial Affliction, which you can't tell people about, books so special and rare and yours that advertising your affection feels like a betrayal."
"He played me a couple songs he liked by a band called The Hectic Glow, and they were good songs, but because I didn't know them already, they weren't as good to me as they were to him."
"And then the line was quiet but not dead. I almost felt like he was there in my room with me, but in a way it was better, like I was not in my room and he was not in his, but instead we were together in some invisible and tenuous third space that could only be visited on the phone."
"...rumbling with each inhalation and whirring as I exhaled. I kept thinking that it sounded like a dragon breathing in time with me, like I had this pet dragon who was cuddled up next to me and cared enough about me to time his breaths to mine."
"'Do you realize how rare it is to come across a hot girl who creates an adjectival version of the word pedophile? You are so busy being you that you have no idea how utterly unprecedented you are.'"
"The car was packed by six fifteen, whereupon Mom insisted that we eat breakfast with Dad, although I had a moral opposition to eating before dawn on the grounds that I was not a nineteenth-century Russian peasant fortifying myself for a day in the fields."
"The weird thing about houses is that they almost always look like nothing is happening inside of them, even though they contain most of our lives. I wondered if that was sort of the point of architecture."
Story: Hazel Grace Lancaster has terminal cancer. Her lungs continually drown themselves with fluid and she is forced to walk around with a tank of oxygen to help her breathe. One fated Support Group session, Augustus Waters has come to support his friend Isaac. Augustus, a rather up front, witty, and intelligent guy, finds out Hazel's favorite book-- An Imperial Affliction. Soon both teens become entralled with finding answers to a novel that had a very open ending. Video games, a park, and a heartbroken blind friend all swirl together to create a tale of romance, where the sick kids know better than anyone that life's not fair.
Why You Must Read This:
1. It's JOHN GREEN people! I'm about to dive into An Abundance of Katherine, Looking for Alaska, and then Paper Towns because he is just that incredible (and I'm awfully mad at myself for not yet reading any of his other work). His writing is the kind of fluid that makes you forget you're not a character in the story. He gets it. And by it, I mean EVERYTHING. (See first two quotes above.)
2. The dialogue. Holy crap. By the end of the first chapter, Augustus has already said some unabashed things to Hazel. You'll wonder why you didn't have a relationship like this in high school where everyone can be up front and playful and super smart sounding because they really are intelligent. Also, Hazel always answers in questions, like she's not quite sure. It showed me a lot about her personality. And she talks with a few "likes" thrown in, which were really quite perfect and not annoying in the Valley girl way.
3. Hazel and Augustus. Usually I like the boy more than the girl. Or the girl more than the boy. Not both equally. This story was different. They were meant to be, with their kind of philosophical thoughts and conversations. They've had lots of time to really ponder since they've both been in and out of the hospital. They're super deep with huge vocabularies but still teenager-y. For example, they both still fight with their parents and Hazel, especially, hates being hovered over.
4. I haven't read book by many guy authors, and this one uses a female POV, but I seriously couldn't tell. Mostly, Hazel just wants to be normal, not a side effect of dying. She accepts her lot even though she doesn't always like it. But don't we all just want to be normal? You'll be able to relate to more than one thing in this story. I've never thought about Cancer Perks and how adults act weird around kids who are obviously sick. I couldn't imagine walking around with a cannula stuck up my nose, but here's a person who is different, and her friends are different, which allows her to really see what people are like, their motivations, their responses, and their fears. Another part of John Green really getting it.
5. I cried. I never used to cry reading books, and only really good, emotional writing brings that out in me. I also loved that Hazel's dad is a crier. Her parents are awesome. 
6. The plot. What reader doesn't want to read a book about a character who obsesses over her favorite book? Oh my gosh, I can relate. It's brilliant, really. The fact that Augustus is really into a book that she's introduced him to only makes him more lovable.
What Bugged Me:
1. Um, NOTHING. This is strange for me to have nothing to nit pick about, but...he flippin' nailed this whole story.


Annette Mills said...

Wow. Reading your review just reminded me that I had a dream last night that John Green just "stopped by" my library for a chat. I got him to sign a couple of books, but I was disappointed that most of them were checked out. After he left I was mad that I forgot to take a picture! Crazy!!

Robin said...

I'd give this book 10 butterflies. I love it SO much. Best book I've read all year, and I've devoured some good ones.