If, somehow, you’ve managed to avoid the flurry of excitement about John Green’s latest novel, here is a quick synopsis from Amazon:
Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.
I originally wasn’t going to pre-order The Fault in Our Stars when I first heard about it back in July. Shocking huh? But I had good reason: I hadn’t read any of John Green’s books. I decided that enough was enough and hesitantly picked up Paper Towns, which I ended up loving and it’s now one of my favourite books. I’d never particularly been a fan of young adult contemporary literature but Paper Towns changed that. I decided that John Green definitely was worth reading and so quickly bought all his novels, including The Fault in Our Stars.
Six long months later, it’s finally here, and it was worth waiting for. I read it, like everyone else I’ve seen, in less than 24 hours. It’s a book that deserves a big chunk of your precious time (and not only because it’ll drain you emotionally!). It’s very typically John Green in that it’s wonderfully written, occasionally humorous, intelligent, but also very, very sad. John Green once again manages to perfectly capture the essence of being a teenager, but he does it this time through the voice of a female 16-year-old called Hazel Lancaster.
The Fault in Our Star‘s brilliance is mainly due to its characters. I adored Hazel. She’s a fantastic voice and very witty (for example, see this typography quote video by Priscilla @ The Readables, which actually could be interpreted as being very bleak, but I loved its straightforward honesty). I also loved Hazel’s unrelenting passion for books. Augustus Waters is also a fantastic character, and a perfect match for Hazel. The journey they go on is both a beautiful one and a sad one, although I don’t think it’s depressing. It’s heartbreaking, but not just because it’s a “cancer story”. It’s down to the brutal honesty about the meaning of human experience and human existence.
The Fault in Our Stars is a novel well worth reading. I really, really wish I had ordered the audiobook of John Green reading the book himself because he truly understands the characters he has created.