Jan 23, 2013

Book Review :: The Fault in Our Stars

Title : The Fault in Our Stars
Series : NA
Author : John Green
Rating : ***

Basic Plot :  This is a thoughtful fiction about a girl with terminal cancer who, with the help of tumor shrinking medicine, has bought some time. She is an introvert 16 year old who is taking college classes, but is understandably depressed. Grudgingly she attends a weekly support group and it is there she meets attractive Augustus Waters, and the last chapters of her life suddenly take a turn for the better. He is a fellow, teenage cancer survivor who, despite his prosthetic leg, lives a full and vibrant life. Both kids are intelligent, sarcastic, and find common ground to plant and grow their tragic love story. Their relationship is staked in a novel titled An Imperial Affliction, and their quest to find out what happens to characters of the book after the ambiguous, and unfinished ending. 

Comments : I found this story to very deep and raw, but not at first. Initially I found it hard to relate to the angry and pretentious characters, not because I don't have firsthand experience with cancer, but because I felt they were a little over the top. I don't know many teens with cancer, but I did grow up knowing one who lived next door and she was not nearly so jaded and dark. However, once I sifted through the harsh beginning I quickly got to the good stuff. I The Fault in Our Stars communicated just how draining and debilitating it is to live with cancer, not only for the cancer riddled body but the lives of their families and friends as well. As the plot winds on some heavy subjects, like life, death, and love, are tackled by these teens. This story is breath taking and heart breaking in both the literal and metaphorical sense. Some might see this as a book about cancer or people dying with cancer, but to me it is more. It is a book about humans, being human, and becoming more than our circumstances. As a note, just be sure to have a box of tissues for the last quarter of this book. 

Significance : The one thing I connected most with in this book, and found to be particularly sad, was that so few people in the novel really knew who the characters were, few people understood their heart of hearts. Throughout The Fault in Our Stars Hazel gets to know Augustus, really knows him, and Augustus really knows her, even after such a short amount of time. Sadly though, no one else in their stories gets to know them so deeply and greatly. To the world these two characters are who they are expected to be. Even their families do not seem to fully understand the depth of these teens living withing their own walls. When it ends, as all stories do, no one is left to truly remember how unique and beautiful they were as individuals. That was what was most tragic for me and makes me want to live my life with a greater expression of who I really am. 

Similar : Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler and Illustrated by Maira Kalman, Hope: A Tragedy: A Novel by Shalon Auslander, An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

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