'Reading a book is like re-writing it for yourself. You bring to a novel, anything you read, all your experience of the world. You bring your history and you read it in your own terms.'- Angela Carter

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

REVIEW: The Fault in our Stars - John Green

The Fault in our Stars - John Green
The Fault in Our Stars
Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 13, 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.
*May contain spoilers*

I honestly don't even know where to begin with this review. I finished the book an hour ago and it's still turning around in my head. Why, why, why has it taken me until now to read it? Why haven't I read John Green's books before? He is such a beautiful and emotional writers and I just feel so completely drained after reading that book. I didn't cry, that much I will admit, although I came very close on several occasions. I think the fact that I began that book at 6pm yesterday and finished it by 10am this morning; this included hours in the library without the book and sleeping time. I devoured it and just had to know what was going to happen to the characters.

“That's the thing about pain...it demands to be felt.” 

Green's book follows the path of Hazel and Augustus, two 16 year olds that are coming to terms with cancer. Hazel is still suffering and trying to fight it with new drugs, Gus has had a leg amputated and now appears to be healthy. Not only does it explore the family and friendship issues of these two characters, but we also get an insight into their friend from support groups life; Isaac. He is now blind due to cancer. I think what was the most beautiful and heart wrenching was how these three teenagers seemed like adults. They had such a mature outlook on life and coped so well with the trauma they were going through.

"I'm a grenade and at some point I'm going to blow up and I would like to minimize the casualties, okay?” 

The book was kept entirely realistic, well what I can imagine to be realistic. Even though this is a work of fiction I just felt so, so lucky to be alive and healthy *touch wood*. Green deals with the deterioration of the body through cancer. He doesn't keep the characters as stereotypical heroes. It was entirely heart wrenching. Seeing the love develop between the two adolescents was wonderful but painful. Not knowing what the next day was going to bring made it such a terrifying read. I found myself longing for some kind of happy ever after.

“You gave me a forever within the numbered days, and I'm grateful.” 

The ending was torturous. I hated how matter of fact some of the bits were. I longed to grieve with the characters. I kind of felt like John Green was doing what was done by his novel within the story; An Imperial Affliction by Peter Van Houten. I feel now what Hazel felt throughout the novel. What happened after that letter? How long did things continue? Questions which I will never have answers to. This isn't your traditional 'cancer story'. Nothing is cushioned here. I recommend this book to everyone, but please keep tissues near.





2 comments:

  1. Lovely review. It wasn't as emotional for me but the ending was still hard.

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  2. Completely agree. I am so in love with this book, even though it hurt to read. Green writes beautifully and I really need to read more of his work.

    Sarah

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