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Book Review: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

February 8, 2012

“The world is not a wish granting factory” -Augustus Waters, The Fault in Our Stars

If it were, no one would die of cancer.  No one would suffer from cancer.  Everyone would fall in love and no one would ever be hurt.  And we would all BE the best.  We would all do great things and our lives would Mean Something.  Not something generic, something Exceptional.

The Fault in Our Stars is the story of Hazel and Gus, two teenagers in Indianapolis who live with one foot in the grave and one in a very real (and painful) world.  They are both cancer patients and the story follows them as they learn about love, the meaning of Life, Death and value of it all.

My first reaction: Oh no, another “Walk to Remember” I can’t stand these emotional fluff novels.  But, that wasn’t fair because The Fault in Our Stars is on a much higher level than emotional fluff.  It’s honest, brutally so at times.  It’s beautiful, in a poetic, lyrical kind of way.  And it’s gripping.  Did I cry?  Oh yes.  It hurt.  A lot.  And I loved it.

That said, (and my apologies to Nerdfighters everywhere) I did have a hard time getting into it. The characters were pretentious, at least at first.  I did get used to them by the middle of the novel and I was still semi-annoyed 3/4s of the way through, but somehow I cared about them anyway.  Also: (this is a pet peeve of mine) I wish swearing wasn’t so much a part of our culture and language.  I prefer to read books that are clean.  I know that’s a lot to ask.  And I don’t like sex in YA novels.  I just… don’t.  It’s slutty.  Like, we need to include things like that to keep people interested or something.  Whatever.  The book would have been just as awesome without it.

As Augustus Waters says “You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world. But you do have some say in who hurts you.” In light of that, I’m glad I read The Fault in Our Stars.  It touched me in a place that doesn’t get aired out very often because it hurts too much.  I think Cancer creates a place like that in all of us. And then there’s the whole meaning of life, MY life, that is that universal human question: Who am I? Why am I here? and Is it for something really GOOD? We hope so.  And so we try again and again. And I believe we are. This is why we fight.  

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One Comment leave one →
  1. February 8, 2012 2:26 pm

    I guess the sex part wasn’t needed, but I don’t think it took anything away from the story. Plus I feel like they were a little more mature than your average teens.

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