Reviewed by Ashleigh
Author: John Green
Publisher & Pages: Penguin Random House, 313 pages
Audience: Young Adult
Blurb: 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.
Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning author John Green's most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.
Highlight: This book manipulated me so subtly, and more.
Review: Well where do I begin? There is so much about this book that I don’t know where to start! I suppose I’ll start at the beginning.
When I first read this book, I couldn’t help but feel disappointed. Before I began to read, people were telling me it was the best book ever and that I would cry. The way they harped on about it, I was expecting something life changing. A third of the way in, nothing was happening. Hazel made a new friend. She talked about a book she liked. She went to Support Group. I felt disappointed, let down, and like I’d just wasted $26 on a book that wasn’t living up to its promise.
It wasn’t until I was halfway through the book that I realised what was happening. This book was influencing me in ways that no other book has. In the first session of Support Group, Gus mentions that he fears oblivion. This was the key moment which began to change me. The more I read, the more I began to contemplate life. What was really important to me? What did I want from life? When I came to the part about what Hazel spent her (dying) Wish on, I began to think, what do I want to achieve before I die? What would my Wish be? The answer is a very private wish that no one except me will ever know.
Before I get to the most brilliant part of all, I feel like I must justify why I scored this story what I did.
At first, the quality of writing was not great. There were typos, unfinished sentences, and I felt it was a bit flat. Only in the last two-thirds of the story are where it improves. If the writing quality from the last part of the book was also in the first half of the book, then I would have scored this book a ten in that area. The pace and the plot didn’t seem to develop much. What was clever about this book is that the plot was buried deep under the story. This book just followed the life of Hazel. It was simply her life. I’ve never read a book simply about life that has worked so well.
One thing I really didn’t like about the book while I was reading it was the way Hazel and Gus’ relationship developed. He seemed so intense, and she didn’t seem to like him much. He seemed to annoy her, to be honest. When they (SPOILER!) had sex, I felt like it was too random. Why would they be having sex? They didn’t seem like they were more than friends. However, hindsight is a beautiful thing. They were both cancer kids. That’s the key point here. They were both cancer kids. They knew how short life could be. Why would they waste time um-ing and ah-ing about their decisions? So now, as I write this, I think I understand why they would just jump straight into a reltionship.
Finally, the most beautiful thing about this book: when I finished it, I was left with a sense of…something. It wasn’t quite awe, but that was a part of it. I was left thinking…now what? What do I do? I felt empty, but I also felt whole. It was an odd sensation.
All in all, this book was definitely not life changing like it was made out to be, BUT, it definitely changed me.
Overall Rating: 4 ½ Stars
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