The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
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. (Goodreads)
We should get something straight right now. I love this book and there is absolutely no way on earth that I can possibly write a review that will do it justice. I’ll try. I’ll babble. I’ll struggle to find the words, but if you walk away from this with anything at all please know without question that you should read this book. I mean, really. Is there any doubt it’s amazing? It’s John Green.
The Run Down:
Hazel is a wonderful, vibrant girl who, although she still has a bleak overall prognosis being that she has Stage IV cancer, she comes across as so, well, normal. Yes, her life is totally different. Her best friends are her parents, she loathes her cancer support group and she lives each day with the reality of the things she’ll never grow up to see or experience. But she’s not this depressing, whiny girl. And she isn’t unbelievably upbeat. She’s real. She seems tangible, as if you can reach out and touch her. She’s experienced a bit of a miracle through a new, experimental drug, but her illness still unfortunately rules her life.
And her family, sweet Lord, her family. Certainly everything in their lives hinges upon Hazel and making sure she is as comfortable and healthy as possible, but they don’t skirt around the obvious: outside of another miracle, Hazel is never going to get well. This is what Hazel and her family live with each day, but they encourage her to branch out, to experience happiness in even the tiniest ways, and they seek comfort and solace in living the most normal life their little family can.
And Augustus, how can I possibly describe him? He is effervescent and brimming with joy, the boy who beat cancer, but not its after effects. He embraces each day with great humor and charm and is, in a word, breathtaking. The bond he and Hazel share and this beautiful love that develops is heartbreaking and hopeful on every level. Any reader who is considering skipping this book because of the possible sadness conveyed in the subject matter is cheating themselves out of a love story worthy of major swoon.
This book is more than a story about cancer, more than a story about romance. It’s about finding the things in life that are worth the risk and worth the pain because the beauty and the laughter and the joy outweigh the sadness in the end.
Seriously, John Green (and of course, Hazel and Augustus), I’m fangirling over you in the nerdiest, totally bookish way possible. I love your books, but I especially love this one. I’m so happy you were compelled to share this story.
Crush Intensity: 5/5 Read this book. Yes, you may cry, but you’ll smile more.
“Why are you looking at me like that?”
Augustus half smiled. “Because you’re beautiful. I enjoy looking at beautiful people, and I decided a while ago not to deny myself the simple pleasures of existence.”
I know! Don’t you love that?
“Oh, I wouldn’t mind, Hazel Grace. It would be a privilege to have my heart broken by you.”