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Once Upon A Bookshelf

Where Fiction and Reality Meet

The Fault in Our Stars

Author: John Green
Originally Published: 2012
Publisher: Dutton Books, a division of Penguin Group
Source: Purchased

The Story

The Fault in our StarsFrom the cover flap:

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-authors John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.

The Response

Soooo… I’m the last person in the world to read this. I may also be the only person who did’’t cry during it.

Don’t get me wrong. It was good… but I had a feeling I knew what was going to happen when everyone said they sobbed through both the book and the movie trailer and when I realized that this is a book about teens with cancer. You can kinda guess what is going to happen. While knowing what’s going to happen doesn’t necessarily negate the emotion in the book, it certainly prepares you for it. It’s similar to if you go into a movie hearing that the movie is horrible, only to enjoy it because it wasn’t nearly as bad as you expected it to be. So I had a feeling there was going to be some kind of death involved. And although I was sad when it happened, I was prepared for it. It’s so much easier to be prepared for death in a work of fiction than it is in real life, because you can always reread the parts of the book before the death of the character, and it’s like they never actually died. In real life you don’t get that luxury.

Cancer. Something we’ve all come into contact with at some point in our life – not necessarily something that has happened to us, but something that has happened to at least one person who we know. Oftentimes, it’s not to someone we know who is the same age as the characters in this book, which is probably why a lot of people found A Fault in Our Stars so heartbreaking.

One of my high school friends developed ovarian cancer during the same time I had dropped out of university because of my anxiety and depression. My anxiety made it hard for me to leave the house at this point, and I didn’t go to visit her when she was in the hospital. She passed away soon after she was admitted into the hospital, and I constantly regret that I didn’t go to see her when I could have. I’m not sure if I’ve forgiven my anxiety for this yet.

It is absolutely tragic when young people don’t get a chance to live a long life because of a disease like this. Completely tragic. And that is why I think a lot of people found A Fault in Our Stars so heartbreaking.

I did enjoy this book. A lot. Was it as good as the hype surrounding it? I don’t know – I didn’t end up as emotionally involved with this book as I have with other books, but it was still enjoyable.

I especially love that there is something so distinct about all of John Green’s books, that you can tell just by the narration that he wrote the book. His characters are smart and witty. They’re often not the popular kids. But more importantly, they are REAL. I could imagine being any one of them, or of knowing them in high school. I have no doubt that it is the same with most other people who read these books.

The Bottom Line

This is a great book, and although I didn’t cry like everyone else seemed to, I definitely highly enjoyed reading it. Recommended.

Posted by Courtney Wilson @ 7:13 am March 11, 2014.
Category: Young Adult
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  • Marg Bates

    I did cry… a lot… but that isn’t much of a surprise because I cry at pretty much everything!