Green, J. (2012). The fault in our stars. New York: Dutton Books. ISBN: 9780525478812
Annotation: Hazel has terminal thyroid cancer and has to drag around an oxygen tank. At a cancer kids support group, she meets Augustus Waters who changes her life.
Reaction: So let’s talk about The Fault in Our Stars. DO NOT read this book if you don’t enjoy crying your eyeballs out at the end of the story. That is not a spoiler. This is a book about kids with cancer. Let’s not even pretend like you’re not going to cry. First we meet Hazel, the narrator, who tells us up front that she’s got terminal cancer. So you spend the book preparing for her death and some sort of third person post death epilogue and girding yourself for that inevitable moment when she can fight no longer. But when the end comes, it’s SO MUCH WORSE than you could ever have imagined. Completely heartbreaking and shattering and JOHN GREEN, WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO ME?!
This guy, he’s a freaking phenomenal story teller: funny and smart and quick witted and snarky, but man oh man. The only other book that I’ve read by him, Looking for Alaska, which is also so so so great and which I highly recommend, ALSO made me cry and cry and cry and cry. (It also dealt with death by motor vehicle less than a year after my older sister was killed in a hit and run, so your mileage may vary with the crying in this one.) I’m a little scared to read more of his books because what if they’re ALL heartbreaking and tragic?! I’m gonna have to suck it up, though, because I think he’s too good to miss out on.
He writes teens that are relatable and real. They’re kids you might have known or might wish you had as friends, and they’re dealing with some stuff. In this one, Hazel and Augustus refuse to let their cancer get in the way of having a life and doing the things they want to do, even if it isn’t exactly normal teen stuff. These two, and their friend Isaac, and all the other kids from cancer support group have been through more pain and suffering than most adults ever have to deal with. And Green shows them dealing with it like real people, flawed and angry and hurt and completely infuriated by the injustice of it all.
Just a note: I listened to the audiobook of this, narrated by Kate Rudd, and I really enjoyed it.
I would recommend this book to EVERYONE (mature readers only!), and it’s totally in my Top Ten Favorites.
Odyssey Award (2013)
Goodreads Choice Award for Best Young Adult Fiction (2012)
ALA Teens’ Top Ten Nominee (2012)
The Inky Awards for Silver Inky (2012)
Abraham Lincoln Award Nominee (2014)