Monday, June 11, 2012

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

 I loved John Green and David Levithan's Will Grayson, Will Grayson. I reviewed it here

And then this book, The Fault in Our Stars, kept popping into my mind. Some crazy thing about the New York Times Bestseller list and a bunch of blogs across the country from amazing literacy leaders: I obviously needed to read this book. And I am so glad I did.

If you haven't put it together, I love reading books with teen characters struggling and finding their way to living a life that feels right. I mean, being a teen is hard enough, add in the challenges of dealing with confusing parents (ahem: I should know...) and the threat of figuring out how to earn money as an adult (read: career!) and life gets pretty full. Then there is all of that craziness about being true to yourself, right in the midst of trying to conform to society. Wicked, isn't it, what we put our teens through?

Well actually, these teens do have it wicked. The three main characters have some form of cancer. And it is life threatening for all of them. Brutal. Unbelievable. And so true. Readers enter this book through a female teen, Hazel, who struggles with thyroid cancer that has moved into other body parts that make breathing very difficult. Isaac loses his eyes during the story to cancer. Augustus enters as a friend to Isaac and becomes crucial to Hazel, as is obvious is this quote: "I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once."

Augustus battles vehemently throughout, leading Hazel and Isaac through the ultimate challenges of living and dying. He tells Hazel early on, "That is the thing about pain. It demands to be felt."

What I liked most about this book, beyond the storyline, is the writing: Green is profound in his humor. More times than my partner would like to count, I was rolling in laughter, reading in my chair while she read the dry, dull newspaper. Hysterical and to the point, Green's writing style is just spot on, exactly what I have either heard or would guess I would hear from teens. Remarkable.

Just in love with this book... you gotta read it. If you are in the mood for a jugular-level, heart-felt, teen-accurate story, with a significant amount of cancer realism thrown in for support, this is the book for you. Trust me though: don't let the cancer part throw you. If anything, that subject plays clean up in brand-new ways.

1 comment:

  1. I have to find a copy of this to read. I am not sure that it will be middle school appropriate, but I've read so many reviews that I'm really curious now. I really liked Divergent, too.