John Green’s ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ will make you audibly sob…

by Zoë B on September 4, 2013

If this doesn’t make you cry just a little bit, then you are either an amazingly strong person or I have faulty tear ducts.

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Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 13, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs… for now.
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.

This book deserves all the positive praise it’s getting, it really does. Three things strike me as brilliant from this book.

1. A man wrote it

That probably sounds a lot more sexist than it should, but it hit me midway through that this book was written by a man and isn’t that so amazingly awesome. Narrated by Hazel (Grace) I genuinely was blown away by how correct it all was; everything a  girl (my age) would think. Enjoyed reading from her perspective as it was just brilliant and I do not in any way want a sequel from someone else point of view…okay, maybe Isaac.

Well anyway, I read trying to put myself in the particular situations the characters faced and laughed out loud as Hazel’s responses were similar, or more so the things I hope/wish I would do. Just felt her character was spot on. She wasn’t incredibly soppy and incapable of living without her loved ones (which was really quite a big part the story, trying to live without the help of people). So she was strong, sarcastic, and I really enjoyed that.

Honestly, sometimes I feel female narratives in other books are overly…feminine. By that I mean they come across rather pathetic and I spend most of the time screaming in my head, “Pull yourself together, woman!” which probably says more about me than the books. However I felt, for the type of person Hazel (Grace) is, she was written fantastically well. A character with a horrible condition that could die at any second yet, I felt safe. I felt safe in her personality as she was so painfully honest when she needed to be and didn’t care what the world thought. Massive hats off to Mr Green for creating a female character perfectly that I really wish was my best friend.

2. The writing style was brilliant

It was chatty and inviting, just as if Hazel was writing you an incredibly long email in which she goes into great detail about her life. Nothing more needs to be said on that front really. The second you started reading, you were in the flow. You wanted to be there, chatting away to Hazel Grace, wanted to know about her life, even if she didn’t feel it was interesting (see look at that, I’m speaking as if she were real). Whether he meant to or not, I felt as if Green had written it in a way that made you feel as if you’d just made a really good friend and no matter how brief and not important to ‘them’ it may seem, you wanted to spend you’re whole time learning about their story. Which was nice, yet again we are going back to thing of “Pick me! Pick me! I’ll be Hazel Grace’s friend!”

3. One of those makes-you-stop-and-think type of books (which I love)

I sat for at least half an hour after finishing The Fault in Our Stars just absorbing it.

I could die tomorrow. What have I done to make an impact on this world? Will people remember me? Shouldn’t we all just treat each day as if it should be our last?

And then it was all, “Ugh Zoë, that was such a cliche thing to think.” However it’s true, we’ve been told a million bazillion times that each of us should respect our lives, yet we let days fly by because we believe we have days to let fly, but real (that hurt) people like Gus and Hazel Grace, and Isaac, they don’t have days, they may not even have hours.

I thought about if they were standing in front of me now; how ashamed I would feel for wasting days, weeks, months on non important things, shedding tears over non important things, calling my pains 10 when I’ve never even experienced a 4. How I’d feel as if I were rubbing it in their faces that I have years and years to live…even though I don’t, not really. Nobody has days to waste as you never know when you only have one Last Good Day before everything plummets into oblivion. Makes you think, right?

So this is why I’ve fallen in love The Fault in Our Stars.

There was one bit I didn’t like and that was the ending.

Funny thing about the ending is that I knew it was coming, no matter how slowly I turned the pages, enjoyed each word of a line, the ending was always inevitable. It ended rather abruptly, when I wasn’t expecting it to* but despite the emptiness and deflation inside of me when finishing that last page, I laughed because that is life. That is what this whole book is about.

*Taking out the obvious metaphors there, it also literally did. Said only 98% on my kindle *sobs*

In short, I think you should stop everything you are doing and buy this book. A definite read-before-you-die book.

Dear Mr Green, you are awarded most preciously with a 5/5 and how deservant it is!

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P.S I made the terrible decision of listening to this track during Chapter 20 to the very end of the book. It makes me sob without having an emotional book between your fingers. But give it a listen, it’s rather nice, in an emotional will-probably-make-you-cry-piano-music-loveliness kind of way…

 

P.P.S Always, okay.

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  • You did a fantastic job of verbalizing everything that was so brilliant about this book! I couldn’t possibly put John Green’s brilliance into words, so I admire that you just did.

    And everything you said is exactly right. Men trying to write female protagonist often do not succeed, but Hazel is believable and has a perfect voice. I, too, often experience the “pull yourself together” reaction, so I LOVED the protagonist’s cynical, witty voice that added a touch of humor as well as sadness to her story.

    John Green is incapable of writing something that DOESN’T make you think. Like Hazel, I would read his grocery lists and I’m sure they would make me contemplate the morality of buying white eggs instead of brown or some other shopping crisis.

    As always, okay.

  • Hi Emily,
    Aww wow, thank you, your comment has made my day!
    I thought I made a right shambles of trying to explain how I felt, constantly mumbling and not making 100% sense so I’m extremely chuffed you agreed and liked what I’d written.
    Green is pure genius. His shopping list would probably rhymed and have some deep hidden meaning resulting in many epiphany’s
    Thanks again, really appreciate you taking the time to comment,
    Zoë

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  • Love your review!!! I hate thinking about death and this book definitely FORCED me to. I too sat thinking about life and all kinds of things for hours after I closed the book. Like for at least 2 hours I was thinking about how I’m going to die one day and how eventually everyone who ever knew me will be dead and it will be like I never even existed or something. Yeah I was depressing myself… But the point is this book makes an impact. I totally agree that EVERYONE should read it. Can’t wait for the movie. I hope it doesn’t ruin it!

    PS- your blog is cute… I love your reviewing style!

  • – Michelle
    Impact books are the best! Ahh you’re right, I’m slightly worried about the film – I like the actors and I’m really chuffed John was on set a lot, so his ideas about the book will hopefully be portrayed and the film too will create that impact. But I’m also quite on edge about whether they get it right, ahhhhh it is so exciting though.
    Aww thank you so much, and thanks for taking the time to comment!

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