“Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.” -John Green, The Fault in Our Stars
I give you a [somewhat dramatic, but not overly so] quote that manages to sum up my feelings for this book in its entirety, straight from the book itself. The Fault in Our Stars (Twitter-shortened to #TFiOS) by John Green is one of those books that seems to have been written for everyone to read, regardless of age, culture, sex, marital status, or shoe size (though it is classified as Young Adult). It is one of those few books that can manage to simultaneously make you laugh and sob hysterically – and leave you with an entirely new perspective on life.
The Fault in Our Stars is a first-person narrative told from the point-of-view of Hazel Grace Lancaster. Hazel Grace is a teenage girl living with Stage IV Thyroid cancer – who is permanently on oxygen because her “lungs sucked at being lungs” – but has managed to stay alive thus far thanks to a (made-up) drug called Phalanxifor.
She meets a boy at her cancer-support group that catches her eye, quickly altering the tone of the book from one of “cancer-patient waiting to die” to “cancer-patient waiting to die who accidentally falls in love with a cancer survivor”. This boy’s name is Augustus (Gus) Waters and, like Hazel Grace, he has his own unique personality and way of speech, with an altered outlook on life – a side-effect of almost dying (which, as Hazel Grace so eloquently points out, is a side-effect of cancer).
Together, the two navigate the world of living-with-cancer, supporting friends and each other through their ordeals, while managing to keep the story alive and honest. Hazel Grace’s big wish is to meet the author of her favorite book – oddly enough, about a girl with cancer – called An Imperial Affliction by Peter Van Houten (and before you rush off to read this book, too, let me inform you that it does not exist). So Augustus surprises her by setting up a trip to Amsterdam, courtesy of the Make A Wish Foundation, to meet the author – who turns out to be a monumental disappointment.
However, all is not for naught, as Augustus and Hazel Grace are given the opportunity to further their budding relationship, and take full advantage of their time in Amsterdam, until a bombshell [not the literal kind] gets dropped into their world, forever altering the story – yet again.
I’m going to stop here, because I don’t want to give away the middle or ending, but from one reader to another (I’m assuming since you’re here that you also enjoy reading a book now and then), I must insist that you go out immediately and obtain a copy of this book. That is, provided you haven’t already done so.
As I said in the beginning, this is a book that will give you a new perspective on life, taking you through a comedic and heart-rending story told through the innocence and maturity of a teenage cancer-patient. John Green’s unique writing style give the characters a specific voice, one that will make you remember this book long after you’ve finished reading it.
Hat’s off to you, Mr. Green, sir, for an outstanding read!
TFiOS: The Movie
Of course, a book this good has to be made into a movie, and Fox 2000 optioned the book less than a month after its release. It is to be adapted by Scott Neustadter ((500) Days of Summer, Rosaline) and Michael Weber ((500) Days of Summer, Rosaline), directed by Wyck Godfrey (Twilight, Dear John) and Marty Bowen (Twilight, Dear John). No news yet on casting, let alone a release date, but this is one movie I will definitely be watching.
Hello! I’m Brittany, currently surviving as a graduate student. I am highly opinionated, but seldom a “shipper”. I love the entertainment industry – books, television, movies, music - and enjoy engaging conversations on it all. Currently, my favorite TV shows include: How I Met Your Mother, The Vampire Diaries, Awkward, Switched at Birth, Jersey Shore, and New Girl. Find me on Twitter at @ItEntertainsMe!