Good Morning! How was your weekend? Mine was filled with family, fun and food – just as it should be. In between all that, I had the chance to read The Fault In Our Stars by John Green.
You may know John from the YouTube channel he hosts with his brother – the Vlog Brothers. Nettifred introduced me to the channel a few years ago and I knew John was a published author, but man oh man, was I unprepared for how poignant and dynamic this book was.
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.
As you may have gathered, I thought the book was amazing. The characters developed well, the language was superb, it was extremely well-written and it showed the topic of cancer and dying in teenagers in a way I hadn’t seen before. Even though the book is technically Young Adult, I learned a few new words along the way. The story of Hazel and Gus is one of advanced teenage love – by that I mean that they act too old for their age – a result of the ins and outs of dealing with a terminal illness. The book had me laughing and shaking my head, but also kept me guessing with each page. Heartbreaking and uplifting at the same time, this book has become my new favorite novel.
Don’t trust my thoughts? Here’s the Time Magazine review of the book.