Thursday, January 16, 2014

Krystelle's Book Club- The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

"The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars/But in ourselves." Easy enough to say when you're a Roman nobleman (or Shakespeare!), but there is no shortage of fault to be found amid our stars." pg 111

Wanting to keep up on my goals for the year, I knew I needed to start reading a book right away. Rather than dash straight to Amazon to see what the hot new book to read is, I started to browsing through the stack of books/downloaded Kindle books I'd bought last year, but never had the chance to read. It didn't take me long to decide on one. I'd purchased The Fault in Our Stars right after I'd finished reading for Looking  for Alaska- which was supposed to be the first book review I did for this blog (oops) and also made me a huge John Green fan. 

Now I will try to write this review without any spoilers, but I can't guarantee it. I had heard that this book was sad, heartbreaking even. And I had heard that crying was to be expected while reading it. But that didn't deter me. I finished the book in two days (hey, I have kids to take care of, or it would've been sooner). And yeah, the book is sad. Heartbreaking really. I did get that feeling in my throat a few times like I was going to cry, but no tears actually came out. The movie is set to come out this summer, and while I'd really like to see it in theaters, I know I won't. I will rent it, because having actual people faces to place in this story will make me sad enough to actually cry. And nobody wants to ugly cry in a theater. But on to the book!

"And yet still I worried. I liked being a person. I wanted to keep at it. Worry is yet another side effect of dying." pg 65

At the beginning of the book we meet Hazel Grace Lancaster- a sixteen year old girl living on borrowed time thanks to a cancer drug named Phalanxifor. She is forced by her parents to go to a support group for children with cancer and its there that she meets seventeen year old Augustus Waters- an amputee, thanks to cancer. Augustus is drawn to Hazel instantly, but it takes her a little longer to warm up to him. Their relationship advances quickly, but one assumes that with the cancer comes the ever present reminder that tomorrow is not promised, so its okay.

"(Off topic, but: What a slut time is. She screws everybody.)" pg 112

The pair bond over Hazel's favorite book, An Imperial Affliction, which ultimately leads to a trip to Amsterdam (where the book's author lives), funded by the Genies (the fictitious Make-A-Wish). Its Augustus's wish and Hazel wonders how he receives it if he is considered not terminal. The meeting with the author was....not what they expected, but the rest of the trip was magic (as it should be for a Wish).

"Some tourists think Amsterdam is a city of sin, but in truth it is a city of freedom. And in freedom, most people find sin." pg 157

I can't say much more without giving everything away- but some foreshadowing a little more than halfway through the book pretty much prepares you for the twist you don't think is coming. (Hint: its easier to spot if you've known someone who has had cancer. My grandfather was that person for me.) The book is beautiful though. It doesn't sugar coat its serious subjects (cancer/loss), and it shows you how great young love can be (minus all the sap). John Green gives this generation of teens a chance to pick up a book and read something equally intelligent and relevant to today's lifestyle (Hazel reflects more than once on how people respond to death on Facebook). But more importantly, he seems to give them a chance to get inside themselves, to react and feel.

"It seemed like forever ago, like we'd had this brief but still infinite forever. Some infinities are bigger than other infinities." pg 233

Even though this is a Young Adult novel, I recommend reading it- regardless of age.

Find John Green online:

*Page numbers with the quotes are from the Kindle. I'm not sure if they're different than the actual book.

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