John Green, author and half of the YouTube sibling wonder team, “thevlogbrothers,” has done it again and has captured the hearts of nerdfighters (the name fans have adopted) and avid readers alike with his new novel. “The Fault in Our Stars” revolves around Hazel Grace, an outspoken 16-year-old girl, who happens to have a rare lung cancer.
The story begins with Grace, who can be described as a sarcastic, witty realist trying to go through life as a terminal cancer patient. Grace is no stranger to miracles; a few months prior to the book’s beginning, she was nearly at the end of the road, but was saved by a revolutionary fictional drug, Phalanaxifor. Ever since that day, she’s developed a bitingly sarcastic, and harshly realistic point of view— she’s not one to sugar coat anything.
Our spunky protagonist is forced to go to a weekly support group for teenagers dealing with cancer. While there, she meets Isaac, a boy with eye cancer who will soon undergo surgery that, while freeing him of cancer, will cause him to go blind, and Augustus Waters, her impossibly gorgeous boyfriend who is somewhat obsessed with leaving his mark on the world.
The book is riddled with pressing medical conflicts and near-death experiences but the unfortunately realistic problems are what makes the book more believable. My favorite character was Grace, by far. Green created the character to be just like you and I; a normal person, despite her disease. I’ve found that most books about cancer patients are depressing with lots of dull monologues about hope and love. Grace, however, doesn’t act like a motivational speaker. She acts like a teenager; sarcastic, occasionally moody, has problems with her parents and, most importantly, she cares more about her family and friends than her cancer ridden lungs.
Perhaps one of the best parts of the book is that Green perfectly captured the feelings and quirks of a teenage girl. I completely understood how she felt even though I’ve never had cancer, and I believe that is the true sign of a great writer. Another thing flawlessly executed by the author was the way death was handled in the book. It was heart-wrenching and sad but he didn’t make it so dramatically tragic that you’d want to throw the book into a raging fire out of sheer shock, anger and disappointment.
“The Fault in Our Stars” was fantastic, and I’d love to read it again and again. Despite the fact that Grace has a deadly lung cancer, and the complete opposite of a normal teen, John Green somehow made her completely believable, funny, and at the same time, normal. I didn’t have a favorite scene or chapter of the book, but my favorite part about reading it was becoming so enthralled with the characters and being so in awe of how similar Grace’s and my personalities are.
I think a lot of people can relate to Hazel’s boyfriend Augustus and friend, Isaac, as well. I wouldn’t change a single thing about the book because all of the things that happened— no matter how minor— were completely necessary to the plot. The author had me hanging off the edge of every sentence with the power of suspense, surprise, and wit and the ending left me satisfied.
I would recommend this book to everyone from tweens to the elderly, male or female and from any background. It may seem like just a young adult book, but everyone can learn something from that book, whether it be the inner workings of a teenage cancer patient’s mind to discovering the fact that they have an e-mail system the blind. This book will truly capture the interest of anyone of any age and gender, which is rare in a book. Even if you think you won’t enjoy a book about a teenage girl juggling community college classes, hospitals visits and having a boyfriend, believe me, you will. I give this book an A+, which is high praise considering I’m a tough critic.
“The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green is available in all local bookstores, bookstore web sites, and for both Nooks and Kindles.