Thursday, 26 June 2014

Review - The Fault in Our Stars - John Green

The Fault in Our StarsTitle: The Fault in Our Stars
Series: N/A
Author: John Green
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publication: January 1st 2012, Dutton Books
Pages: 313 Pages, Paperback
Source: Thank you to Exclusive Books for sending me this in exchange for an honest review. 
Rating: 5/5 Cupcakes!
Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten.
(Highlight between the words *SPOILER* if you would like to read them. One of the paragraphs contains spoilers and I have stated that. The spoiler paragraph is over when you see ***.)


Yes, I finally read it. I finally decided to (despite being a hypochondriac of note) read The Fault in Our Stars, the book that everyone seems to have read, and loved. I was afraid going into it, I don't like reading sad stories or books that have been too hyped. With The Fault in the Stars, however, I made a good choice. This book was flawless. From the moment I began reading, I felt an instant connection to the story. I was enthralled, engrossed and completely absorbed in this magical, romantic, harrowing tale that John Green so beautifully crafted. The Fault in Our Stars was every bit phenomenal as I was hoping it would be. I am utterly in love with this book.

I feel as if I am the last person on Earth to read this book and that all that could possibly be said about it has been said. However, I will try to gather my wits about me and form a coherent review that will express just how I feel about this masterpiece. "My thoughts are stars I cannot fathom into constellations," Augustus once said, and this is how I feel right now, sitting in front of my computer, quite speechless.

The Fault in Our Stars is about sixteen year old Hazel Grace Lancaster who was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, at the age of thirteen. Three years later and she is still alive, her life has been temporarily prolonged by a miracle drug, but Hazel feels dead inside and is swimming in clinical depression. She then starts attending the Cancer Support Group and meets the gorgeous, clever Augustus Waters. Lover of life, video games and objects that have a deeper metaphorical meaning. When Hazel felt this was the end of her life...it was actually just the beginning.


This book was truly amazing. It produced deep emotions within me and it broke my heart then haphazardly stitched it back up and then mercilessly crushed it again. Even as I think of the beautiful characters that inhabited the story and now my heart, the tears well up. Never before has a book made me so emotional and made me want to laugh and cry and think about the true meaning of life and what it's like to actually live. John Green, you're a literary genius.


You know sometimes when you look at your bookshelf and you just feel an irresistible pull towards a book that you've been waiting for the right moment to read? And you know, you just know that now is the right moment? That happened with me and The Fault in our Stars. I just knew that now was the right time to read it. I've put off reading this book for so long due to it being about cancer that I regret not reading it sooner. I regret not reading it sooner because as soon as I opened the book I just clicked with it, completely so that the connection I had with the book felt nearly tangible. I immediately fell in love with the story and, the characters and the writing - right from the first page. I flew through the pages and I literally couldn't put it down. This book is every single synonym for beautiful.


The characters in this book were so fleshed out, so real. They had flaws and it made me love them to an even fuller extent. Hazel was tenacious, she had such a dry sense of  humour and she was relatable, funny and honest. She's wise and brave and I admire her. She accepts the truth about her medical condition and she's just such an amazing, snarky person who I could see me becoming best friends with. 


Augustus Waters. Unlike Hazel, I fell in love with him at once. I love the way he spoke about life and death and wanting to leave a legacy. He was amazing. He was such a wonderful friend and so optimistic during most of the novel, despite his and Hazel's situations. I can't quite describe just how much I love him.


Hazel and Gus's relationship was absolutely magical. They could have these deep and meaningful conversations about books, dying, cancer and living. The dialogue between them was always scintillating and intelligent and never failed to make me laugh. Their love was extraordinary and you could just tell how much they loved and cared for each other. You can clearly see how they realised they didn't have an infinite amount of days and they appreciated and cherished every second spent in the other's company. 


The secondary characters were just as amazing. I absolutely loved Isaac and the friendship he, Hazel and Gus shared. Gus was such a good friend to Isaac and vice versa. It absolutely obliterated me when Isaac said *SPOILER*he'd rather stay blind then see the world without his best friend.*SPOILER* I'm getting teary-eyed again so I'll round up this review shortly. I also loved Hazel's parents and the relationship that they all had with each other.


The story in itself was simultaneously heart-breaking and heart-warming and John Green combined them perfectly. I love every single part of this novel, although the ending left me completely emotional. However, even though the ending made me sob, I appreciate that John Green wrote it like that. It addresses the fact perfectly that what was happening to Hazel and Gus does also happen in real life and that not everything has a happy ending. 



Spoilers:

I accidentally stumbled upon spoilers and I braced myself for the ending, but it still broke my heart. The deterioration physically and mentally with Augustus was evident and he really fought hard to hold on to life as much as possible. My heart continued breaking when he said how he hated himself and was disgusted with himself, he hated that the cancer came back and that he couldn't fight it. Hazel was so strong and amazing and she was constantly by his side. I admire her for that - I would be a weeping mess. His death had such an impact on me and here I am, two weeks later, still sitting here and thinking about it. I don't know if I will ever recover from the emotional damage that this magnificent story inflicted upon me. 



***

The Fault in Our Stars is a spectacular book which deals with a tender subject in an honest and captivating way. The witty dialogue was realistic, beautiful and more often than not, perfectly hilarious. The imperfect characters made me fall in love with the story even more so. John Green is a phenomenal writer and he writes with an honest, sincere voice and doesn't sugarcoat what people with medical conditions actually have to go through. His writing is raw and unflinching. The Fault in Our Stars broke my heart, it melted it and it taught me to be thankful for my life and my health, including that of my family and friends. This novel is powerful, captivating and indescribably beautiful. Emotional and beautifully crafted. John Green blends joyfulness and sorrowfulness together perfectly and I was on an emotional roller coaster ride (not one that only goes up, though). 


One of my all-time favourites and a book that everyone should read. And Augustus? You did leave a mark in this world.


Okay?

Okay.

I give it: 5/5 CUPCAKES!

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