Review: The Fault In Our Stars
Excluding the Harry Potter series, The Fault in Our Stars is easily my favourite book.
The reason for this may be because I don’t usually read books with such heavy themes, but that doesn’t mean I favour it just because of that reason. It truly is a great book.
This is John Green’s (of whom I mentioned in my article ‘What is DFTBA?’) latest book, and it is dedicated to John’s friend Esther, who died of cancer. Esther Day is celebrated every 3rd of August, on her birthday, which is to celebrate love between family and friends, rather than the romantic love celebrated on Valentine’s Day. If you do decide to read it, there’s an FAQ about it at onlyifyoufinishedtfios.tumblr.com.
The book is about a seventeen year old girl named Hazel who has cancer in her lungs. She goes to a dreaded support group, only to meet the boy of her dreams, Augustus. He seems perfect, and they both share interests such as reading and video games. Hazel rereads a book dear to her heart called ‘An Imperial Affliction’, which is a fictional cancer book without being the typical cancer book. Hazel recommends it to Augustus and they are both touched.
Hazel’s cancer is terminal, and she must carry her oxygen tank (named Philip) with her wherever she goes. Her treatment (which does not exist outside the book) will only buy her time. Hazel is worried about being a metaphorical grenade; what will happen to those who are close to her when she dies? This makes her want to stop seeing Augustus, as he’s been cancer free since his left leg was removed.
Green’s books are great, because the two I’ve read include the main character reading something important to the story, and Green finds a way to include metaphors and lines from that piece throughout the book. John knows how to build a climax and knock it down, and does so well. The author knows how to leave you wanting more after a book, and the best books, I find, can never quite satisfy you. This is exactly what The Fault in Our Stars does.
Green is great at becoming the character. A lot of people might think it was brave for a man in his thirties to write about how sexy the seventeen year old Hazel thinks Augustus is. I just think that he’s talented in that way. I’ve also read Paper Towns by John Green, and I’ve noticed the slight difference in style the two books have because of the main characters. One thing Green likes to experiment with is how likable his characters are. It has become apparent to him that people may judge a book by how likable or relatable the characters are, and so he tries to break this misconception; he does this rather well.
The Fault in Our Stars is a fantastic book, and the main characters may not always be right, but that just highlights the fact that they are human. The book is optimistic and pessimistic and an emotional rollercoaster. It made me cry. Quite a lot, actually. The book gets you attached to it; The Fault in Our Stars makes you think, and that’s why it is my favourite book.
Love to read? Try our virtual book club Reading Power