The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
So many people hyped this book up for me, and much like other titles, such as The Cuckoo's Calling or Eleanor & Park with hype, yet "almost perfect, but not quite" stories, I finally found one that satisfied the reader within me.
What did I want to read exactly on a vacation away from grading term papers at work to the concerning emails from professors about my own graduate work?
1. I wanted a love story. No, not a Nicholas Sparks story, because that's a formula I could find on my Sparks shelf in my library. Yes there's a shelf. Get over it. But rather a love story with ups, downs, dismay, disarray and the unpredictability that comes with the general concept of love. Give me that and a fuzzy blanket to replicate the warm and fuzzy feelings, and this single gal will be satisfied. Hazel and Augustus are two characters who quickly fall in love with each other because they seem to have what the other one is missing... It's one of those relationships that you root for.
2. Secondly, I wanted a struggle... Not action movie struggle, but internal character struggle. Both protagonists (as well as every character) deals with cancer in some way, shape or form. Being screened for cancer myself, I could relate to these individuals. Nuff said on that topic. But what was particularly interesting was how Hazel and Gus balanced each other out through their dilemma of terminal illness, and how you forgot that they [almost] were sick in the first place.
3. GIVE ME SOME SARCASTIC WITTINESS! I saw John Green speak once at a writing seminar at Butler University, and boy oh boy did he have some witty charm. It's a signature trait that I remember distinctly from
An Abundance of Katherines, which was too trademark high school for me. I wanted a dark situation (cancer-ridden teens seems to be the one in this scenario), in which there was still room for personality. Green nailed it with every line that comes out of Hazel, Gus and Issac (a minor character).
4. Memorable scenes. I'll never be able to look at a swing set the same ever again. Don't understand why? Well then go read the book!
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