I am very late to the game with The Fault in Our Stars or any John Green book for that matter, but I finally read it. My little book club with a few former students chose it. Two of the girls had read it before but wanted to read it again and they were shocked that I hadn’t read it before. But then they were shocked when I told them that John Green is the John Green from the Crash Course YouTube videos they’ve seen so many of in school which they somehow didn’t know.
I wasn’t sure how I would feel about this book. I knew the premise from so many people talking about it and the movie over the years, but since it was so hyped up I thought it might disappoint or just be an okay book.
I’m happy to say that I did quite enjoy it. I was dreading the end because I knew ultimately what would happen and I didn’t want it to.
If you don’t know what it is about, the novel follows Hazel, a teenage girl with cancer. She has lived with cancer for years and while not in remission, she is on a medication now that is keeping her alive. Hazel finished high school early with a GED and takes some college courses at a local community college. Other than classes and watching reality tv with her parents, she goes occasionally to a local support group for people with or survivors of cancer. She reluctantly goes to these meetings with her oxygen and listens to everyone’s stories. But, everything changes one day when a friend of hers at the group, Isaac, brings his good friend Augustus. Augustus is a cancer survivor and came to support Isaac.
Hazel and Augustus’ similar sense of humor makes them immediately click and they become fast friends, talking all the time, sharing books, and spending time together. It’s clear that they have feelings for each other, but Hazel knowing she has limited time left here on Earth despite the fact that she’s not currently getting sicker, doesn’t want to get involved with Augustus only to die and leave him heartbroken.
Together they navigate teenage life that has been defined by cancer and help each other live their best lives.
I didn’t find this teenage love story to be saccharine or unbelievable. I totally bought their connection and relationship. I also want to applaud John Green, because I find that most love stories written by male authors don’t write women realistically, but he did a fantastic job. I would actually forget that a man was writing it at times.
It takes a lot for a book to make me cry and I definitely cried at the end of this book. I haven’t watched the movie and I’m not sure I will, but if you haven’t read this book I recommend it!
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