Title: The Fault in Our Stars
Author: John Green
Rating: 5 out of 5
Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 13, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs... for now.
Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault.
Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind.
This was my first John Green novel.
There's not really much I can say with spoilers, so I apologize if this sounds more like a journal entry rather than an actual review.
After reading this I keep thinking about inevitable endings. Even though we know something will end badly, we keep with it. Even though we know it will rip our hearts out, stomp on them, and forcibly thrust them back into our empty chest cavities and scream "Beat dammit! You are still alive!" we still read it eagerly. Even though we know this isn't a typical book, there is no happily ever after ending, there is no talk of future, there is only now. That is what Hazel & Augustus taught me.
Pain demands to be felt.
Don't avoid this book because you're afraid it might be too sad. It is sad, it is so damn sad that I had to stop reading to cry a few times, but it is also beautiful and funny. Hazel and Augustus[and Isaac too] are so funny and witty that it should be unbelievable, but it's not. There are a ton of funny and touching gems in this book like:
-"Quick, give me a throw pillow and some thread because that needs to be an Encouragement" - Augustus
-"What a slut time is. She screws everybody" - Hazel
-"Seriously, don't even get me started on my hot bod. You don't want to see me naked, Dave. Seeing me naked actually took Hazel Grace's breath away," he said nodding toward the oxygen tank" - Augustus
Then there's a part where Augustus says "He specialized in the murder of dreams" and that's how this book made me feel about John Green. I can dream all I want, but it won't change the actuality of what will happen. And it's not fair to hope for anything more than 313 pages. Yes, hope, it's a great thing, but is it real? Does it heal cancer? Of course not. It's just a placeholder in conversation that makes people feel better. John Green may have murdered my dreams, but I can't fault him for it. Like Hazel says, "Some infinities are bigger than other infinities." And I am so damn grateful that I had this small infinity.