The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
I’m trying to expand my horizons out of my strictly urban fantasy hole in the wonderful world of books. For the most part, this has meant I’ve been looking into more Sword and Sorcery and Science Fiction, which really aren’t big steps for me. So I decided a rather larger step into the realm of fiction-and-just-fiction that I would actually get through would be appropriate. And I absolutely love the myriad of Youtube channels by Hank and John Green, so I thought this would be a good place to start.
I loved this book—all of the ups and downs kept me terribly engaged (to the point that I stayed up until I finally finished at 5:30 in the morning). And I was introduced to what is very nearly the definition of my dream man in Augustus Waters. I loved him as much as Hazel did.
This book was about teenagers with cancer—going in, I was trying to keep an open mind, but I was painfully aware that this would inevitably take a turn for the depressing. But there was humor throughout—even in the darkest of moments in the book, there was still that spark of wit that made me laugh even while I cried. The characters have such a tangible relationship with the idea of death that I very easily could have been alienated by the kinds of questions that were constantly raised, but instead I was drawn in. I became a part of their lives and I understood their pain, but I also understood their intelligence and their dreams.
And as the book developed, I understood more and more the significance that the phrase “life isn’t a wish granting factory” carried. And as this book developed, I understood more and more that it wasn’t about teenagers with cancers—it was about teenagers. It was about teenagers who get cancer perks and understand realities in the world that most people get to ignore every day. It was about life.
I can’t write about this book in a way that will do it justice, so I think I’m going to stop here, with one quick example of a conversation right out of the heart of the book:
“Headline?” he asked.
“‘Swing Set Needs Home,'” I said.
“‘Desperately Lonely Swing Set Needs Loving Home,'” he said.
“‘Lonely, Vaguely Pedophilic Swing Set Seeks the Butts of Children,'” I said.
If you haven’t read this book already, I highly encourage you to do so. Even if it’s insanely far outside the realm of your comfort zone, even if you don’t even read particularly much, this is well worth the time. If you don’t think you have the time to read it, the audiobook at Audible.com is pretty darn awesome too (I’m sure it’s available elsewhere as well, but Audible is indeed good people).