Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 12, 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.
– Publisher’s Blurb
I think it’s quite easy to say, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green was the book I was most looking forward to being published this year, and I dropped everything to read it the moment The Book Depository delivered my copy.
John Green is a master at creating teenage protagonists you care for, but ones you’d love to know in real life, and in Hazel and Augustus he’s done it again. You are so invested in their lives, that you feel every bit of pain and joy they do.
The synopsis above does a great job of telling you what the story is about, but it doesn’t even come close to conveying the depths John Green’s writing brings to this book. There are so many levels to it. Questions about love, (family and friends as well as romantic), about living the life you’re given, definitions of strength, and life & death and the importance we attribute to both.
It should some as no surprise considering the subject matter, that it is a deeply emotional book, I love the fact it’s told from the point of view of the cancer sufferer, it puts you right in to the heart of the subject matter. Grace has a wry and slightly sarcastic sense of humour, but as well as making me laugh, and cheer, I have no problem in saying she brought me to tears more than once before we even got anywhere near the end. (Those of you who have read the book will sympathise with what I was like in when I did read those last few pages!)
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness last year left me devastated with its take on grief and suffering, The Fault in Our Stars did as well, but it also left me filled with hope. Hazel’s life and that of her friends lives (mostly other cancer sufferers) may be destined to be short and filled with more pain and suffering than they or anyone deserves, but they pack in so much ‘life’ it’s hard not to come away with both a smile and a tear.
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