Thursday, July 4, 2013
The Fault in Our Stars, reviewed
The story is about Hazel, A teenage girl suffering- or to use Green's own prose- dying from thyroid cancer. She is forced by her parents to attend group therapy sessions where she encounters other young people in varying degrees of illness. It's there that she meets Augustus, a guy who suffered from osteosarcoma and lost his leg to the disease, but other than that, he seems to be in remission. The story revolves around them going in search of a reclusive author, who wrote Hazel's favorite book. Through their journey they get to know one another, fall in love, fight their disease and do their best to be there for one another.
It's obvious Green did his homework. The characters and their pain come over as very realistic, Hazel's useless lungs and the way Green describes them sometimes come as a punch to the stomache, leaving you feeling guilty for being so fully able to breathe. In some instances you feel sorry for them and then immediately remember that these characters do not like pity and so you try your best to cope along with them. The novel is very descriptive but not to the point that it takes away the focus from Hazel and Augustus. Amsterdam, where Hazel and Augustus find the author of Hazel's treasured book, is wonderfully described in it's spring lush.
There are things however that I did not like. Augustus' eloquence throughout the novel is sometimes a bit unbelievable for a seventeen year old. It sometimes feels as if it's Green talking directly to the reader through Augustus' character. There are also several lines attributed to Hazel that seem far more advanced and maybe even outdated for a teen to know in this day and age. Perhaps, because they are so very different from the avarage teen, their speech is another way that this is illustrated, but I found it sometimes difficult to get my head around.
The novel, like many cancer stories, does not have a truly happy ending, though the reader will know this from the get go, so it does not really come as a big surprise though it is still very emotional. It's a wonderful novel for young people to read, and once you get used to their 'old souls' conversations, you'll come to enjoy the lives of Hazel and Agustus.
You can buy John Green's The Fault in Our Stars here: http://www.bookdepository.com/Fault-Our-Stars-John-Green/9780141345659?a_aid=Jonathandesouza