For my 22nd birthday back in September, I received John Green’s The Fault In Our Stars as one of my presents. I had suggested it to my boyfriend as an idea for something for him to get me, and I was lucky enough for him to buy it for me. Somehow between September and December, it got pushed further down on my book shelf and slipped my mind as I read numerous other books I had brought before being given The Fault In Our Stars. Finally though, I got round to reading it on 23rd December. Just six days later, I had read the book from front to cover, and had fallen completely in love with John Green’s creation.
The Fault In Our Stars has got to be one of the most tragic stories that I have ever come across. There are so many novels out there that portray tragic stories that may happen to real people in their everyday lives, that are emotional and put across the emotions of the characters perfectly, but none that I have read seem to really capture your heart as The Fault In Our Stars does. The characters that the novel centre around, Hazel Lancaster and Augustus Waters, come out of the pages. They aren’t just 2D people that have come from the imagination of the author and been created through the words that Green has decided to use, but rather you identify qualities in them that you may see in yourself, or other people you know, or have known. They are real people, people that you feel as if you personally know and have been friends with for years. It isn’t just their story in finding love in each other or their battles with cancer that draws the reader in and makes them feel like they’re right there in the story with Hazel and Augustus, but it’s their personalities. Despite having been through more than a lot of people will go through in a lifetime, at just 16 and 17 years old, they have wisdom that goes beyond their years. Their presence in the novel captures your heart and your mind from the second you turn the first page and begin reading Green’s words, and they leave an impact on your mind long after the book has been closed and their story completed.
With one of the predominant subject matters throughout the novel being cancer, with both Augustus and Hazel battling the disease, there could be a lot of scepticism by those that have personally gone through such a battle, or seen a loved one go through a similar fight. It is a sensitive subject, and one that many people may think to not be a suitable one to portray in a novel for young adults. Who could get across all the thoughts and feelings that those with cancer or people around cancer patients are having in such a way that those who have experienced it can relate to it? I myself never thought that the book would be able to put it across so well, but unbelievably, it does. It really does. Never have I found a book that puts across all of the emotions and thoughts around battles with cancer so well, and I am more than sure that I never will be able to again. It truly took my breath away how well Green has done this, and literally for the entire novel I found myself relating to various thoughts and feelings he was presenting through Hazel’s narration, that I myself had when seeing a very close relative of mine going through a similar situation. If you yourself have been in a similar situation, or are currently going through one, and you want something to relate to, to make yourself feel as though you’re not alone, then this really could be the book for you, and I would really recommend you give it a read.
Green has mixed the tragedy of cancer perfectly with sarcastic humour, that at times makes you wonder if you actually should be laughing as it seems to come at some of the most inappropriate of times. Despite the context said humour is set in though, you can’t help but laugh, and for as many laughs as there are, there are twice the number of cries. You cannot read The Fault In Our Stars without bawling your eyes out, tissues will be needed, but at the same time you will not be able to read it without laughing. The main setting and plot of the novel is a negative one, but yet, through the characters he has created, Green has been able to bring a somewhat positive light to the darkest of situations. I have never found another book that has been able to do the same, and I wonder if anyone will ever be able to do the same again in future books.
The Fault In Our Stars has become, without a doubt, one of my favourite books. I only finished reading it at the beginning of this week, but yet I already want to read it again. I think I will leave another read of it for another time though, preferably when I have purchased some more Kleenex.