The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
Hardcover, 313 pages
Published by Dutton Books
Published on January 10, 2012
Synopsis: Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten.
A lovely story about two sick people who are in love with each other. I'm not ashamed to admit that when I first read this I cried. It's simple and snarky and makes you want to re-evaluate your own life and appreciate the little things.
On the downside, I feel like Augustus and Hazel are the same person. They talk and think in the same way and if you took away their names, I wouldn't be able to tell who is who.
Being on Tumblr, I heard a lot about this book before it ever made it's way into my hands. How ironic that I read this book today, July 2nd, the same date that Augustus Waters dies. And it really feels like he died today; reading about him, he felt like he was my friend and his death really hurts me. The best way I could describe this novel would be to say that it was a terribly lovely story about the truth of cancer victims.
I was naive enough to believe that since I knew going into this novel that it was sad and there would be death, that it wouldn't effect me so much. And yet here I am, writing this, minutes after finishing it, with tear-stained cheeks and my heart aching.
1) What I like most about this book is that it's not written in beautiful, flowing, language. Its diction is not inspirational and filled with cliches. It's awkward, disjointed, and realistic. The voices are the characters are ones that we could find in our own friends and families. The language makes the whole story so real, that it feels like it's being retold to you by your good friend Hazel. Don't get me wrong, it's not Hazel (the protagonist) telling us what happens, the book is written as if you were with Hazel as her and Gus' story was unfolding.
2) This book really played with my emotions..there was a lot of morbid humor, which made me laugh but at the same time feel weird about laughing about something so sad. So, in a way, I felt kind of insane while reading this book because one minute I'm laughing, and the next I'm crying. I guess that's how life and death really is though, one minute you're laughing with your loved one, the next you're crying at their funeral, or they are at yours.
3) As I briefly described earlier, all of the characters were written in a way that the felt familiar. This is rare, I felt like I knew all of these people in person. As if I had heard of them before I opened the book. To me this book focused more on each character's personalities instead of their looks. Which, at the end of the day, in my opinion, is all that matters.
4) Two of my favorite scenes in this novel is Issac and Augustus playing video games, while Issac is hysterical, and the prefuneral. It was amazing how realistic and ridiculous both of these scenes are.
5) I love how ordinary the characters in this book are, they did ordinary teenage things like play video games, and played sports. It was their ordinaryness...that made it all so real. They were not extraordinary because they were battling cancer, they were extraordinary because all they wanted were things that us healthy people take for granted.
6) This book beat the hell out of the typical cliches that comes with these types of novels. There is no grand death, or huge romantic gestures. It's just about simple teenagers, who are slowly dying who try their best to just live.
1) I felt the same way Hazel did at the end of An Imperial Infliction, I wanted to know what happens to the other characters. I wanted to know how long Hazel clung on to life, did her and Issac end up as a couple through their grief? Did they ever hear from Monica after they egged her car?
2) I wanted more moments between Augustus and Hazel. More stolen moments in between both of them being watched heavily by their family members.
3) The pace of the book for me was very slow, probably because I already knew that someone had to die, and therefore took away the climax of the novel.
4) I felt that Augustus and Hazel were too similar in the way they spoke and thought. Maybe this was intended but it was like they were one mind. Their main difference between them was that Gus felt that it was shameful to die without some type of glorious act that are displayed in movies like 300. While Hazel felt that someone's life worth relied on those other people who cared about you. Getting back to my point, besides this main difference between the two of them, if it wasn't for the label at the beginning of each chapter of whose point-of-view I was reading, I wouldn't have been able to tell the difference.
5) The writing style is so pretentious that it comes off forced. It's one thing to have a wide vocabulary but Augusts's and Hazel's vernacular sounds like two people trying to sound more intelligent and sophisticated to a point it doesn't match their characters.
1) "Augustus Waters talked so much that he'd interrupt you at his own funeral. And he was pretentious: Sweet Jesus Christ, that kid never took a piss without pondering the abundant metaphorical resonances of human waste production. And he was vain: I do not believe I have ever met a more physically attractive person who was more acutely aware of his own physical attractiveness. But I will say this: When the scientist of the future show up at my house with robot eyes and they tell me to try them on, I will tell the scientists to screw off, because I do not want to see a world without him."
2) "Hazel Grace, when you're as charming and physically attractive as myself, it's easy enough to win over people you meet. But getting strangers to love you...now, that's the trick."
3) "The pleasure of remembering had been taken from me, because there was no longer anyone to remember it with. It felt like losing your co-rememberer meant losing the memory itself, as if the things we'd done were less real and important than hours before."
4) “Without pain, how could we know joy?' This is an old argument in the field of thinking about suffering and its stupidity and lack of sophistication could be plumbed for centuries but suffice it to say that the existence of broccoli does not, in any way, affect the taste of chocolate.”
5) "'I can only hope,' Julie said, turning back to Gus, 'they grow into the kind of thoughtful, intelligent young men you've become.'
I resisted the urge to audibly gag. 'He's not that smart,' I said to Julie.
'She's right, It's just that the most really good-looking people are stupid, so I exceed expectations.'
'Right, it's primarily his hotness.' I said.
'It can be sort of blinding,' he said.
'It actually did blind our friend Issac,' I said.
'Terribly tragedy, that. But can I help my own deadly beauty?'
'It is my burden, this beautiful face.'
'Not to mention your body.'
'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."