'The Fault in Our Stars' is Flawless
After being released in early January, John Green’s latest book The Fault in Our Stars quickly skyrocketed to number 1 on the New York Times bestseller’s list, and for good reason. Described by Time Magazine as being “damn near genius,” The Fault in our Stars is Green’s most thought-provoking and heartbreaking story yet.
The Fault in Our Stars tells the story of 16 year-old Hazel Lancaster’s brush with thyroid cancer. Hazel, who is in remission, falls into depression (which she sees as “a side effect of dying”) and is forced to attend a weekly support group. It is here, in the basement of an Episcopal church in Indianapolis, where she meets Augustus Waters, a survivor of osteosarcoma. The two form a fast friendship-turned-relationship, bonding over everything from a shared love of An Imperial Affliction by Peter Van Houghton and The Hectic Glow to America’s Next Top Model.
Sarcastic, witty and wise beyond her years, Hazel views a world in a way that hasn’t been written since Holden Caulfield spent a weekend alone in New York over 60 years ago. In Hazel, Green has found a narrator that helps to bring the book to an entirely new level, one that makes The Fault in Our Stars leave an impact that lasts long after the final chapter.
For more devout fans, The Fault in Our Stars is more than “just a book.” It is the latest addition to the world of Nerdfighteria, the community surrounding Green and his brother, Hank. It is the book that has racked up several years of anticipation. It is the book that Green painstakingly signed the entire first edition of – all 150,000 copies. It is a book that will leave the reader feeling vulnerable in the best way. It is a book to read, to talk about and to hold dear.
Green writes with an air of intelligence and grace that makes it possible for the reader to be laughing one second and sobbing only pages later. He tackles incredibly heavy topics like death and disease, and yet still manages to infuse the chapters with both comedy and romance. Readers will find themselves thoroughly enamored by the characters and stunned by Green’s mastery of prose. The clever humor early on in the book strikes a stark contrast to the heartbreaking final chapters, making it impossible for the reader to surface unaffected.
Despite the overlying theme, The Fault in Our Stars manages to avoid becoming a stereotypical ‘cancer book,’ refusing to allow the characters to become defined by their disease. In this way, The Fault in Our Stars is not about cancer. It is about life and death, love and loss and what it means to feel pain. Readers of every demographic can identify with at least some aspect of this book.
Without a doubt, The Fault in Our Stars is one of the most well-written young adult novels published in years, and is one that can and should be enjoyed by almost anyone.