Saturday, 22 December 2012

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Oh God the angst and feelings.

I really really like this book.

The Fault In Our Stars is a book which follows the life of Hazel, a cancer sufferer who meets fellow sufferer Augustus at her support group. Yes, it's a romance. And yes, that seems incredibly hypocritical as in various previous reviews I have moaned about the inclusion of romance in young adult fiction. I suppose the difference here is that the story of TFIOS is the romance and in those previous example there has been an existing story that a romance invades (in my mind) unnecessarily. TFIOS is a story more about how cancer (or perhaps it can be applied more generally to suffering) affects the people surrounding the sufferer and how this in turn affects the sufferer, as opposed to how the suffering affects them directly. This is makes for thoughtful insights which you can apply beyond cancer. I found the characters to be well written, original and developed. I was glad that the difficult ideas presented were not sugar coated for teenage readers: they were real and blunt. With that in mind, it's probably time to say how devastating this book is. The way it's written, being so real and set so deep in Hazel's mind, the story is sad (I cried) so I suppose this is a trigger warning for the book. Despite this there are unexpected aspects of humour in TFIOS which are particularly effective baring in mind the context of the story they sit in.Looking for faults, I'm struggling, but the most obvious one (apart from some aspects being unrealistic) is the ending. I did not mind the ending, but I do not think it was to quite scale with the rest of the book. Also, if you have read Looking For Alaska by John Green, it is similar.

This is probably my favourite book or at least close. I recommend it, but be prepared for sadness and sensitive topics.

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