Summary from Penguin Books:
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.
Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning-author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.
Before I knew what this book was about, I continually walked past the YA section of my local B&N and saw the cover. I can’t explain why it intrigued me to no end but I knew eventually I’d give in and read this book. I finally looked it up on GoodReads and saw the summary and many, many reviews about it. I have to say I have never seen a book get so many 5 stars and 1 stars simultaneously. I decided it was time to read this book and figure out what was so magnificently impressive and offensive about it.
First I have to say that I really, really like John Green’s writing style. He uses language that many YA writers shy away from. This makes me think he takes seriously the intelligence of YA readers. Although some of the dialogue seemed a little ridiculous it’s not hard to believe that someone who spends so much time reading and is so intelligent would be able to use metaphors and language like Hazel does.
Although this book is about cancer, I didn’t look at it as just another cancer book. I know it’s about cancer but this book was more than that to me. I’m not going to say it was a book that inspired “live everyday like it’s your last” or “carpe diem,” but rather it inspired me to look at the world beyond technology and school and stress. It opened my life to the small, beautiful moments in life that sometimes I tend to ignore. Smalls moments like a smile from a loved one, a trip to a beautiful place (even if it isn’t as epic and Amsterdam), or the feeling I get when reading the same book over and over again. I don’t want to at all take away from the message Green was trying to demonstrate about the effects of life with cancer on the person afflicted or those around them but I think this book was more than that.
Now, I can also see why people would find this book offensive and be taken aback by it. John Green seems to use a lot of humor – and Augustus and Hazel have a slew of cancer jokes. I can see how someone with cancer or someone who has a loved one with cancer or lost a loved one to cancer could be offended by this. I, by no means, think this book is for everyone. I believe caution should be taken when recommending or reading this book for those reasons.
I can’t easily say I’d recommit this book for the above reasons but if you want something that will tear at your heartstrings and some pretty unexpected plot twists, this may be a book for you. I have to say though; don’t expect to sleep if you finish it before bed because I definitely couldn’t.