January 10, 2012
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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.
While it is definitely possible everyone has already read The Fault in Our Stars, I really wanted to review it for the few of you who have not yet read it.
I, actually, put off reading The Fault in Our Stars for quite a while because I didn't want to read a 'cancer book.' The why was pretty simple: I had recently (well, recently based on how it felt, not really very recently at all looking at the actual dates) had a friend die of cancer "But," as Hazel explains in TFIOS, "it's not a cancer book, because cancer books suck."
She's talking about another book, of course, but the statement also holds true for The Fault in Our Stars. Yes, it's a book and yes character(s) have cancer. But that's not the story. Cancer, obviously, affects Hazel's story, but it is not her whole story.
The Fault in Our Stars is Hazel's story, it is Hazel and Gus's story. Hazel is a great character. She has a fantastic sense of humor (often irreverent) and won't let cancer and what's it's done to her life, "kill [her] before it kills [her]" (p 121). There is something for nearly everyone to relate to in Hazel and Augustus's story. From someone with cancer to someone with another sort of chronic illness or disease (fatal or not) to someone who's been healthy their whole life, there's something there for everyone. Readers are likely to experience some - or a lot of - insight into what others are experiencing.
Yet, returning to TFIOS not being a 'cancer book,' the story is not all pain and/or depressing. Truly a rather hopeful book, it is also a (brilliant) love story with a bit of self discovery, as well. Really, it is a book not to miss, so if you haven't read it yet: do. (And then you can get the movie when it's released later this month - or now in digital format.)