I was thrilled when I finally got around to reading this book. Let me tell you, it was not easy to get my hands on a copy, and I just about broke down and bought it at Target. With the movie coming out in June, it is understandable that everyone wants to get a hold of it and have it read before they go see it in the theater. Trust me, you definitely want to read this one before you see the movie; it looks like it will be great, but I always find the books to be so much better. You can find The Fault in Our Stars here.
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.
Short and Sweet? I believe that this is one of those books that everyone should read. I know that a lot of adults are completely against reading things that fall into the "young adult" category, but I think that everyone should make an exception when it comes to this book. John Green does a beautiful job of writing a realistic story you fall in love with, even though the synopsis alone leads you to believe you're being set up for heartbreak. The raw emotional draws you in, making you sympathize for every single character as they struggle through their individual battles.
Hazel Grace: From the very beginning, Hazel becomes a character who makes you laugh and cheer for her. Her realistic, and sometimes pessimistic attitude is what makes her so intriguing. It is obvious that she has been through a lot, and it has aged her far more than she should have had to. Still, she has not given up on life, even if she spends most of the beginning of the book wanting to stay in doors and read (there is nothing wrong with that, right?). We get to see many different emotions from Hazel as we read through the book, and it is incredible to see how her relationship with Augustus changes her so drastically. I suppose that love can do that to you.
Augustus Waters: While Hazel is a wonderful character, it is Gus that I truly fell in love with. How could you not? Despite the loss of a leg due to his past cancer, he grabs life by the horns and wants to make the very best out of life. It is interesting to find how he was attracted to Hazel in the first place the first time they meet, and how their story continues to unfold from there. I believe Augustus portrays the "average" teenage boy versus the perfect one that authors often try to contort into their writings. He lies, he messes up, he has to apologize. That is what makes him so loveable. His willingness to do anything to make Hazel smile just makes him that much greater.
The book is sad, that is a given, though I will not give any spoilers for those of you who have not read it (that can be the worst thing to happen when you so badly want to read a book, after all). I think that it is important to push past that fear of sadness in order to understand the true purpose of the novel. Here are two teenagers with their enemy being simply time and the hands that life have dealt them, and they do their very best to keep their chins up and make the best of their lives. This is an inspiring story for everyone, and might perhaps teach us that things could always be worse.
Going back to the movie, here is the first trailer they have released for the movie, which comes up in June. I think that they did a wonderful job with the casting, and I can hardly wait to see it in the theater.