There's an ever growing pile of books I want to read…
Big Review: The Fault in our Stars by John Green
When I write these reviews, there’s a format that I usually use. I write a little introduction about why I picked up the book in the first place, I tell you what I liked and disliked and then I make a decision about whether I would recommend it and give it a score out of five.
That isn’t going to work for this book.
I’m going to tell you right now that it gets 5/5. When it comes to December and I start thinking about my book of the year, this is going to be an incredibly strong contender. I know it’s only February and that I might read a lot more books before the end of the year, but this is definitely my favourite so far.
Everyone I spoke to about this book encouraged me to read it and, now that I have, I want everyone else to read it so that I can talk to them about it.
I wanted to tell you that before continuing because there are a lot of reasons that you might not want to read it.
The Fault in our Stars is about Hazel Grace Lancaster. Hazel is slowly dying from terminal cancer, but that’s not all there is to her. She’s a funny, acerbic and generally well-rounded human. She loves to read and watches America’s Next Top Model. She’s not a stereotypical cancer kid: patient and kind and taking her illness with unfailing good humour.
Hazel is human and you can’t help but love her.
One day, at her incredibly depressing cancer support group, she meets Augustus Waters and that’s where this story really begins.
I can’t tell you anything else without spoiling the story but yes, it is funny and tragic and romantic and it will make you cry. When I put the book down, I felt raw and hollow inside.
None of this is a reason not to read it. It was heartbreaking but it was worth it. I understand the urge, having read the synopsis, to put the book down and decide that it’s not for you. I can understand that you might think that it will be too sad or that you’re not interested in books about teenagers or have some other objection. I can understand that because I didn’t read it until Penguin were kind enough to send me a copy for free to review.
I feel like I can’t present a strong case for why you should read this book without completely spoiling it and so my argument boils down to ‘read it because I say so’. You should give it a try, though. I think you’ll love Hazel and Augustus and I feel like this novel is a tiny slice of genius that you need in your life. I’ll tell you what, the next time you are in a book shop or library, if you see a copy of this, pick it up and read just the first chapter. I would be willing to bet that you’ll want to read the rest.