Monday, May 13, 2013

The Fault in Our Stars (John Green)

The Fault in Our Stars is the story of Hazel, a 16-year-old girl who has cancer and is always hooked up to an oxygen tank.  She thought she was lying on her death bed when she was 14-years-old, but by some miracle, the tumours in her lungs have shrunk.  Her life is anything but ordinary - she doesn't have many friends, she can't do many things alone, and she isn't the happiest of children. While she is still alive, she is by  no means healthy.

Hazel then meets Augustus at a group therapy session - a boy who is of similar age, who is attractive, smart, in remission, and who is interested in her.  Their friendship grows throughout the novel and Hazel starts to experience life and the ups and downs of true friendships.

I thought it was a very well written young adult novel.  I know that it has been a very successful novel, and I will say that it definitely tugged at my heartstrings a bit.  You start to get attached to the characters and you feel like you're on their journey with them.  You root for the relationships between people, and you desperately hope that their lives with turn around and finally have more good news than bad. 

The two teens featured in the book (Hazel and Augustus), are not normal teenagers.  They seem much more mature than what they are and they speak in a much better dialect than you would expect from a teenager.  Maybe a bit unrealistic, but I'll let it slide because it was a cute love story and because I think there were a few good lessons for the young adults and teens who will read this book.

I may have shed a few tears (so be prepared if you take on this one), but it was a fast read and I think it's a good book for teens.  You learn about empathy and about how sometimes, it's ok to not be strong.  There are many quotable quotes throughout the novel, and I really hope that readers will read this and start to appreciate the experiences and situations that they are given in their lives. 

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