I finished The Fault in Our Stars in one night and now that I have stopped crying, I really can’t decide it I want to describe it as “devastatingly beautiful” or as “beautifully devastating” It is not a cheerful book – or to be more accurate, it does have it’s cheerful and humorous points but things do get very, very real – which is what I guess you should expect about a love story between two teenage cancer patients. But having said that, it is a good book. You will cry but it will be worth it.
John Green is an amazing writer. There are some phrases in this book that will stay with me for a long time. I love his use of poetry and literature and cultural allusions. I love reading books (particularly ones aimed at young adults) that aren’t afraid to let their protagonists be unashamedly smart and literate and thoughtful.
The concept of the fictional book, ‘An Imperial Affliction’ that Hazel and Gus love so much was fascinating. I love how the author uses Hazel’s desperate need to know what happened to the mother in the book after her daughter died to bring home how much Hazel worries about what how her death will affect her own mother.
(I will also admit to being horribly amused by the thought of a hamster named Sisyphus and now, despite the fact that I have never been a big fan of the rodent family, I am horribly tempted to get a hamster just so I can put him in a hamster ball and push it up small ramps just so he can roll back down again. Don’t judge me – it was 3 am when I finished this book and I got a little loopy halfway through!)
And this sums the book perfectly. There is a lot big concepts and beautiful words mixed with humor and playfulness, mixed with loss and heartache. And there is a realness and a honesty here. Hazel and Gus and Issac aren’t heroes. They aren’t inspirations to us all. They are just kids living in a world that is brutally unfair and doing the best they can. And that is okay.