The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

A life-affirming, heartbreaking, humorous story about life and how we choose to live and leave it. 

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Dutton | Hardcover, 313 pages
In a way, John Green’s characters strain credibility. I don’t know a couple of English Lit majors who can converse like Augustus and Hazel. Or maybe I’ve just been hanging out with the wrong crowd. Keep in mind that these kids’ brains should’ve already been fried with the massive amount of cancer-killing drugs they’ve been subjected to in the past. But I chose to ignore these facts. I love reading about a couple of kids who are sometimes way too intelligent for their own good. I love knowing that even when a teen spends most of his waking moments playing video games, he doesn’t necessarily lose brain cells. But then again, that’s just probably the author talking. John Green’s own prolific brilliance shines through in his characters.

I feel like a tongue-tied fool who can’t make heads and tails of her thoughts so the words come out all garbled and stupid. The words come out in a rush that they stumble upon each other, resulting in a chain of burbled inanity. I thought of writing a poem. Because, really, if there’s anyone who could inspire poetry, there’d be none deserving than Augustus and Hazel. Their courage, their friendships and love, their strength and their otherwise mostly realistic outlook in life. But alas, anything that I’ve written just kind of look like a dimwit’s attempt at nursery rhymes.

I noticed that most of my friends on Goodreads didn’t even bother writing a review though majority of them gave it a five. I’ve thought about skipping it myself but when your heart and your mind is so full that you’re one emotion away from ballooning up like a blowfish, you simply have to buckle up and put it down into words.

So what was the book about?

The story is told through the pragmatist voice of Hazel; a sixteen year-old girl who was about to walk toward the light but lived by a miracle. An experimental drug known only to work to a select few cancer victims extended her already borrowed life. She walks around carting an oxygen tank, connected to tubes that help her breathe. Smart beyond her years, conscious and accepting of her lonely existence. Until she meets this boy in the literal heart of Jesus at the basement of a church. The attraction was instantaneous. Augustus couldn’t look away from Hazel, Natalie Portman’s doppelgänger, post V for Vendetta. Hazel, in turn, was severely taken in by the handsome boy. It was love at first sight – for Augustus, anyway. Their story and how they didn’t want to be defined by their sickness thus unfold. It was most often funny and heartwarming but in the end, it wasn’t how I wanted my stories to end. And that made it even more perfect.

I hate swooning over boys in my reviews. It just feel so superficial. I can’t take myself seriously when I mention how hot the character is. Especially if the book warrants some level of sincerity. But this near perfect boy stole a piece of me that had always been wholly reserved for Jonah Griggs.  He was brilliant, sweet and a smart-ass who backed his swagger with quick-witted intelligence. He will make you want your own Augustus as I have wanted my own Griggs.

I have so much to say but I’m not articulate enough to say it. My reserves are spent; my heart full. I’m slightly intoxicated with no hope of sobering up. And that is bad news to the books in my unread pile. Because really, how do you top this? A new standard is set; five star ratings is not what it used to be. I can’t just give it five just because I enjoyed it. A book has to change me, it has to make me see.

I want to read his other works but I’m kind of intimidated and maybe even plenty scared. Maybe someday. But for now, I’m going to bask in the glory that is TFioS, spread the love in my family (starting with my daughter) and maybe even re-read it sometime this week.

My rating: 5 out of 5 Stars to go along
with the 5 boxes of tissues.