Monday, September 24, 2012

the fault in our stars (with pics!)

UPDATE: Check out the trailer for the movie adaptation here!

I normally stray away from YA books and cancer books are even worse (so much crying and heartbreak and drama . . .), but I really enjoyed this. It's been getting rave reviews for months now and I can see why. The story is simple and reads quickly, but the characters will stick with me a long, long time.

Hazel is a 16-year-old girl with cancer. At one of the youth support group meetings her mother pushes her to attend, she meets Augustus Waters, a 17-year-old boy in remission. He only has one leg (the other was removed due to his osteosarcoma), but he's gorgeous and incredibly charming. Hazel is hesitant to get to know him (she hasn't been very social of late, due to her health), but Augustus is so eager and earnest, she lets him into her life. They fall in love, of course, but what can you expect? Of course their story is a sad one. In a book about kids with cancer, it'd be unrealistic for the story not to be sad. But it's still so, so good. It's not at all the sappy, melodramatic "cancer book" you might imagine (Hazel herself remarks at one point that she hates "cancer books"). Humor permeates throughout, even in some of the serious bits, and the romance is sweet and believable. I also loved the realistic hobbies of these teens: Hazel is known to watch marathon sessions of ANTM (America's Next Top Model) and Augustus is often found playing video games with his friend Isaac (who also has cancer). It's easy to connect with such relatable characters.

My only problems with the book were when it veered away from that very realistic portrait of teenagers. Augustus's metaphorical cigarette was a bit much (the argument could definitely be made that he is a Manic Pixie Dream Boy) and occasionally his speech was too mature (I can't imagine a 17-year-old non-writer writing "My thoughts are stars I can't fathom into constellations," though that is a nice line). Also, the whole trip to Amsterdam and the subsequent meeting with Hazel's favorite author, Mr. Van Houten, were kinda crazy. But you know what? It's a YA book and I bet if I'd read this when I was 15, I wouldn't have cared at all about the unbelievability of it. I would have been completely charmed. 

This is now one of my favorite YA books and when I hear about teens diagnosed with cancer, I will always think of Augustus and Hazel. 

Very much recommended.

TITLE: The Fault in Our Stars
AUTHOR: John Green
PUBLICATION DATE: 10 January 2012
DATE FINISHED: 20 September 2012
VERDICT: 4/5 stars. Fantastic read.

When I really like a fictional character, I always look on Google and DeviantArt to see if someone has drawn/painted a picture of the character. It's great to see different artists' interpretations (especially if the book is not a movie, so actors have no effect on the facial details). After finishing The Fault in Our Stars, I was pleased to find a lot of great drawings of Augustus and Hazel. Here are my favorites:






  1. Didn't you say Augustus only has one leg? Why is he always drawn with two..?

    1. He wears a prosthetic pretty much all the time. Thanks for stopping by!


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