Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars
by John Green

Genre:  Young Adult
Pages:  336
Published:  1/10/12 by Penguin Group
Format:  ebook

My rating:
5 out of 5 stars

The Fault in Our Stars was my favorite book read in 2012. It is on the list for my favorite books of all time. I recently read the book again for the second time, and I was curious to see if it was still a favorite upon a second reading. And it is definitely still a favorite!

It is so hard to write a review about a book I loved so much. This is the story of Hazel and Augustus. Both are teenagers; both have cancer. They meet, fall in love, and...well, I won't spoil the ending. It is not the most original concept for a story. But the story is told in such spectacular fashion that it is original in its own sense.

One of my favorite things about John Green's writing is also one of the things that I see is most often critiqued about his writing. His teenage characters always speak with extreme wit and cleverness, and they always have impressive vocabularies. I see many people cite this as a fault in the writing, because it is not a realistic portrayal of teenagers. My response to this is twofold:
1. It seems unfair to assume that teenagers are not witty and do not have large vocabularies. I am sure that there are teenagers who exist who are capable of speaking this way. I have a feeling John Green himself may have been a teenager like that.
2. Even if it is unrealistic, it is SO FUN to read! Maybe these teens don't talk like any teenagers (or adults!) that I know, but reading their dialogue is highly enjoyable and entertaining. Not to mention I almost always learn a few new words along the way.

I think any story that is told about teenagers with cancer is bound to be sad. Yes, there are many sad moments in The Fault in Our Stars. I have heard many people describe it as depressing. But I don't think depressing is a fair term to describe this book. In fact, I think it is far from depressing. There is so much joy and happiness to be found in this story. I felt like the whole purpose of this book was to encourage us to live life fully. A short life can still be a good and worthwhile life.

If you haven't read this book, I highly recommend it. I feel it is one of the few books that truly lives up to all the hype surrounding it!

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