The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Janessa’s Pick:

(Dutton, 2012)

While I realize that Green is the only author I’ve reviewed so far, TFiOS is far too outstanding of a book for me not to review it. I waited for it since the pre-orders opened up in July and when I finally got it in January, I read it within four hours. And then I started it again.

The title of the book is a Shakespeare quote (“The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves”) altered to fully cover the theme of the book. The book centers around 16 year old, quiet, book-loving Hazel Grace Lancaster, who has cancer. Then she meets charming, outgoing Augustus Waters at her support group, who also has cancer. At this point, the book sounds mushy and sad. It isn’t. Well, it is, but it’s so much more than that. Hazel and Augustus bond over their similar (yet still completely different) outlooks on life and their love of An Imperial Affliction by the mysterious and reclusive Peter van Houten. I really can’t summarize much more of the book without spoilers.

What I realized through my multiple readings of this book is that everything is a symbol. That is barely a hyperbole. Green even implements the famous green-light symbol fromThe Great Gatsby.

While you might associate the fact that the main characters have cancer with it being sad and therefore too sad to read, I urge you to read it. It is without a doubt my favorite book. It’s both hilarious and heart-wrenchingly sad and somehow Green manages to pull that off simultaneously. I can’t even begin to explain just how fantastically beautiful this book is.

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