THE FAULT IN OUR STARS
by John Green
published in 2012 by Dutton Books
I have to firstly start off this post by saying that I almost decided not to write my thoughts on The Fault in Our Stars. The book is just so affecting, and one of the most not only intense - but important - books I have read in a long, long time. I almost chose not to write about it because there are a million things I could say and they still would not cover an inch of its worth.
So just be wary, whilst reading this post, of my lack of eloquence in describing the vastness of this book's true quality, importance and worth.
All any appreciator of The Fault In Our Stars can do is simply thank John Green for creating it, and thank God for creating John Green.
Click here to go to The Fault in Our Stars' Goodread page/to read the synopsis.
So the story is of Hazel Grace Lancaster, a 16 year old girl with terminal cancer. That's all you really need to know about the premise. (Or, if you're more invested like I am, being a nerdfighter, you'd like to know this story is dedicated to, and I suppose inspired by, Esther Earl, a real girl who died from cancer only a year or two ago). It's a love story, yes, but more importantly it's a story about life and death.
How you choose to live your life; how you choose to view death.
John Green, as a 35 year old man, did an excellent job of capturing the voice of a 16 year old girl. I think I've only read one other book of his - Looking For Alaska - and this was years and years ago back in high school. But I definitely see now why John Green is a best-selling, award-winning author. He writes GOOD.
Within the story there are pocketfuls of references to great American literature - from Sylvia Plath to Allen Ginsberg and William Carlos Williams amongst countless, countless others. Thank goodness I had done a unit on American literature last semester at uni or I wouldn't have really understood any of those references and perhaps that would have dimmed my reading experience ever so slightly. Well, I know I wouldn't have been able to chuckle at Hazel's hesitance to read the poem Howl out loud on a quiet airplane in front of her mother. (I totally understand how inappropriate it is :P I had to do a presentation on it)
Another wonderful quality of John Green's writing is his humour. Pretty much every single character in the book said something that made me laugh out loud. Amidst the serious circumstances, the foreboding premise of the novel, and even in the face of death, John Green always managed to find a positive space to slide in a joke, to lighten and balance out the heavy themes. There's a certain beauty in that art, and it was the first time I really witnessed what I call 'beautiful humour'. And it was wonderful. What I found most surprising was how funny Hazel's dad and mum could be.
Click here to check out John Green's DFTBA page to see some of the TFIOS posters that have really awesome graphics that go with a bunch of the book's most unforgettable quotes.
I had to dog-ear a LOT of pages as I read this book - there were just so many really awesome bits I didn't want to forget. I dog-eared both top and bottom:
There's so much more I could say but I'm going to stop about now. I just have to add that I caught myself today about to defend Hazel's revolutionary stance on eggs as unnecessarily connected to breakfast.
You'd know what I mean if you've read the book.
If you haven't read the book, YOU MUST!
Here are some other random photos.
Click to enlarge.
Also, go to this Tumblr page to read John's answers to a bunch of TFIOS questions :)
(They're super interesting! ..And have made me love the guy even more.)