Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

I was doing so well this month with basically one post a day, then, Sunday, and I got sick.  So sick that I didn't even want to read, and anyone who knows me knows that means I am REALLY sick.  But normally I'm only sick for a day, then am doing better the next day.  And that's what I thought yesterday, so I got up, went to a check up doctor appointment having nothing to do with my being sick the day before, had donut holes at Dunkin Donuts for breakfast, nothing for lunch, then went ahead and went to work at the bookstore.  I thought I was doing good in my dinner choice, egg drop soup, similar to chicken noodle, right?  But I did also get crab rangoon, probably not the best choice in retrospect.  About 2 hours before closing, my stomach started acting up again, and once I got home, I spent all last night sick again.  And so, I'm behind on both reading and blogging.  But, feeling better yesterday, I did finish The Fault in Our Stars and so now I am blogging about it.  I did get this book last summer at BEA as well, so it is yet another one I waited a while to read, not sure why.
I have a feeling a lot of people may not agree with my review of this.  Once again I feel that a book was built up by other people so much, that when I got around to reading it, I basically knew what was going to happen, and while it was good, it didn't blow me away as I had really high expectations.  So let me start out by saying that this was a really good book.  John Green is an awesome author.  To be able to make the reader laugh out loud in such a depressing story/world, is good writing, good storytelling, in my book.  But while I wouldn't say it was predictable, I wouldn't say I was really surprised by anything that happened in the book.  Again, possibly because of all the build up, and being told how sad it would be.  Is it sad, yeah, it can cause you to use a box of tissues.  But as things happened, I was kind of prepared, kind of figured those things would happen. Although I must admit, some of that is probably from the actual foreshadowing I feel the author did within the story.  Here's my quick summary:

The main character is Hazel, she has terminal cancer.  There is no cure for her, only ways to extend her life.  In fact she must have oxygen with her at all time because her lungs don't work that well.  She goes to a support group where she meets Augustus.  Augustus is really cute.  He is supposedly in remission, but lost a leg to his type of cancer.  He is there with his friend Isaac, also a teen with cancer.  Isaac has lost one eye, and when we meet him in the story, it is possible he may have to lose the other eye.  Hazel and Augustus seem to click right away.  And Augustus is really a funny guy, and he likes that Hazel is the way she is, she's not all, "poor me, how am I ever going to leave a mark in this world."  She turns Augustus onto this book she loves, An Imperial Affliction, which is about a girl named Anna who also is sick, and the books just ends in the middle of a sentence.  What Hazel likes so much about it is that it totally gets how she feels about it and what it is like having cancer.  She wants so much to know what happens next, to the other characters in the book, as she knows what happens to Anna.  But, the author is reclusive, and even though she's written many letters, he's never answered.  Augustus has her read a novel that has to do with the video game he likes to play, and she does get swept up into those.  And he gets really into her book, as they shorten it to, AIA.  And he does the crazy thing and emails the author, and gets an answer from his publicist.  Which leads to them attempting to go visit him, from a supposed invitation from him and his publicist.  But of course there are things that get in the way. Relapses or lung problems for Hazel just to start with.  Hazel tries to keep space between herself and Augustus, not wanting to hurt him when she dies, as he is the "healthy" one in the relationship.  I won't go on with any spoilers.  Just know that their love is a true one, and their saying, "Okay? Okay", is a sweet one, and you will really hope for a relationship like this in your life.  Well, without all the tragedy of cancer and all that.  A great story, ending kind of how I thought it would, but not in a bad way.
I will say that one of my all time favorite books is A Summer to Die by Lois Lowry.  The copy I have from when I was younger is tattered and dog-eared from me reading it over and over. So I know a sad story from a sad story.  And I wasn't surprised by what happened probably because of that.  But this book is one that could rate up in the same place in my bookshelf as the Lowry book because of enjoying the back and forth between Hazel and Augustus.  You do need to read it.  I'm sorry my review isn't as glowing as others, it is a really good book.  Again, I believe my less than stellar review has to do with my being so over built up for a superbly unique story.  Which for many people I believe it will be!  So don't let me steer you away, just go into it with no expectations, and you'll do nothing but enjoy (if crying is enjoyment to you :-).

6 comments:

  1. I wanted to read this book for a long time now, and judging by your review and other reviews it is a really god book. I feel like I will bawl my eyes out reading it!
    Thanks for a review!

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    1. You probably will cry. It can be emotional at places.

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  2. Finally! Somebody who has a similar opinion to mine that, while this is a good book, it was vastly predictable and similar to all the other books about kids with Cancer. I did a book review for this book as well on my blog ...On The Shelf (http://dotdotdotontheshelf.blogspot.com/2013/03/this-book-was-finished-on-march-12-2013.html). Hope you check it out! ^_^

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    1. Glad as well to see an opinion similar to mine as well! I know so many people that just go on and on about this book. And it was good, but nothing out of the ordinary for this type of book. I'll check out your review as well!

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  3. This book is a life changer! I finally read it after seeing umpteen blogs review it and a few didnt love it as much as the others. I like those reviews. I feel sometimes when a book is new its a bandwagon of love after a while I trust those reviews. The hoopla is long gone and the reviewer isnt tainted. Maybe that sounds a tad cynical.
    I forced myself to wait and wait then read it. I am glad I did! Then I got into Gillian Flynn. Have you read books by her? There is one called Dark Places and Sharp Things. OMMMMG. Both were FAB. Dark, but FAB.
    I want to read Johns other titles now.
    I am glad I came across your blog. Its fun and I love the books you have reviewed.

    regards,
    grace of Hunting Knives

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    1. I have not read Gillian Flynn, although I've heard they are good. Thanks for your comment!

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