The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

11870085Publisher: Dutton Books
Date Published: January 10th 2014
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Source: Library
Rating: Quirky 3 out of 5 stars
Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten.
I am unsure of my feeling for this book. It's not even a matter of whether it was good or bad, because it was a good book. But, *sigh* it's a little conflicting. Hard to organize my thoughts on this.
On one hand, it was not extraordinary. The style of writing was very normal young adult. So I am a little puzzled as to why everyone has made a fuss over it being the revolutionary book of YA. As far as I'm concerned, it is like so many others.

But then comes the argument that young adult is not actually a genre, so there's no possible way to revolutionize it. It's an age group. Like a number. It isn't defined as anything other than a group of books meant for 13-18 year-olds. Yet people have this idea that it's something better.

Anyway, back to my original train of thought. It was not an unextradordinary book, either. I wish that were a word. Unextradordinary. I didn't stop after fifty pages and say I'd had enough.

It was a middle-ground book. I probably never would have read it if not for the movie coming out and I have a rule about reading the books before watching the movie, otherwise the books are forever ruined for me. Like Jurassic Park and Harry Potter. I struggled through those, and hated every minute of it.

It was better than okay. But it wasn't... breathtaking. It wasn't heart-wrenching. I mean there was a point in the book that my eyes misted, but I didn't sob hysterically and smash my fists against the walls of my bedroom (that has happened before, in books like Mockingjay and Good Night Mister Tom). It was a fairly temperate book for me.

The only thing that makes this book stand out from others was the characters, especially Hazel and Gus. They were profound. In simple things, like their conversations and the way they spoke. The way Hazel thought. It meant very little in the grand scheme of things, but... I guess its the little things that make a story worth reading.

I can't say I know all that much about cancer. That is one thing I gained from this book. Not too much knowledge about cancer itself, but the impact cancer has on people, both the person who has the disease and the people around them.

It has also changed a perception of mine. I always thought a hard life was a life spent working and forever remaining poor, like the lower class citizens or the people begging in foreign countries on the streets, their mangles bodies evoking pity and sadness. The kind of poverty we don't often find in the States. But now I think there's something equally as bad; losing your child to cancer.

I cannot even begin to fathom what all of those parents out there go through. I think I may even suppress the idea of it. The idea of losing a child to their own bodily mutation is so horrifying I try not to think about it.

Because who can you blame? It's not like a child that has been kidnapped or murdered or sexually assaulted, though those are all equally horrific. I think the worst thing about cancer is that you have no real enemy. There is no villain to fight. Because really, you're only fighting your own body. And just how are you going to win? It must seem impossible.

I am still unsure of whether or not I like this book. It makes me think. I suppose that's a good thing, but I don't know what to think about the book. It's complex, like a puzzle, but I think it may just be really simple and I'm just looking at it all wrong.


Note that even though I list romance as being in the book, the romance is subtle and not the main focus of the book.


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