the fault in our stars

With every book of his I’ve read, John Green has been creeping into my upper echelon of young adult authors.  I think his most recent effort, The Fault in Our Stars has secured him a position in the very utmost tier.

Hazel is 16 and is dying.  Not quickly, as she was once expected to, but slowly – the miracle drug that shrank the tumors in her chest have given her extra years, but no one knows how many.  And they haven’t negated the need for an oxygen tank at all times.  It’s not exactly a normal teenage life.

But fortunately, Augustus Waters is not a normal teenager.  When the two meet at an adolescent cancer support group, Hazel has to decide exactly what she’s going to allow herself to experience in her life – however short it may be.

There’s a whole depressing genre of books out there with sick and dying kids and everyone else learning tough life lessons from their courage and faith and whatever else.  (I know; I think I spent a year of my teenage life only reading books where someone died.)  This is not one of those books.  Green creates real, complicated, funny characters (and I wouldn’t expect anything else of him), who approach their situations with fear and humor, sorrow and wit. For Hazel and Augustus, death is certainly in the mix, but the joy of the novel is seeing what they learn about living in spite of that ever-looming presence.

The result is a book that is beautifully, heartbreakingly, and humorously written – tears are likely, but laughter is absolutely guaranteed.  I have yet to read something of John Green’s I don’t love, but this novel is refreshingly different from his others (which are fantastic, but have some pretty clear parallels between them). This is the type of book that – even though it’s only been out for a few weeks – has me impatiently waiting for his next one.

~ by Molly on February 25, 2012.

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