With this book, Green has written a beautiful, brutally honest, raw story of two extremely intelligent and wickedly witty teenagers who, through all of the ups and downs of their illnesses, still manage to keep trudging on without ever feeling sorry for themselves, yet being acutely aware that they, most likely, will die long before their parents. They do not hide this knowledge, but use it to get everything out of each day they have left.
Plain and simple: I ADORED THIS BOOK!! It kind of seems funny (in an odd way) that a book with this topic would be something I would love but if you've read it, you completely understand. If you haven't, you need to read it NOW.
The first thing you notice about this book is how perfect the characters are. Hazel Grace Lancaster is our narrator and main character. She is a very bright girl, battling lung cancer for most of her 16 years. She is a delight - sweet, smart and loves her parents and worries about them as much as they worry about her. The relationship she has with them is so honest and loving and so true to the story. Then there is Augustus Waters. He is the boy Hazel meets in Support Group and falls for instantly. Augustus is just as bright and interesting as Hazel and there is a connection immediately. Another favorite character is Isaac, Augustus' friend who after losing one eye, may also lose his other to cancer. But Isaac seems to be more upset about his girlfriend dumping him than being blind for the rest of his life. Just another way Green reminds us that life does go on.
I love that Hazel is a reader and that her love of one book in particular has such an impact on her that it literally changes her life. I love that Augustus cares for Hazel so much that he reads the book and is just as into it simply because it's important to Hazel and Hazel is important to him. The conversations between these two young people are so stimulating and quick and witty that you sometimes forget they are kids. I got so sucked into their conversations and just held on trying to let every carefully selected word sink in.
There are way too many things I loved about this book to name them all here in this post. I will simply summarize and say it was truly a treat to listen to. I was completely immersed in Hazel and Augustus' lives and felt a connection to them right away. I laughed, I cried and it made me think. I like books that make you think. Even though I knew this book would not have a happy ending (don't worry, I'm not giving anything away here), I couldn't stop listening. This book is a Wonder and not surprising, it is one of my favorites this year. If I had to say one thing about the possibility of you reading this book, I would say this: Please Don't Let The Premise Deter You From Reading This Remarkable, Inspiring, Lovely Book.
A book about death and dying doesn't have to be dark and sad. John Green proved it in THE FAULT OF OUR STARS by showing us the possibilities we all have even under the most discouraging of circumstances and the things we can learn from each other if only we open our minds.
Author: John Green
Publisher (Audio): Brilliance Audio
Published (Audio): January 2012
Length: 7 hrs 14 min
Source: Purchased (Audible.com)
Rating: 5 Wonderful Stars out of 5