And friends it’s time for my last book review from the honeymoon.
Let’s just say I’m not writing about this one last because it was my least favorite. I read this book in less than 48 hours, was left in tears, and was moved enough to leave it at the apartment we stayed at in their little “library.” I hope someone else picks and up and is moved in the same way I was. . .
The Fault In Our Stars, by John Green, follows a young girl, Hazel Grace, through her battles being a teenager. The one difference in young Hazel’s story? She’s also battling Stage 4 Thyroid Cancer with metastasis on her lungs.
Sounds like a dark premise, right? Sure, it is, but it does not make the it a dark story. Even when her illness restricts her to home schooling, carrying around oxygen, and struggling to move around without being winded, Hazel stays triumphant.
A part of Hazel’s treatment (and pacifying her concerned parents) is going to a support group once a week. For Hazel, this is really her “social” time, as regular schooling and social activities are a challenge for her. At one of these groups, Hazel meets a young man, Augustus Waters and is immediately intrigued.
You see, Hazel hasn’t allowed herself to get close to many people, as she feels like a “ticking timebomb” ready to go off and destroy all of those left in her path. That is, until she met Augustus. The relationship between the two develop through mutual tragedy (cancer) and a love for specific books. For Hazel, that book is An Imperial Affliction, by the Dutch author Peter van Houten. A tale that is left unfinished and has beautiful tortured the young girl since her first reading.
The peak of their romantic tale is a trip to Europe to meet the author and learn exactly what happened to the characters in the story. You see the story haunted Hazel due to her own concerns with health and what will happen to her own family when she has lost her battle.
Hazel’s entire world takes a turn this trip, not only from meeting this idol of hers but also finding out Augustus may be hiding something from her. . .
Like I already said, within 48 hours I found myself crying, smiling, and bleeding from my heart for the characters in this story. To read such a jarring story of love from the emotional teenage perspective is moving, saddening, but moving in such a unique way.
John Green paints such an amazingly raw and true picture that this story is guaranteed to stick with you long after you put it down. It’s something in fiction that you really just don’t see that often anymore, and I cannot recommend it enough. But come prepared with tissues!