It’s true that “pain demands to be felt.”
Such is the way of John Green’s incredible YA novel, The Fault in Ours Stars. This book doesn’t just ask you to read it, it demands that you read it. And if you haven’t yet picked up one of the over one million copies of this book available, then listen to me: I DEMAND that you do so right this instant. This isn’t some book that you pick up, read, enjoy, and forget about. This book will leave a mark – it will scar you – but that scar will in no way lessen how much you love it. In fact, I think I love this book because of the scars, because of the pain, or rather, because the pain never lessened the humor, the quirky relatability of the characters, or the love. There was pain, plenty of it, but there were also other things, and the pain mingled with those things until they were inseparable and beautiful and real. This book is a once-in-a-lifetime kind of book. It’s one of the best books I’ve ever read; one of the most beautiful stories I believe has ever been told.
At it’s heart The Fault in Our Stars, or TFiOS as it’s been coined, might be a love story, but it’s core is so much more than that. This is a story about love, life, and the question of what to do with the short number of days you’ve been given to live. Yes, it’s sad, but you know that going in. The narrator, Hazel, is a 16-year-old diagnosed with terminal, stage IV, thyroid cancer with mets in her lungs. There’s really no scenario where this is a “happily ever after” kind of tale. Instead, Green delivers something even more precious – the truth. The ups, downs, and in betweens that happen to us all. He takes what could have easily become a trope and turns it on its head. The cancer victims become as they are in real life – just like everybody else. Gus and Hazel are proof that while the world may not be a “wish-granting factory” that doesn’t mean that one little infinity can’t touch us for a lifetime.
Overall Reaction: Well I sobbed through the second half, and that’s having already read it before, so… yeah…
Up Next Week: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell