Friday, May 31, 2013
The Fault In Our Stars
by John Green
Pages: 321
Published: January 10, 2012

Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 13, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs... for now. Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault. Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind

This is not going to be one of those reviews where I tell you how much this book made me sob like a baby, or how much it tore my heart out. Why? Because this book didn't do that to me. I wanted it to, and it did...to some extent. But honestly? It was kind of a let down from my high expectations. I really don't know what to think. This book was good...but then...and there was this...and GAH. The whole book reading experience was like WHAT AM I FEELING? I just don't know. But I shall attempt to sort these feelings out, so this resembles a review...sorta.

For starters, if you know anything about this book, let it be that the characters are brains. Hazel and Gus have some pretty knowledgeable conversations. And there is nothing wrong with that, but maybe I was looking for more depth, but I felt like there were times when it got a little too...info dumpy. Yes, you are smart John, we watch you on YouTube, but maybe cut it back? It wasn't terrible at all, but I wasn't looking to read lots of info. I wanted the emotions. That's one of the things where it started to go wrong for me.

Because of instances like this, where we had more talk, I didn't feel all the depth I would expect. As this book progressed, my emotions weren't really on this roller coaster I thought they would be. Sure I was hooked, and intrigued, but it was all flat. In a way I was just reading to see what all the popular fuss was about. I was constantly asking myself, how do I feel about this? But that was the problem. I didn't know, because I WASN'T feeling. I'm probably sticking out like a sore thumb here, because like every other person on the planet felt and bawled and blagh.

So just to set you straight, the end did get to me. I didn't bawl, but on a few precise, probably obvious moments, I teared up and sniffled. But I didn't sniffle and ugly cry at all. Only one other book has come close to the ugly-crying I thought I'd experience with this book. So yeah...that was a bummer. I WANTED AN UGLY CRY BOOK. I freely admit this. I went into it with that expectation. Heck, I love cry books and movies. I embrace them when I find the true gems. Those are the ones that make me feel. But this one?
Yeah it's kinda sad. But moving on.There were some things I really liked about this book though. For one thing, our characters Hazel and Augustus are incredibly strong. Hazel has a beautiful voice that stands out. She is a totally honest character. So is Gus. They don't waste time, they speak their mind and I loved how they weren't just weak whiny children because of their limitations. They don't let things stop them, and they live life the best they can.

Speaking of them. Let's talk romance. This was kinda hilarious actually. Because they hit it off with a boom. They meet. Gus just comes right up to her, they kinda hit it off as if they already know each other and then boom, it's like the beginnings of their friendship/romance. It's not like insta-love or anything. It was just interesting to see how easily they hit it off. But I'm leaving that there, without a negative or positive thought. Because I really don't know what to say. It works, but does it feel legit? SEE MY INTERNAL DILEMMAS?!?!  *sigh* So the romance. I loved them together. I think they worked so well. The friendship that they build worked really well and felt as if they'd known each other for years. So when they get to that awkward in between stage it just worked. I loved them. I LOVED Gus. Okay yeah, I have to say something about Gus. EEEEEEK. I really liked him, despite some of the things that didn't work for me. He is snarky, funny, charming, polite, and just one of those guys you don't want to let go. And that's where it hurts.
Which brings me to my thoughts on the issues portrayed and discussed in this book. Obviously, cancer, and the hardships/struggles, whatnot. Hazel obviously knows that her condition is terminal and that life could be as short as the next breath. So she's trying to make the most of the rest of her time.
I'm sorry. I had to put this in here. 
But you know...honestly? I'd heard of so many issues and things being presented..but I must have failed to see them or something. Because I got the nice quotes, but the underlying themes? Not so much. I know I'm so stinking blind. Wow. I don't even know what to say anymore. I appreciated the lessons and courageous things portrayed, but we're back to the lack of emotion.

I'm gonna shut up now. I'm sorry for this insanely long brain vomit. But honestly..this was my thought process. I missed some level of connection that would have made this book so much more important to me. This is the the worst case of Black Sheepitis ever. So while I missed that, I'm not going to push it aside, because as mentioned, there were some very redeeming qualities about the book. I enjoyed reading it, and think it told a lovely story that is easy to enjoy. However, in my place, my nit picky brain just got in the way.
Content: Moderate
[some languange including uses of S word and one of F word. Some innuendo, kissing and implied sex]
So yep. Alas and alack those are my thoughts. Do you differ? Splurge yours at me! I'd love to hear. XOXO,


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