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June 26, 2014

Book Review #1 - The Fault in Our Stars

It's the last Thursday in June and that means its the first book club review! As you know by now, Kari came up with the idea of a book club and I jumped on board. The name of the Book Club is "To fill up and live" and you can join the Goodreads page here. Every last Thursday of the month though Ill post a review of the book on the blog. Easy Peasy. I think next month Kari will make this a link up! Anyone willing should join in!

Although this book has been reviewed ad nauseum on blogs all over we still thought it would be a great book for June since its the month that the movie came out.

On to the review:

John Green

Per Goodreads:

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten.

I started this book a while back but because I had a busy few weeks at work, I put it down to read when I had time as I knew it would take all of my attention. When I got to it I read it all in one day! The book was absolutely captivating. I am very blunt and it this book wasn't all it was hyped up to be, I would be the first one to say it. Fact is I gave this book 5 stars because it deserved Five stars.

The thing is, I usually avoid books that are overly sad or scary. And this book was a sad book. Yes, the undertone of sadness permeates through the pages from the moment we learn Hazel, the protagonist, had cancer, until the very end. But beyond the sadness there were love stories, stories of friendship, stories of loss and death, travel and culture and yes even happiness. I this those things were equally as important to John Green in telling the tale, as it was to document the day to day of cancer inflicted teens. Important to note, I did not cry, I was too focused on trying to figure out what would happen to these characters in the end and whether or not any happy ending was possible.

Tying in with the above, is the fact that real issues were addressed by John Green in his tale. Frankly, it was a story involving cancer, and that is an issue which is very real in today's society. I think the book made it even more real as John Green was able to transport us through his words into the homes of those who were cancer afflicted. We got to see the emotions of parents, family, friends and even those themselves with the disease. And the fact that it was so realistic is a testament to the writing of Green.

The characters are also so well developed. So much so that as a reader I became engrossed in their lives and I couldn't wait to see what would happen to them. One of the major criticisms I have seen of this book is the fact that the teens in the book and their personas are far beyond their years. I agree that the teens act more mature for their age but to the critics I say, they are not normal teenagers, they are teens with cancer and I think that was the point. I would even go so far as to say that John Green did a good job of juxtaposing normal teen antics with their more mature behaviour.

All in all I loved this book and I may or may not have had a crush on Augustus Waters throughout most of the novel ...
"His every syllable flirted" (Hazel on Augustus)

"But is's not a cancer book, because cancer books suck" (Hazel on her favourite book - ironic satire)

"You do not immortalize the lost by writing about them. Language buries, but does not resurrect" -(Peter Van Houten)

"there will come a time when all of us are dead. All of us. There will come a time when there are no human beings remaining to remember that anyone ever existed or that our species ever did anythun. There will be no one left to remember Aristotle or Cleopatra, let alone you. Everything that we did and built and wrote and thought and dicscovered will be forgotten and all of this will have been for naught. Maybe that time is coming soon and maybe it is millions of years away, but even if we survive the collapse of our sun, we will not survive forever. there was a time before organisms experienced consicousness and there will be a time after. And if the inevitability of human oblivion worries you, I encourage you to ignore it. God knows that's what everyone else does" (Hazel)

And the book for July is:

Check out the Goodreads book club page!


Add your comment

  1. Gahhhhh I can't wait to read the next book! It sounds so good!

  2. I read this book last summer and it's just one of those books that stays with you. John Green did good with this one.

    As far as being mature beyond their years, yes, they are. But there are some kids who are like that. We're just so used to "normal" ones, stereotypical ones, especially in books and TV, that it's hard to grasp that there are teenagers who are more mature. So those critics can suck it. Their maturity is part of what makes the book so amazing.

  3. Such a great book! I started reading it knowing that it was going to be sad (and still cried hard at the end) - but there were some really nice and sweet and lovely moments too. Definitely glad I read this one and it lived up to the hype. Not sure if I'll see the movie though. Maybe once it comes out.. :)

  4. Attachments was amazing!!! Loved it. I love John Green's work but I preferred Looking for Alaska. The cancer stuff just hits too close right now.

  5. fabulously written review my dear. i was scared you were going to say you didnt like it, i literally held my breath. so glad you did. i am currently reading attachments, what what! i just started it like a week ago, but needed a break from reading (i binge read a lot in Aus) and was gonna pick it up again this weekend. just in time for next month's book club, yay!

  6. TFIOS is one the best book I read. I have already rerad it 2x times and hoping to watch the movie soon!

  7. I am going to have to read this :) It looks really good!!!

  8. Great review! You know I loved this book, and reading your review was like a sweet little trip through the story again :)

  9. I didn't read your review because I haven't read this book yet and I really want to! I like to form my own opinions on something that is so popular so I usually don't read book reviews unless I have read them haha.

    I read Attachments last month and LOVED it!!! It is a light, easy read! I hope you enjoy!

  10. I've got to say, the quotes in this book were amazing, especially considering a man wrote it and the narrator is a girl. And holla because I just joined your book club ;)

  11. I've seen the movie but have not yet read the book!! It is on my must read list for this summer, though. Good to hear that it exceeded your expectations.

  12. Brilliant review! I read it a couple of months ago and watched the movie last week and it was pretty good! I don't usually like the idea of reading a "cancer book" because they tend to be romanticized but this was so raw and honest, I loved it!

  13. I read this book and liked it. although during part of it I was a tad confused. but then the ending got better. I watched the movie a couple of weeks ago and it was good but i wasn't impressed by it and it nor the book made me cry. So to me it could've been ten times better.

  14. I haven't read the book yet. I really want to. I've read a lot of reviews on it and even though it is a sad story it seems like it has a lot of other good real life moments in it as well. So, hopefully I will get the chance to read this book soon.

  15. I liked this one too. I found it lived up to the hype.

    ~Ashley @ A Cute Angle

  16. Not sure why it's taken me so long to read your review. And considering that I'm 'cohosting' this little shindig, I'm shameful. But I agree 100% with everything. The book is definitely hyped but I'd love it regardless. It deserves all the praise it gets in my opinion. Of course there's this sad backdrop, but the other stories you mentioned - they predominate. It strange when I think about TFIOS, I don't think "this is a story about cancer", I think "this is a story about love and laughter." And that first quote you listed? True testament to how not only was the story excellently crafted but exquisitely written. Like who thinks to write such wonderful prose? Gah!
    Oh & Augustus is mine!


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