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Overview 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.
Reviews Alright, alright! I admit it, it got to me -- it freaking absolutely got to me. If I were Superman this little book would be my Kryptonite. Why did I think I would be immune? I was so smug going into this, feeling secure in my awesome, arrogant certainty that the sure to be oodles of maudlin and reams of cliches would keep me safe and sound from any wrenchings of the heart. My overall dubiousness and cynicism would serve as my protective shield, offering immunity against such ruthless emotional manipulation -- nay exploitation -about to be perpetrated against my person. Sick kids? Cancer? Dying sick kids with cancer? Dying sick kids with cancer falling in love? Really? You're going to go there so completely and unapologetically and still expect me to respect you in the morning?
Despite all the obvious pitfalls lying in wait for John Green, he manages to avoid just about all of them (seemingly with ease). I experienced a level of integrity and commitment to the subject matter that gave sufficient weight and depth to what could have just as easily turned out to be breezy and shallow.
That's not to say that this story wallows in gloom and gravitas -- far from it. It's funny. I laughed out loud -- out loud -- and when I wasn't doing that I snickered, grinned, and tittered (yes, there were a few titters). I also bawled like a baby, but the laughter came first, and the tears were earned.
Hazel Grace -- our terminal narrator -- is lovely. You will notice she doesn't always act or speak like your average teenager, and that's because she isn't one. Hazel has been in a staring contest with Death since she was 13 years old. He hasn't beaten her yet, but it's changed her, in more ways than any of us nonterminal people could ever comprehend. Our casual intellectual acceptance that we are all terminal and will one day die is not nearly the same as carrying Death on your skin and in your bones, to feel life seeping out of your pores and stalk
you in the night. To sit on your chest and steal the breath from your malfunctioning, fluid-filled lungs.
Augustus Waters is sheer delight and I don't give a donkey's ass that the way he and Hazel speak to one another is unrealistic because it is filled with such a sincere sweetness and adorable, lovable humor I couldn't get enough. It broke through my armor, tore a hole through my cynical self, and had me falling head over heels in love with these two. Each is defiant in the way that only a young person battling Death can be defiant, they are warm and insecure and brave and foolish and selfish and sad and real. I'm not going to say realistic -- we could argue that point til the cows come home -- but not once did they ever stop being authentic.
What can I say? I loved them. I loved this book. Okay? Sometimes, not nearly often enough, a book comes along that you must finish reading no matter what the time of night, or morning, and in spite of a full day facing you after your dearth of sleep. I only halfheartedly tried to put the book down once last night/early this morning, and then I gave in to the power of the need to finish it. I originally balked at reading this book, as I wasn't sure when I would ever be in the mood for a book about teens dealing with cancer. All I can say now is, don't judge a book by what you think its subject matter is. Yes, Hazel and Augustus are two teens who struggle with cancer and all that entails, including loving parents who want so desperately to banish the evil monster that has imprisoned their children. But, this gripping book is not about cancer; this book is about people, two people who are amazing. As Augustus tells Hazel early on when he asks what her story is and she starts to remind him of her cancer diagnosis, "No, not your cancer story. Your story. Interests, hobbies, passions, weird fetishes, etcetera."
The first book I read by John Green was Looking For Alaska, and I was impressed by his ability to get inside the teenage mind, the one that is questioning the rules and wisdom of the ages, as teens should and actually do. Then, when I read An Abundance of Katherines, I fell in love with Green's witty characters. Wit is very much valued by me in writing, and Green is a master with it. In The Fault in Our Stars, the wit is a continual feast of delight. Yes, cancer kids can be wonderfully witty and passionate about life, just like, well, just like any kids.
Don't misunderstand, there is the dreaded disease of cancer always there in this book. How could it be otherwise? It is treated by Green as it is, ugly and humiliating. That teenagers can have fun, find love, and share favorite books while talking about death suits and last wishes is nothing short of miraculous, normalcy against all odds.
I will probably at some point reread this moving book to embrace all the wit and wonder that it contains. It's a book that you just know will maintain its power for the rest of your reading life. Ok... The tears have subsided and I'm ready to share my thoughts. I had an inkling of what was going to happen in this book, I mean all my friends were reading this at the same time so I saw the posts and comments and I just knew if there was a topic that could break me, this would be it.
hazel is a 16 year old who has cancer... Though shes not in remission, her tumors are being held at bay by a drug that no one knows the side effects to and her lungs are in such bad shape that she is constantly on oxygen. Her mother wants her to be more involved. she's been out of regular school for 3 years and has only a couple acquaintances still from that time in her life. So she goes to her cancer survivors group and meets someone who will change her life joking over the misuse of the word literally.
Augustus Waters is sweet, handsome and incredibly charismatic. He's hard to resist and I fell in love with him. The two bond over, of all things, Hazels favorite book and so brings about a whirlwind trip to Amsterdam to get answers from an author who turns out to be a big disappointment.
I can't tell much more about the story simply because you must experience this book yourself. From hazel, to Gus to Isaac, I fell in love with each of them for different reasons. John Green had me bawling and clutching wads of Kleenex one minute then chuckling about something the next... My emotions were everywhere.
I think the story ended perfectly and honestly can't picture any other way it should go... I want to know more, yet I don't if that makes sense. I'm happy where Hazel is .*cue more tears*
This is a must read for everyone ... No questions. Just go now. So I finished this a few days ago... But I didn't write the review immediately. I just needed a little time for it to settle in; I don't see how people can just go round living their lives normally when I've just experienced emotional trauma in the form of a paperback! John Green is an amazing author, and how he wrote this gem, I'll never know..!
First of all, why? Why does this book have to seem so real..? Why does it have to play with your emotions throughout? This is hands-down the saddest book I have read and probably will ever read. I'm never reduced to tears by a book, but this one cracked me. This story of Hazel, Augustus, Isaac and all the other characters is heart-breaking... It's just completely brilliant. Littered with beautiful quotes that will never leave me, this is the most beautiful of all of John Green's books! It also made me laugh (Hazel has a great sense of humor), angry (a certain fictional writer...) and think (about my infinities)... If you want a book that will take you on a whirlwind of emotions, this is your book. This book deserves all the reads it can get (and many more)!
“I’m on a roller coaster that only goes up, my friend.” ~ Augustus Waters
Augustus is a great character. He's written brilliantly, and it's oh-so difficult to believe he isn't real! This goes for all of John Green's characters – he's a character-making genius! No, really. Even if the quote above is repeated around three times (getting sadder and less truthful each time it's said), it really shows what a positive character Augustus is. Both him and Hazel are looked down upon for having these conditions, but Augustus is always optimistic and looking for the best. He helps Isaac out a great deal and this makes his character so likable.
I found it really unusual in that this book was narrated by a girl... I mean, Paper Towns and Looking For Alaska are both narrated by boys... And this book has Hazel. However, I like it just as much this way. Hazel is also very, very likable, and some of the things she says are hilarious (in a kind of morbid way)... Even though I still can't pick a favourite John Green book, the characters from The Fault in Our Stars are perhaps my favourite. The only problem is,that you're forever worried about Hazel and Augustus, and you have this reoccurring thought coming into your head that the ending won't be a 'happily ever after'...
â€œMy thoughts are stars I cannot fathom into constellations.â€? ~ Augustus Waters
This book is thought-provoking (like the rest)! It makes you think about life, death and what people will remember of you when you are gone... What legacy will you leave behind? Through the eyes of Hazel and Augustus, these ideas are explored and they are fascinating (even if you're not the philosophical type)! All of the small theories (infinity is now my favourite number!) and ideas make you think... And... Ahhhhhhh! This book is so beautifully written and full of all these beautiful thoughts that it is impossible for you not to love it! As I said, this book is about life and death, it's thought-provoking, it's extremely sad and everybody should read this book! All the success was well deserved, and I genuinely hate myself for not picking up this book earlier! Is it too soon for a reread?
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