Publisher: Dutton on January 10, 2012
Reading Challenges: 2014 Rewind Challenge, 2014 TBR Reading Challenge
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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.
Okay, to be honest, the reason I picked this novel up and actually read it was because my friends had read it and basically forced it upon me. I had been eyeing it, of course, because of all of the hype surrounding it. But I actually picked it up at the force of my friends’ hands.
The plot of The Fault in Our Stars is a well known one: the two cancer patients, one terminal, one in remission. The love of all loves. The tears that accompany those who dare pick up and read such a sad book. So I’m not going to take the time to spell it out for you. The plot of the novel wasn’t the kicker with this novel. The point of this novel was the feels. The feels you feel when you read about these poor kids suffering from such illnesses.
Since I’ve read this novel, I have been referred to as heartless by the teenagers in my school who think that they are avid “readers” just because they’ve read this novel. That being said, I didn’t blubber like a baby when I read this novel. I didn’t shed a tear. Was it sad, the situation these characters were in? Of course it was. Unlike the accusations I’ve faced, I am not heartless. I am just desensitized to many things that occur in a hospital setting. I want to be a surgeon, a trauma brain surgeon, so I can’t be that affected by things like death. I will see it frequently in the future. That being said, maybe it was the fact that I knew what was going to happen in the novel. But I am quite certain that that is not what it is. The simple explanation is that it did not tug on my heartstrings like it does so many others. That may make me unsympathetic, unfeeling, or any other word that people may thing to describe me after this. But it is how I felt and there is no amount of words that people can call me that will change the fact that this book did not make me cry.
“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 anything. 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 discovered 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 time before organisms experienced consciousness, and there will be 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.”
Now that that rant is over, I can talk about the characters. Hazel’s character just did not do in for me. She sounded like some 50-60 year old professor with the vocabulary that girl was throwing. I know, I know, she’s wise and worldly because she is a terminal cancer patient and all. But I don’t find that true. I’ve seen terminally ill patients during my internship at the hospital this past year, and no one there reminded me of Hazel. But regardless of that fact, she was a very well written character. I don’t really have any more opinions on her simply due to the fact that I could not relate to her character at all.
“‘I’m in love with you,’ he said quietly. ‘Augustus,’ I said. ‘I am,’ he said. He was staring at me, and I could see the corners of his eyes crinkling. ‘I’m in love with you, and I’m not in the business of denying myself the simple pleasure of saying true things. I’m in love with you, and I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we’re all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust, and I know the sun will swallow the only earth we’ll ever have, and I am in love with you.”'”
Augustus Waters. He, on the other hand, I adored. He was charming and sweet and funny and romantic. He wasn’t my favorite book boy (le gasp!) but he was okay. View Spoiler » I felt bad about his demise. Speaking of demise, another point I’ve been criticized on: the fact that I wasn’t crushed when he died. But I’m sorry: I can’t get too emotional over a sentence at the beginning of a chapter stating that he died. I just don’t have it in me. « Hide Spoiler
The Fault in Our Stars was not a bad novel by far. It wasn’t the best novel, or the saddest novel, but it was well written, engaging, and it was an overall good read. Although it didn’t live up to the extremely high expectations that I had set, it is still one that I can whole-heartedly recommend. I was one of the few that didn’t absolutely die over love for this novel, and that is fine. I know many people love it, and I’m sure if you give it a try you would too. It just wasn’t the best one for me.