I feel I should preface this review by saying I don't typically read books that are designed to be tearjerkers. Having said that, I was desperate to read this book as I'd heard such amazing things about it and I'm so totally glad I did. I LOVED this book and is definately one of my favourites.The Fault in Our Stars
is the story of Hazel, a 16 year old girl with terminal lung cancer, which is held at bay by various drugs. She must constantly be connected to an oxygen tank to help her breathe. For her, life is just surviving each day, watching TV and going to support group. But then, at one ordinary support group meeting, she meets Augustus Waters. A 17 year old cancer survivor, and life changes. Hazel begins to see that there can be more to life than just surviving cancer, and re-examines her beliefs about sickness, it's effect on people and their loved ones, and the legacy we leave behind.
I felt in love with this book straight away. I pretty much devoured the entire first half of the book in one sitting, and the rest soon followed. Hazel was a great narrator, with her dry and witty humor and precocious attitude, and I felt drawn into her really quickly, and it made me totally re-think about my attitude and beliefs about sickness etc. as she did.
I loved Augustus as well, for many of the same reasons as I loved Hazel. I was a little worried that their relationship would be too much like the insta-love type of romance that I HATE in books, but while they were immediately drawn together it still felt quite natural (at least for your average teenagers) and Hazel did resist it awhile as well.
There were some great secondary characters as well that I fell in love with and had a good storyline, particularly Isaac who was great and had a really sad but interesting storyline too: spoiler
he has a terrible eye cancer and have surgery that makes him blind in order to get rid of it, and to top it off his long-term girlfriend at the time breaks up with him around the same time because she cannot handle the situation. His story was really sad but also felt quite realistic and added another shade to the story and another reality of cancer that differs to what Hazel experiences and what Augustus experiences.
The characters were compelling enough, but the thoughts and ideas that Green's novel provokes were good as well which I briefly mentioned before. Through Hazel, Green makes us re-assess what sickness is and how it affects not only us but also the people around us who love us. He makes us wonder about the legacy we want to leave behind, as well as the legacy we actually leave behind.
And it was sad. I knew it would be, but still I was almost surprised by how invested I became and how heartbreaking it was. About a third of the way through the book I was in tears, and for the entire last section of the book I was in hysterical tears. I loved this book so much and that made it hurt so much more.
Overall, this is a fantastic and compelling book, with great characters. It's heartbreaking, but I loved it none-the-less.