Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Fault in our Stars.

The Fault in our Stars
by: John Green

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

ohh.. I have wanted to read this for a while, but even more since I found the vlogbrothers. This lived up to all of the expectations I had. All of the feels were felt. All of the laughs were laughed. All of he crys were cried.

Smart and Deep Heroine: CHECK
I loved Hazel. She was different and yet normal. I appreciated how John Green never let her stop being a teenager or a person. Just because she had to live with cancer never meant that she lived some perfect or trancendent lifestyle. She was just a girl who had to deal with the unfair realities of life. She was brilliant and clever, but in a way that made her seem more human. She was funny in mostly a very morbid way, but it made her more relatable in a strange way.

Brave and Brilliant Hero: CHECK
Augustus Waters. Gus. He was (to quote Stephanie Perkins...) "Delightfully screwy". Yes, he had gigantic faults, like his obsession with metaphoric resonance. He is not the picture perfect prince charming, he is damaged and irreparable.However, he finds a way to be funny and charming and brave. Another fault is his belief that a heroic life must include guts and glory. He is constantly fighting against wanting to do something magnificent and knowing that he's likely never going to. He forgets that merely being alive is a magnificent thing. Hazel shows him that there is something heroic about being selfless and noticing things. That's the hard truth discussed in this book, how we as people deal with the nevers and the always.

Original Plot and Unique Setting: CHECK
first, I loved reading a book based in Indianapolis because I live fifteen minutes from it. I've been to some of the places described in the book and it was easy to picture it. The hospital that Hazel goes to is the one that my little brother goes to. I also laughed out loud at most of the slams John Green takes at Indy (and I thought it was even funnier because I know that he lives in Indy too). They are funny because they're true, but its still easy to love Indy for what it is.
Also, I think The Fault in our Stars is a book about cancer that refuses to be a "cancer book." It breaks all of the stereotypes and speaks deeply not just to people with cancer, but to everyone just trying to figure out life.

Extraordinary Supporting Characters: CHECK
The Parents:I loved that John included the parents as real and realistic characters, rather than just an afterthought (which happens in quite a lot of YA books). I know that he
had Henry while working on this book, so he had more insight into how parents think about and act around their kids. I appreciated that Hazel's mom was going to be a "Patrick" and that her dad wasn't afraid to let his emotions show.
Isaac: I flipping love this man! I cannot even imagine how hard it would be to lose your sight, but he handled it better than I would expect. He also always made me laugh.
Peter Van Houten: There is nothing quite like a fictional author of a fictional book in a fictional book... (its Bookception). He was insane, and yet all too often he made sense. He's also a good example of how we are often disappointed when we put people on a pedestal. I love the point that John Green makes about fiction in this book. It doesn't exist, its not real, but that is why it is so important. It can have great influence upon our lives and yet not exist outside of the few lines of text that the story inhabits.

Plot Twists and Action: CHECK
well, not 'plot twists' in the typical sense, but there was one pretty big turn of events...and there was no action, but there were plenty of events happening. Always something going on to keep the plot moving. He packed so many thing into this relatively short book that made it seem a whole lot longer.

This book was everything I was expecting and so much more. A great book is one that makes you think. While I didn't necessarily agree with some of the opinions stated in the book, it got me thinking. That is why we read, to think about the realities of life from completely different perspectives.


“My thoughts are stars I cannot fathom into constellations.”

“That's the thing about demands to be felt.”

"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.”

“You don't get to choose if you get hurt in this world...but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices.”

"I cannot tell you how thankful I am for our little infinity. I wouldn't trade it for the world. You gave me a forever within the numbered days, and I'm grateful.”

“Some infinities are bigger than other infinities.”

“The marks humans leave are too often scars.”

“Some people don't understand the promises they're making when they make them," I said.
"Right, of course. But you keep the promise anyway. That's what love is. Love is keeping the promise anyway.”

“Oh, I wouldn't mind, Hazel Grace. It would be a privilege to have my heart broken by you.”

“Grief does not change you, Hazel. It reveals you.”

"And in freedom, most people find sin.”

“Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book. And then there are books like An Imperial Affliction, which you can't tell people about, books so special and rare and yours that advertising your affection feels like betrayal”

“You are so busy being YOU that you have no idea how utterly unprecedented you are.”

“The pleasure of remembering had been taken from me, because there was no longer anyone to remember with. It felt like losing your co-rememberer meant losing the memory itself, as if the things we'd done were less real and important than they had been hours before.”

“But it is the nature of stars to cross, and never was Shakespeare more wrong than when he has Cassius note, ‘The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars / But in ourselves.”

“You have a choice in this world, I believe, about how to tell sad stories, and we made the funny choice.”

“The weird thing about houses is that they almost always look like nothing is happening inside of them, even though they contain most of our lives. I wondered if that was sort of the point of architecture.”

“The real heroes anyway aren't the people doing things; the real heroes are the people noticing things, paying attention.”

“People will say it's sad that she leaves a lesser scar, that fewer remember her, that she was loved deeply but not widely. But it's not sad, Van Houten. It's triumphant. It's heroic. Isn't that the real heroism? Like the doctors say: First, do no harm.”

"I lit up like a Christmas tree, Hazel Grace."

(sorry... there were just a ton of quotes... #sorrynotsorry. ;) )

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