First off, I will say this upfront: I REALLY REALLY REALLY LOVE THIS BOOK!
I read The Fault In Our Stars last August, and until now, I still can’t get over with what happened. But first, let me give a brief background. John Green is a by-word when it comes to favorite young-adult authors among members in the book club. I got curious about him and read Paper Towns, and since then, I became a fan. I was asking which John Green book to read next after Paper Towns, and Tina, a John Green fan, recommended The Fault In Our Stars.
I finished the second half of the book at dawn, when it was one of those days where you suddenly just wake up in the wee hours of the morning and cannot anymore go back to sleep. After I was done, I was already bawling and sobbing. No, really. Who wouldn’t? The book is about cancer, cancer kids, dying, and loving — all reasons enough to open a dam of tears for a softie like me. However, The Fault In Our Stars is not just about cancer. In fact, it is more than a cancer book — it is a book about life and living. And since it talks about life, then it is inevitable that it will also talk about death. Indeed, life and death go hand in hand. One cannot live life fully without thinking about the reality of death.
The main characters — Hazel Grace and Augustus — are sixteen and seventeen, respectively, and they are afflicted with cancer. They met at a Support Group session for cancer kids and it wasn’t actually love at first sight. Their personalities clash, and their views on life and dying are different. Hazel Grace is strong in character despite her illness, and she tries to cope with the reality of her dying by reading books. Augustus, on the other hand, is full of enthusiasm and zeal, which isn’t surprising because he is already well and free from cancer.
There are a lot of things I love about this book. No, scratch that. I love everything about this book. The characters who are as real as they can be, not downright pathetic. I love the sarcasm of Hazel Grace and her effort to be tough despite the odds. I love the discussions between Hazel and Gus on their favorite books. Believe me, I really looked up An Imperial Affliction by Peter Van Houten on the internet! Haha!
And the quotes. You just gotta love the quotes. I want to list down my favorite parts but I think that would be spoilery, so you might as well find out for yourself. Okay, please indulge me in a couple of quotes. Hee. 😉
“I’m in love with you, and I’m not in the business of denying myself the simple pleasure of saying true things.”
“If you don’t live a life in service of a greater good, you’ve gotta at least die a death in service of a greater good, you know?”
Okay, I said just a couple, so I’ll stop right there.
Most of all, I love that this book tackled a sensitive subject such as death with great care and deep insight. I know that not everybody wants to read about sickness and dying, but for me, I am already at this point in life where I am looking at how I have lived my life and how I will live my life from here on. It may sound old-ish, but yeah, I guess, age does that to you?;) Perspective is all that matters, and how we choose to view our lives will dictate the actions that we will make, whether we are dying with cancer or not.
Ah, I can go on and on saying how and what I love about this book, but I guess I have already driven down my point? I think I have already found my most favorite book of this year. Oh wait, there’s still Never Let Me Go. Okay, I’ll let them share the top spot.
“You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world, old man, but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices. I hope she likes hers.”
*WAILS AND BAWLS*
5/5 stars. AND MORE!!!