Published by Brilliance Audio on 1/10/2012
Genres: Contemporary Fiction, Young Adult
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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.
I don’t think that I can give The Fault In Our Stars the praise it most certainly deserves. So let me tell you a little story:
I’m driving down I-95 on my way to South Carolina last weekend to see my family for my cousin’s wedding. I decided I’d finish The Fault In Our Stars by John Green, because I had started it the weekend before and 7 hours in the car was the perfect time for some interrupted audiobook listening (without my boyfriend mocking me, I might add).
John Green’s writing nearly caused 1) an accident, because I was getting so wrapped up in the story, that I was spacing out and not really paying attention to the road (did I mention it rained my entire drive down?), and 2) me to pull over because The Fault In Our Stars caused me such excruciatingly painful (and awesome!) feels, that I didn’t think I could keep driving.
I had to turn it off and listen to Ke$ha for a little while. True story.
This was my first John Green novel. It won’t be my last. I Loved it with a capital “L”. Yep, capital “L” Love. The exquisite and emotional story tugged at me in ways very few novels have. I can probably tick them off on one hand, honestly. Hazel Grace and Augustus Waters are like two star-crossed lovers in my mind. Fated, but their infinity together is unfairly small. Bound together by cancer, they bond, not just with each other, but with the idea that they will not live forever, so they MUST LIVE NOW. And live they do.
John Green doesn’t keep The Fault In Our Stars all sobs and heartbreak. He somehow knows what it’s like, that to have cancer, you must have a sense of humor about life and all the things in it. So many scenes, or small quotes from the characters themselves had me laughing out loud. I quickly fell in love with all of them. The story told from a teenaged girl’s point-of-view is brilliant brilliant BRILLIANT with a capital B. I’ve only been on one side of cancer; now I can say I’ve been on the other, through Hazel and Gus.
So, spoiler alert, we’re talking about kids with cancer. There is no happily-ever-after in this story. There is only before and after. I appreciated the realistic concept, rather than a, “Surprise! You’re cured!” approach I think some authors would take. Green is not afraid to make his readers feel, or think. And that’s what The Fault In Our Stars does: it makes you think, about life, death, mortality, the Before and the After, and what you are making of your life now.
Basically what I’m saying is, this book deserves the highest praise and I bow down its greatness and John Green.
“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.”
This audiobook is narrated by Kate Rudd, who performs beautifully. I will certainly look for more novels narrated by her.
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