Evil Eva reviews ...... The Fault In Our Stars by John Green.
Dissecting The Cover:
This cover is very simple which I think is great because the story is very complicated. I mean, it's about cancer, that's some serious biz, y'all. Yet the cover is completely void of anything screaming "Warning: This Is A Sad Cancer Book in Which Someone Will Invariably Die At The End."
Hazel Grace Lancaster is a 16 year old girl living with cancer, relegated to attend a weekly Support Group with other sick kids lead by an peppy, testicular cancer survivor named Patrick in a church basement referred to as The Literal Heart of Jesus. It's all a little too depressing in Hazel's opinion.
She would much rather stay at home watching America's Next Top Model marathons or reading her favorite book, An Imperial Affliction, for the umpteenth time.
But then a chance encounter at the Support Group changes everything.
Because it's there that Hazel meets Augustus Waters. And Augustus Waters is amazing! He's sweet and funny and oh so charming. So, of course, Hazel finds herself falling in love with him. And Augustus is falling for her as well.
But Hazel is living on borrowed time and the last thing she wants to do is break Augustus's heart. In fact, she doesn't want to break anyone's heart.
Hazel can't change her unfair fate, but maybe she can finally find something worth living for.
Here's What I Think:
Yeah, Hazel is 16 and has cancer and it's all so totally unfair. It's just a fact of her life. She's living to die. But she's not gonna make a big woe-is-me deal about it.
She's gonna go to her Cancer Kids Support Group meetings and roll her eyes along with her fellow cancer-having pal Isaac as they listen to the ridiculousness spewed by their overly optimistic group leader.
She's gonna sit around watching Tyra obliterate the dreams of young model hopefuls.
She's gonna obsess about the ending that wasn't really an ending of her favorite book.
This is how Hazel chooses to spend what little time she might have left.
Until she meets the devastatingly swoony Augustus Waters.
So Hazel puts her sad story on hold for awhile so she can begin her love story.
Like most teenagers, Hazel becomes consumed with her new crush. Augustus Waters is the air Hazel struggles to breath. and while I found this to be incredibly believable, there were times when I felt like Hazel was kinda rude to other people because her mind was so Augustus-centric. But then I remembered that she's only 16 and this is her first real love and she has this terrible disease and who knows how much time she might have left. So, in the grand scheme of things, a little boy obsession isn't that big of a deal.
And if you're gonna obsess over a certain boy, you could do a lot worse than the swoony-pants charm of Augustus Waters.
Augustus is basically a 17 year old George Clooney with a prosthetic leg.
He always feels "grand." He enjoys breaking cancer-caused tension by cracking jokes. And, HELLO!, he totally gave Hazel his one Cancer Kids Wish!
So, ok, it's pretty easy to see why Hazel went so completely gaga. But that doesn't mean she has to be so short with her mom, who may very well be The Best Mom EVER, and Isaac, who, with his wit and wisdom, completely won me over! In fact, special shout-out to Isaac! Cos while I liked Hazel and Augustus just fine, Isaac was by far my fave!
So yes, this is the story of a young girl with cancer. And yes, it's a story about death. But it's also about life. And love. And friendship. And family. Everything that is most important. All of the things that make life so worth living.
Augustus Waters is quite the charmer, y'all. He always knows the right things to say and do. It's no wonder Hazel falls for him.
He makes her laugh. He understands what she's going through. He doesn't get all Debbie Downer on her. He gives her his Cancer Kids Wish. He reads her favorite book so they have something to talk about. *book nerd sigh*
And, perhaps my favorite, Augustus always refers to Hazel by her first and middle name, i.e. Hazel Grace. I just thought that was really cute every time he said it! It doesn't take all that much to impress me. ;)
Hazel Grace is as fangirly about An Imperial Affliction as Augustus is fanboyish about The Price of Dawn. I love reading books about people that love reading books! It gives me an immediate book nerd connection to them! ;)
Both Hazel's and Augustus's parents are super cool. Given their rotten circumstances, (you know, that whole "their children will probably die before they do" thing) they remain positive and good-natured. And somehow they manage to keep their sense of humor too.
If You Liked That, Try This:
Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan.
The Scale Of Judgment Says:
Not just another weepy Cancer Book. Although -SPOILER ALERT- you probably will weep.