Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (NY: Dutton, 2012).

Hazel is seventeen and knows she's dying of cancer.  A fancy drug is retarding her inevitable demise, but her reliance on a portable oxygen tank (by day) and a breathing machine (at night) means her future doesn't extend too far.  And she's OK with that--resigned really. She even goes to the Cancer Kid Support Group when her mom decides Hazel is depressed (!).  And there, one day, Augustus Waters shows up and Hazel's life shifts in ways she never expected, which just goes to show that even dying can take an unanticipated course.

It's a book about kids with cancer, so expect to cry, but also expect an amazing amount of humor and insight.  The characters are pitch perfect, including the parents.  Hazel's best friend Kaitlyn seems like a throwaway, but some of the other secondary characters are mind blowing--in different ways.  The description of  Peter, the leader of the support group and a survivor of testicular cancer, is particularly hilarious, while the details of another group member's experience losing his second eye is searingly sad. Hazel and Augustus's relationship is naturally doomed from the start, yet rivetingly detailed and surprisingly hopeful. Green delivers brilliantly in this lovely, sad, romantic story.  Highly recommended for teens, 13 & up. Sexual situations, language, alcohol, experimental (cancer) drugs.

1 comment:

Alex said...

I am very interested in this book. It seems such a difficult subject to write about. I like your review and will have to look for this in the library,