YA Book Club: The Fault in Our Stars

So…uh…yeah…about that book…*sniffles*…it’s…*breaks down*.

That was me when I closed The Fault in Our Stars. Not eloquent and definitely in no stage to give a proper review.

Summary from GoodreadsDiagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 12, 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

When Tracey announced that The Fault in Our Stars would be the book for this month YA Book Club (by the way: if you want to join or just check out Tracey’s amazing blog, you can click here), I did this:

And then, I thanked her.  This was the comment I left on her blog:  “Thank you for picking it, because honestly I was not quite sure I would pick it up. Why? Because I am afraid to know from the get-go that I will cry. Plenty of books make me tear up. Crying while reading happened (cough *more than once* cough) but it came usually as somewhat of a surprise. I have never read books about cancer; I probably stayed away from them unconsciously. I need to warn the hubby that he might find me crying on the couch soon. Since I also become emotive while I watch TV, he might turn to me while I’m reading and say “So not crying yet?” 😀

I read that book at my Mother-In-Law’s while my husband was trying to jump the battery of the car which had died because I had left a light on. I cuddled on the bed and read until tears fell freely on my face. My dear Mother-In-Law wondered a bit when I suddenly came out of the bedroom, with red eyes, the sniffles and asking her for tissues. She smiled at me but she glanced quickly at her son, dear hubby, who had just gotten back, with a question mark on her face.  My husband who is fully aware of my possible emotional state when I 1) read, 2) watch a movie, 3) watch a TV show, 4) read old letters…just shrugged it off. “She was reading a sad book”.

But the thing is, as I explained to him while driving around to make sure the battery got charged up, this book is not a “sad book”. John Green did not show us mopey, he introduced us to fun, loving, funny, quirky, witty, strong, weak, flawed, lovable, smart characters. He introduced us to “people”. And that is where the magic of this book is. Hazel and Augustus are afraid of course but their feelings are not tamed. They jump out of the pages directly into the heart of the reader.

I laughed while reading. I smiled. I nodded (like my own characters, I seem to do a lot of nodding). I yelled (in my head) at the unfairness of it all. Yes, I also cried. A lot.

It is a book full of emotions. It´s a roller coaster. It´s life and it´s beautiful.

I cannot wait to join the discussion  😀 What did YOU think about this book?

27 Comments

  1. Sounds fantastic. I’ve read one book (can’t remember the name offhand) but it was about a boy dying with cancer and the girl who loved him. So sad. But in the end, a triumph of life. Sounds like this is another good choice. Will look into. Oh–and I cry at TV, books, movies, old letters, etc. too.

  2. Great review. I totally agree. These characters were so real I had a hard time toward the end. I loved them so much that it hurt to see them struggle and be in pain. After one scene, I was crying so hard I couldn’t stop squeezing my eyes shut. I had to put the book down and I took a few days off from reading it. Haha.

    • Elodie says:

      Thanks Tracey…I put the book away a few times as well. Just too powerful.
      John Green is a magician or an amazing writer to make us feel so much with the characters of his book! Thanks again for hosting the book club, I really enjoy the experience!

  3. Rebecca B says:

    Great review! I cried while reading, too, but I spent equal time smiling/laughing. You are so right to call it a roller coaster of emotions, and in a good way.

    • Elodie says:

      Thanks Rebecca…The beauty of this book is really to make us go through a rainbow of emotions. I felt so much while reading and it is in itself a beautiful experience…

  4. I’m a crier, too, and this book really got me sobbing. It was messy. But you are right, it is also a funny book and a relatable book, and the characters feel like real people. I love that John Green had to put a note at the beginning that they are not, in fact, real people.

    • Elodie says:

      I forgot about that note! 😀
      John Green really pulled me in, I forgot about the writer and the craft to just let myself feel while reading.
      Such a wonderful experience!

  5. I totally agree! It’s a sad book but it’s also SO much more. I was so grateful for the funny moments in between the sad ones. I’ll remember this book and the characters for a long, long time. 🙂

    • Elodie says:

      Thanks Ghenet…
      The mix of emotions so very well crafted is really what got me in this book. How John Green makes us care for the characters on such a deep level…Hazel & Augustus will definitely stay with me for a long time as well…

  6. katyupperman says:

    “,,,he introduced us to fun, loving, funny, quirky, witty, strong, weak, flawed, lovable, smart characters. He introduced us to “people”. And that is where the magic of this book is.”

    Yes! I completely agree. That’s what, for me, made this book more than just another book about cancer. The characters are just so real and fully-formed, it was hard NOT to get attached to them.

    Great review, Elodie!

    • Elodie says:

      Thanks, Katy! 😀

      I am really amazed at the craft John Green showed in writing this book. I totally forgot about the writer in me and just left myself feel…I´m not sure if that makes sense but it was powerful 😀

  7. karibradley7 says:

    I finished this book a day or two after Patrick Ness’ A Monster Calls, which also happens to be about cancer. It’s also beautifully written, but I think you hit the nail on the head when you says that “this book is not a ‘sad book’. John Green did not show us mopey, he introduced us to fun, loving, funny, quirky, witty, strong, weak, flawed, lovable, smart characters. He introduced us to ‘people’.”

    How can a book about cancer not be about the disease? He made it about the characters and their journey. So wonderful!

    • Elodie says:

      Thanks Kari and I hope you read a romantic/funny book after those two 😀

      John Green is a master. The disease is there, it´s not put down but it´s not who they are. Hazel & Augustus are simply much more than the disease and they remind us of the people behind the scary words.
      Really beautiful!

      • karibradley7 says:

        Ha, yes, I’m reading Being Friends with Boys (thanks to Galley Grab), and The Disenchantments. Both happen to be right up my alley because they’re about bands/music/rocker chicks. Digging it!

    • Elodie says:

      Exactly! Those two live and feel…They do not forget about their disease but they do not let the disease be the only thing that they are.

      They remind us of the power of loving and of living. Really moving!

      (and I´m glad to see that I´m not the only getting teary watching the screen :D)

  8. Pingback: The one with my favorite books (read in February) « commutinggirl

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