The Fault in our Stars
By, John Green
If you don’t know this story (soon to be out in theaters, at least here in the Rockies), it will cross your path in one way or another.
I feel that this story is one of those that some can avoid due to what seems like an obvious tale of either death or triumph. However, there is much more to it and worth the read. I give this a five star for a few reasons personal to me:
1. It’s for deep thinkers like myself.
2. It challenges logical thought.
3. It sticks with you after you are done reading, and does for a while.
4. It is real and is not filled with fluff.
She speaks to her life with an honesty.
She likes boys, but not always herself.
She likes her thinking, because of course she is always right.
Her past seems fairly normal and her parents typical to what you would expect in American, midwest, middle class. She is a teenager in a world still governed by her parents but her life is not mainstream by any means. Hazel is an interesting girl with a blunt perspective, which in itself makes her interesting.
Without realizing it this story gets you thinking, about yourself.
Hazel holds a hope and a clarity that allow her to think beyond her challenges. It can put a shame on those of us who blow right by that clarity at times. She is bitter from her illness. This bitterness is sweetened, however, by her newly found, special friend, Gus. Their relationship follows the familiar but their perspectives together are more mature than a lot of us reading this blog.
The best part of Hazel for me is that she is real.
I liked how it felt like I was there, in the day to day with Hazel, Gus and Isaac. The book gives you intimate and friendly relationships. The teenage innocence and curiosities are natural and the bond between friends is admirable. Although the young adults are struggling, the parents are having their own hard times with everything and the two sometimes challenge each other. Even so, with the way the characters are presented, it did not leave me with any “good guy” vs. “bad guy” viewpoint. John Green also throws in a bit of a surprise that involves a character far removed from this home group. It is interesting to follow him as well.
As I was reading, the book took me through hard times, yes, but it is also sprinkled with good humor and motivation. You can really come to like these guys! Without spoiling any ending, I can tell you that it starts you off in the thick of things and closes with legs. I personally, like that. It makes me feel like the characters are still out here, pulling for the good life and I personally like that too.
In the end...
One of the listed praises in the book refers to it as an “intellectual explosion” and I have to agree. To read The Fault in our Stars, I’d say be willing to go beyond the obvious story and challenge your own intellect and perspectives. This story helps you self reflect and take a good look around. I did not find this to be a simple feel good story but found something more. It has gems for the taking if you can accept them.
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