Format: Hardcover, 318 pages
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
Published January 10th, 2012 by Dutton Juvenile
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Summary from Goodreads:Disclaimer: this review is more of a long winded babbling than a review. Sorry about that.
Diagnosed 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.
I think everyone can acknowledge that this book was good. Some call it John Green's best. There are countless glowing reviews so if it seems like I'm focusing on the negative things, it's just because I feel like all the fantastic things about this novel have already been said.
If you've read other TFioS reviews, you've probably already heard about the crying and tears... and while I did get teary eyed and cried at one point in the novel, it was not an emotional breakdown kind of book for me. You would think that a book dealing with cancer would be chock full of overbearing scenes of despair, but it's really not. I appreciate that John Green didn't try to go all Nicholas Sparks on us. (Nothing against Nicholas Sparks, but really, his books are a recipe for tears).
Although I loved this book, a thing that bothered me was that at times, it felt really... pretentious. And I know it's slightly pretentious to use the word pretentious, but that's the word that comes to mind. I'm okay with the fact that Hazel and Augustus aren't exactly your typical teenagers. It's refreshing to read about witty teenagers who think more about their lives than school, friends, partying, etc. But some of their dialogue and mannerisms just came off as pretentious to me... Augustus and his unlit cigarette metaphors... like, if I met someone like that in real life, I wouldn't know whether to think he was cool and thoughtful, or a douche. And some of the profound moments and sophistication in this book felt forced and over calculated. Just my opinion.
Overall, while TFioS is a beautiful story that I most definitely enjoyed reading, it didn't live up to the hype for me. (And what I mean by 'live up to the hype' is I was kind of expecting a 5+ out of 5. Maybe it's my fault for having high expectations.). This is just my opinion, 99.999999% of the people who have read TFioS LOVED it with their heart and soul.
Okay, so after writing all that, I realized it kind of sounds like I didn't like this book... even though I really did! *pinky promise* While I was reading, there were times where I wanted to sticky note passages and annotate. And I'm not gonna lie, first thing I did after I finished this book was look up An Imperial Affliction on Goodreads.
Here are some of my favorite quotes:
(Emphasis needed on the word some. Because I have a lot.)
“I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, then all at once.”
“That's the thing about pain...it demands to be felt.”
“It's just that most really good-looking people are stupid, so I exceed expectations.'
'Right, it's primarily his hotness,' I said.
'It can be sort of blinding,' he said.
'It actually did blind our friend Isaac,' I said.
'Terrible tragedy, that. But can I help my own deadly beauty?'
'It is my burden, this beautiful face.'
'Not to mention your body.'
'Seriously, don't even get me started on my hot bod. You don't want to see me naked, Dave. Seeing me naked actually took Hazel Grace's breath away,' he said, nodding toward the oxygen tank.”
-John Green, The Fault in Our Stars