Where can I even begin? Very few books have ever torn me apart as much as TFIOS did. I remember buying the book on my kindle around noon because the preview seemed interesting. I read for about an hour, and then I took some time off to help set up my fish tank. When I came back to it, it was around midnight. When I finished the book, it was 2 am, and my eyes were swollen from crying, so much to the point that my mom was concerned. TFIOS is one of those books that really sticks with you for a long time after you read the last words.
This is my review of The Fault In Our Stars, which was probably the best book I read in 2014.
Synopsis: *Spoilers ahead*
TFIOS is about a girl named Hazel, who has thyroid cancer that spread to her lungs. Her parents basically force her to attend a support group, where she has a friend, a boy named Isaac, who’s already lost one eye to cancer, and is about to lose the other. It is at that support group that she meets one of Isaac’s friends, a boy named Augustus, who lost a leg to cancer, but is now cancer-free and only there to support Isaac. The two of them immediately hit it off, and thus begins their star-crossed romance. Hazel goes home with him, where they watch a movie and exchange their favorite books. This is a major plot point, as Hazel’s favorite book, An Imperial Affliction, leads up to some of the events to come, such as the trip to Amsterdam, and their entire relationship.
The book takes a turn for the sad when we discover that Augustus’s cancer has come back. He begins treatment for it, but after a while, his family decides to stop the chemo and just let Augustus live his remaining life. There are a few more happy moments mixed in with the sad, but soon, Augustus Waters dies, leaving Hazel behind.
This book was AMAZING. Rarely do I ever read through a book all in one day, and I almost never sob for nearly an hour while reading the ending. I’m glad that I read this on my kindle, because the pages of the book would have been wet with my tears.
John Green managed a perfect blend of light and dark moments, with everything from Augustus’s decline in health, to the throwing of eggs at Isaac’s ex-girlfriend’s car. One moment you’re smiling, and the next your sobbing your eyes out. I feel like that balance is one of the things that makes this book so great. Even after you learn that Augustus’s cancer has come back, it’s not a completely dark part of the book. You can still find yourself smiling, even though you have a feeling that something bad is coming soon.
One scene, Augustus’s Pre-Funeral, really struck me. Augustus, or Gus, as he’s called by this point in the book, knows that he doesn’t have too long left, so he calls his two best friends, Hazel and Isaac, to give their eulogies while he’s still alive to hear them. This is an especially heart wrenching part of the novel, as you get to see how much Gus means to his friends. Later, at Gus’s real funeral, Hazel says that funerals are for the living, which I agree with completely. Funerals are pretty much a way for the living to grieve together. However, the pre-funeral was pretty much Gus’s way of accepting what’s going to happen, which I thought was beautiful, as most people don’t get to hear their eulogies.
The ending of the book was another wonderful part. Hazel reads a letter from Gus to Van Houten, asking him to write a eulogy for Hazel because he can’t. It’s pretty much a letter highlighting all of her good features, and ends with one of my favorite lines, “You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world, old man, but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices. I hope she likes hers.” For me, that line had be sobbing so hard, partially because it’s one of the last lines, and also because of just how true it is.
I don’t even know what more to say. 5/5 stars. Bravo, Mr. John Green. You have written one of my favorite books. Bravo.
If you haven’t read this book, PLEASE go read it. Or see the movie. Or both. I highly recommend both. I’m usually not the type of person that likes to see movies, especially book-to-movie adaptations, but this is a wonderful exception. Read the book, and then see the movie. You won’t be disappointed.