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The Fault in Our Stars by John Green This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

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Love, Life, and Its Imperial Affliction

“Whenever you read a cancer booklet or website or whatever, they always list depression among the side effects of cancer. But, in fact, depression is not a side effect of cancer. Depression is a side effect of dying. (Cancer is also a side effect of dying. Almost everything is, really.)” This is how, by page one, John Green had me hooked. Green, author of young adult novels such as Paper Towns, An Abundance of Katherines, and Looking for Alaska, released his newest novel, The Fault in Our Stars, on January 10, 2012. The novel follows sixteen-year old Hazel Grace Lancaster through her battle with, not only cancer, but the challenge of living a “meaningful” life. Whatever that means.

One of the things that connected me to the text, more so than any of Green’s other novels, is the biting and witty realism of Hazel. All of Green’s major previous works have been told from the perspective of a teenaged (usually nerdy) male. To read something of his written from the female perspective was a breath of fresh air. Like many of Green’s other protagonists, Hazel and her love interest Augustus Waters converse is a fashion that makes me green with envy. Their intellectual quips and humor make me yearn for a generation of teenagers who are more interested in literary debate than the newest edition of Call of Duty.

This novel is a roller coaster of emotion. In the five hours I spent devouring it, I giggled, guffawed, screamed in frustration, bawled my eyes out, and laughed through the tears. This myriad of reactions is the sign of a meaningful text. There is no point in experiencing something which gives you nothing in return. Jonathan Franzen once said that “The reader is a friend, not an adversary, not a spectator.” Just as friends make each other feel a variety of different emotions, not always positive, if one is being realistic, the reader shares that roller coaster ride with Green with relish and appreciation. Although he writes from the perspective of teenagers and theirs thoughts and feelings, Green’s words are universal (speaking to different types of people has become a strong suit of John’s, having posted videos for nearly 646,000 “Nerdfighter” subscribers on the Vlogbrothers YouTube channel he shares with his brother Hank). The special connection I feel to The Fault in Our Stars, however, is not limited to the beauty of Green’s language and character development. This literary journey made me consider and appreciate those I love so much more. The day following my completion of The Fault in Our Stars, I felt the incessant need to hug all my friends for extended periods of time, just to try to convey to them, in some small way, how deeply I value them. The Fault in Our Stars will be more than just a beautiful diversion of your time; it will force you to examine your relationships with other people, as well as your relationship to the world itself. It the best possible way. Happy page-turning, and DFTBA.
Disclaimer: The Fault in Our Stars contains some depictions of a sexual nature, as well as some mild language, and dark themes concerning death that may not be suitable for some younger bibliophiles.




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Kayroxy101This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Sept. 6, 2012 at 9:50 pm:
Beautiful book. beautiful review
 
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thatbywhchichwecallarose said...
Jun. 4, 2012 at 9:43 pm:
That was an absolutly amazing book *sigh*
 
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