I had read The Fault in Our Stars just before its movie came out in India, which was in July 2014. One of my BFFs kept sending me random quotes from the book and finally convinced me to pick up a copy. And I am so glad she did. This was my first read of John Green and, quite probably, also my first YA book [as the kids are calling it these days].
It’s a simple love story between two teens – Hazel and Augustus – with a slight difference; both of them suffer from cancer. Love at any age is difficult as it is; add the Big C to it and things can get a lot messy. However, it is to John Green’s credit that he has written a very sensitive and funny love story. Neither Hazel nor Augustus choose to wallow in self-pity; instead, they are shown to be strong-headed individuals with a zest for life, at least on most days.
The initial part of the book is dedicated to both the protagonists reading and discussing their favourite books with each other. Towards the middle of the book, they take a trip to Amsterdam which ends up in they declaring their love for each other. I do not want to reveal the ending but suffice it to say, it’s not quite what you would expect while reading the book.
The book reminded me of some of my college friendships – the turmoil about classes and exams that you go through; the eternal need to “fit in”.
As I began reading the book, I kept underlining the sentences that I liked. When I finished reading the book, I realised I had underlined quite a lot. Isn’t that a sign of a good book, after all?
Just noting a few quotes that I really, really, really liked:
- There are books which you can’t tell people about, books so special and rare and yours that advertising your affection feels like a betrayal.
- In freedom, most people find sin.
- The definition of humanness is the opportunity to marvel at the majesty of creation.
- The pleasure of remembering had been taken from me, because there was no longer anyone to remember with.
- You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices. I hope she likes hers.
The book made me question the traditional definition of love. And how teens, especially critically ill teens, view the world a lot more differently than adults do. John Green views magic with his words and it’s easy to see why this book was liked & appreciated by a great many people from across the globe.
If you are wondering where John Green got the tile of the book from, it’s inspired by Act 1, Scene 2 of Julius Caesar, in which Cassius says to Brutus, “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, But in ourselves, that we are underlings.”
Be prepared to shed a few (or more) tears as you read the book. For a long time after, I kept thinking about Hazel and Augustus. And I developed a teeny-tiny crush on him as well 🙂
Name of Book & Author: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Genre: Young Adult Novel
Date Published: January 10, 2012
Nomination/Win of a Literary Award & the year: Goodreads Choice Awards Best Young Adult Fiction for 2012
Made into a Movie: May 16, 2014
I have written this post for Guest Blogging with Book Reviews for #shalzmojosays
Pallavi Kamat is a book reviewer who (very infrequently) reviews books on her blog www.pallosworld.blogspot.com. She can usually be found voicing her opinions on Twitter at @Pallavisms.