A Rogue Librarian's Reading List

{January 10, 2012}   The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Plot: A minor miracle has allowed 16-year-old Hazel to have a few more years but her cancer has never been anything but terminal. Meeting Augustus Waters – hot, intelligent, metaphor obsessed Augustus Waters – in support group cannot change her fate but it may change her outlook on life, death and the oblivion that we must all ultimately face.

Before I review this book, you need to understand just how much I have been looking forward to it. I preordered the book six months ago. From Amazon.com, for an additional shipping fee, because Amazon.ca didn’t have a listing yet. I listened to John Green read the first two chapters of his book. More than once (I might be listening to it right now). Then this morning I woke up at 2h30 (due to cat insanity) and instead of calling the cat a jerk and going back to sleep, I bought the ebook version of The Fault in Our Stars so I could read it on its release day. I am still patiently waiting to find out if I got a hankler fish in my copy of the book, or a yeti or neither.

That is how much I was looking forward to this book. And it did not disapoint.

I thought I might make it through this one, unlike Looking for Alaska, without crying like a baby. I was wrong. At least I wasn’t at work anymore when the waterworks started. No one writes grief like John Green. It feels real and personal even though it is for fictional characters. But I expect a book about teens with cancer to make me cry. What’s amazing is that he can also make me laugh, sometimes through the tears. His characters are very smart and witty and real. These are not “model” cancer patients who are always kind and brave: they are sometimes angry and scared and what they are going through can be very ugly. And sometimes, for all the “cancer perks”, their dreams and wishes are not fulfilled.

It is a book about death, yes, about what we leave behind and how we are remembered. But it is also, like most of Green’s books, about life, about love and about literature. If I was still in the business of writing papers about books, I might write one about the significance of An Imperial Affliction, his book within a book. In fact, I could spend a long time analysing a myriad of things: his book is rife with metaphor and existential pondering. But I only have time for this short review, and to tell you to read The Fault in Our Stars. You will not regret it.

Personally, I already want to go back and read the whole thing again, to better understand it. But it will have to wait. I’m still to fragile. *snif*

Meanwhile watch John read the first chapter:

I’d also like to point you toward another great work of fiction which also stars a hot teen who lost a leg to osteosarcoma: Real by Takehiko Inoue. It is very different, partially because it is a manga and also because it is about basketball which Augustus hates, but I find it just as beautiful and funny in its own way.

2012 (#5)


Oh my. This is one to own. Thanks for your review.

roguelibrarian says:

Definitely. I hope you enjoy it too. ^_^

I just bought this book on Amazon. I’m late to the party, I know, but better late than never!

Awesome review! I look forward to having some more in-depth discussions about this book once I’ve read it– I’m trying to stay (mostly) spoiler free until my order comes in.

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