“Let me begin this review by stating that I am a tad biased--I am a huge fan of John Green, both as a writer and a human being. Before I even turned to the first chapter, I had a feeling I'd be giving this book five stars as a preemptive thumbs up to my main nerdfighter. Now that I've finished actually reading it, however, I believe the constellation happening in the rating is rightly deserved.
"The Fault in Our Stars" follows the life of Hazel, a teenage girl diagnosed with a pretty gnarly form of thyroid cancer and whose only method of keeping the disease at bay involved taking an experimental drug. Forced by her omnipresent mother, Hazel attends a support group for children with cancer and that is where she meets Augustus. The two have a strong connection from the get-go and seem to understand one another without even having to speak. Their romance is of the whirlwind variety and while some of you may think, "Oh great, here is a typical teen romance. Barf," allow me to state that the characters of Hazel and Augustus are very well-written and real, and their battles with cancer really make you feel for them. Also, it's not as though Hazel is a sappy rom-com kind of girl--in fact, she doesn't want to kiss Augustus at first because she doesn't want to hurt him with her constant impending death (despite his dreamboat looks and suave romantic gestures). Eventually, she gives in after realizing that this sarcastic, kind-hearted boy is the real deal and she should learn to LIVE her life instead of waiting for it to end. I mean, he took her to Amsterdam to see her favorite writer, for crying out loud! They may as well get married at that point!
Reading this book, it makes you think more on the topic of cancer. It is likely we all know someone who is or has gone through the hell that is this ravaging disease, but it is just so much more sad when it happens to the young, to those who have barely lived their lives. "The Fault in Our Stars" gives the reader a more intimate look from the perspective of the sick and it's both heartbreaking and inspiring at the same time. I really gained much more respect for Augustus' attitude, especially, because it's always so upbeat and positive--he was a good foil for Hazel's sometimes-too-gritty-and-real approach to life.
I recommend this book highly. It is a quick read. It is an emotional read. Most importantly, it's the kind of book I wish I wrote myself. Five stars. So justifiably earned. ”