TITLE: The Fault In Our Stars
AUTHOR: John Green
PUBLICATION DATE: January 2012
GENRE: Young Adult Fiction
BOOK DESCRIPTION (from Booklist)
At 16, Hazel Grace Lancaster, a three-year stage IV–cancer survivor, is clinically depressed. To help her deal with this, her doctor sends her to a weekly support group where she meets Augustus Waters, a fellow cancer survivor, and the two fall in love. Both kids are preternaturally intelligent, and Hazel is fascinated with a novel about cancer called An Imperial Affliction. Most particularly, she longs to know what happened to its characters after an ambiguous ending. To find out, the enterprising Augustus makes it possible for them to travel to Amsterdam, where Imperial’s author, an expatriate American, lives. What happens when they meet him must be left to readers to discover. Suffice it to say, it is significant. Writing about kids with cancer is an invitation to sentimentality and pathos—or worse, in unskilled hands, bathos. Happily, Green is able to transcend such pitfalls in his best and most ambitious novel to date. Beautifully conceived and executed, this story artfully examines the largest possible considerations—life, love, and death—with sensitivity, intelligence, honesty, and integrity. In the process, Green shows his readers what it is like to live with cancer, sometimes no more than a breath or a heartbeat away from death. But it is life that Green spiritedly celebrates here, even while acknowledging its pain. In its every aspect, this novel is a triumph. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Green’s promotional genius is a force of nature. After announcing he would sign all 150,000 copies of this title’s first print run, it shot to the top of Amazon and Barnes & Noble’s best-seller lists six months before publication. Grades 9-12.
Back in February of this year, I was invited to join a book club by a group of ladies I was getting to know while working out at my new boot camp class. Two months later I offered to host and was given the responsibility of picking out the next book that we would all read. I wanted to be different and I wanted to pick something I had not read yet myself. My 16 year old daughter had been begging me for years to read one of the books written by her favorite author John Green. I knew that this particular book, his latest, had been chosen as one of the best books of 2012 and was being made into a movie. Although it was a young adult book, I decided to go for it. The ladies all responded favorably and I asked if my daughter could join us for the book club meeting so that we could get a teenage perspective.
The book was wonderful. The characters are ones that will haunt me for many years to come. It was of no surprise to me that someone was turning this amazing story into a movie too. I can only hope that they do it justice. John Green is so talented and insightful when writing from the perspective of a teenage girl. I was riveted from the first page to the last! No spoilers, but I will tell you to have plenty of tissues around while reading this one. (If you don't cry at least once, then you don't have a heart!) The other ladies in my book club loved the book as well and it made for the most lively discussion. I was so proud to have my daughter there to give us her amazing perspective. Do not judge books just because they are "Young Adult" books. There are so many brilliant books and masterful authors in this genre and they are being over looked because of a category name. So do yourself a favor and pick this one up! I will be reading many more John Green books and many more young adult books in my future.