Monday, February 06, 2012

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Completion Date: February 5, 2012
Reason for Reading: Author auto-buy/read.
Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 12, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs... for now.

Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault.

Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind.
Once upon a time I didn't read young adult novels. I didn't like them when I was a young adult, so I planned to avoid them when I was an adult. Then, I started blogging. I was amazed by how far young adult books had come and slowly started working a few here and there back into my reading line-up. It was slow at the start and mostly consisted of books I received for review. I remember the book that started it all was A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray. Then, in 2009 I rejoined the local library and started exploring some of the young adult authors I had been hearing so much about. That year was a bit year for new finds including John Green. And, it all started with Dewey.

You see, Dewey was a book blogger that unexpectedly passed away a few years ago. In 2009 Chris hosted a challenge in her memory and the aim was to read books that she had read and recommended. One such book was Looking for Alaska by John Green. (If you click the link you will be taken to a letter I wrote to Dewey after reading this book). Now it is 3 years later and I have read everything that John Green released. I wound up reading An Abundance of Katherines and Paper Towns in 2009 and also writing letters for Dewey. It was sort of my 'thing' that year. I would have kept it up but her blog no longer exists... The whole point is that Dewey and John Green are connected in my mind. When I heard that he had a new book coming out I knew that not only would it probably be another wonderful read, but I would also have the chance to connect with an old blogging friend. It's sad that the person that lead me to John Green in the first place wasn't around for me to be able to discuss the book with when I finished.

Anyway, since a lot of bloggers have no idea who Dewey even was outside of maybe the Read-a-thon, I should probably move on to the actual book. I finished it yesterday and let's just say it was my first 5 star review of the year. I had started it the night before, but only read 50 pages. Yesterday I planned to sit down with it for a bit and then move on to something else. That did not happen at all. I pretty much read the book in one sitting. I only stepped away from it for a moment because folks, the book made me cry a bit. I am not much for crying during books and movies, but I got so caught up in the story and the characters that I felt a lot more emotion than I normally do. (I was a bit glad that other than the cat I had the house to myself at the time...) I really thought I had my favourite John Green and nothing would replace it, but this book was amazingly well done. I don't even really enjoy contemporary novels, but this one will likely make my best of list for 2012. I don't care if it really is too early to say.

I chose to ramble about other things because this book is really making the blogging rounds; so you probably have heard a few times what the book is about. And, if you haven't you can visit blogs such as things mean a lot, Stuff as Dreams are Made on... and still with nothing of importance who chose different ways to express their thoughts on this book and maybe even mentioned the plot...

And, I can't join in on what colour my signature is because my book is not signed... I pre-ordered it and then had to email the book store looking for my copy. They were nice and sent it, but I guess by then all the signed copies were gone. I was a bit disappointed, but I'll live.

33 comments:

  1. I have this out from the library at the moment. Given that I cry pretty easily at the best of times, I best prepare myself for a sob fest!

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  2. Bummer about not getting a signed copy. :( But sounds like you are a good sport about it. I would have thrown a fit! So glad you liked it though. It is quite the emotional one isn't it.

    Love the Dewey stories! I do remember her very very well, though I can't remember her John Green thing. (I don't know where I first heard of him... just all the buzz with Looking for Alaska I guess) And I'm glad you decided to give YA a shot, and especially his stuff.

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    1. I did at the time, but there was not much I could do about it...

      Dewey was a huge fan of John Green, so I read him for the first time because of her.

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  3. I never think it's too early to say you've found a favorite read of the year. And from all I've heard, The Fault in Our Stars well deserves to go on that list.

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  4. I love John Green, but I cry at the drop of a hat (when it comes to emotional stories), and I'm not sure I'm in the mood to sob through a book.

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    1. Yes, it is a bit of a emotional ride!

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  5. I feel like everyone is reading and reviewing this book recently! I wasn't a huge fan of Will Grayson, Will Grayson, but I guess I should try him again if people love him so much :-)

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    1. Will Grayson, Will Grayson is his weakest book in my opinion.

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  6. Oh I'm with you Kelly…this was SUCH an amazing book and honestly, I think it's impossible to read this one and not shed a few tears. It'll easily become my new favorite John Green. He really wrote a masterpiece with this one. I'd love to have known what Dewey thought of this one. I know she would have loved it. God I really do miss her so much :( Sometimes more than others, but I always miss her….

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    1. Yes, he did an amazing job. He just gets better!

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  7. Such a great book. Glad you loved it!

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  8. That is high praise! This book is getting a lot of love at the moment and although I think I first heard about John Green via Dewey I haven't actually got around to reading him yet. It is shocking to think it has been 3 years and I still haven't got around to it. I am going to ensure I read this one soon. *heads off to reserve a copy at the library*

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    1. I do recommend you read John Green. He is a really great author!

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  9. I loved this one too. I'm not sure it's my favorite John Green... Looking for Alaska will always hold a special place in my heart that I'm not sure can ever be replaced. But TFIOS was pretty amazing too.

    Also, I hadn't seen your letters to Dewey before and I loved reading the one about LfA. I was one of the bloggers who was around when Dewey was, and although I didn't "know" her well (only emailed/commented a few times) I was really inspired by her and very saddened by her death. So thanks for the reminder of what a great blogger/friend/human being she was.

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    1. Looking for Alaska was pretty good, too, and it was my first book by him...

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  10. Glad you liked it! As for not getting a signed copy, this is what John has up on his vlog: "Email me at sparksflyup-at-gmail-dot-com with your name, your address, and where you ordered the book from, and a beautiful and very very rare signed bookplate will be sent to you."

    So. There you go. :-D

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    1. Thanks for that info. I did. :)

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  11. Oh, man - I almost bought this one Friday night!

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  12. Too bad your copy wasn't signed, but so glad to hear you liked it. Best part of blogging is how it connects us to great people and books isn't it? So sad about Dewey, I wish I'd gotten to know her.

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    1. Yes, that is very true!

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  13. I know what you mean about reading certain books and wanting to talk to Dewey about it. If you cried over this book, I think I will too. :-) Maybe I should wait on reading it then!

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    1. Yeah, it was an emotional ride... It is rather rare for me!

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  14. I loved this one too and I think it is now my favorite Green novel, which is saying a lot. I didn't find out about Dewey until after she passed away. I wish I'd had a chance to know her, but I am so glad that I'm able to learn more about her from other bloggers who loved her. She had such a wonderful impact on book blogging.

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    1. Yes, this was rather great! It is nice that Dewey is still talked about and remembered.

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  15. I. MUST. READ. THIS. AUTHOR. That is all :)

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  16. I have loved all of his works. My youngest son and I devour them and then talk about the books together. He actually bought a signed copy so I have it right here for when I 'm ready to read it. Can't wait!

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    1. That's great! I hope you like it!

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  17. I loved this book. It is not the type of book I usually get, I'm more of a fantasy/horror/para-normal type, but I gave this book a chance because my sister recommended it. (She has yet to recommend a bad book) I loved the characters. The main character is so witty, it makes me jealous. Augustus is very charming, and he makes my laugh so hard I cry. John Green managed to blend so many emotions I didn't know how to react sometimes. I can't imagine anyone who wouldn't enjoy this novel.

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