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August 6, 2014 / ljbradburn-Smith

The Fault in Our Stars

stars

Despite my repeated, sincere (and not at all pushy) attempts to encourage my little sister to discover the wonders of Harry Potter, she is yet to embrace the wizarding world and has very much developed her own taste in our lovely smelling book-friends. Her most recent, favourite author is John Green, so I wasn’t surprised when she phoned to beg ask me if I would take her to watch the film version of The Fault in Our Stars. I like to think that, apart from needing a lift (being only 12 and all), she wanted to share the experience with me, as a fellow reader, so being a dutiful sister I thought I would read the book before we went to see the film, and I have to say that reading it in two days and then seeing the film on the third day made for a pretty heart-wrenching end to the week. More than a few tears were shed and not all by me for once.

Hazel and Augustus meet at cancer support group, a group for young cancer survivors whose varying degrees of health Hazel mainly tries to gauge by their choice of the lift versus the stairs. Immersed in a world of hospital appointments, medical trials and diagnoses of depression Hazel feels like no-one really separates her from her cancer anymore. So when she meets the gorgeous Augustus, who wants to know her “other” story and makes her heart beat fast in a way that has nothing to do with imminent death, it is easy to see why she is intrigued by him. As Hazel and Augustus’s  love for each other deepens so does their connection to the world around them as they remember how to feel something other than their cancer.

With his familiar, colloquial style of writing Green captures the feelings of his star-crossed protagonists in, what I felt, was a very real way. His writing style is intelligent, easy to read and thoughtful, without coming across as pretentious.

There is no getting away from it, The fault in Our Stars is about terminal illness in all its undignified glory, it is sad and it will make you ponder your mortality, but before you turn away to read some happier book reviews, you should know that Green has created, in Hazel and Augustus, characters who are bundles of witty banter, hormones, love, hope and sarcasm. Augustus and Hazel are the main characters of this satirical novel and not cancer.

Unwilling to write them off before the end of their story Green shows that there is more to life than dying.

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3 Comments

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  1. Grace / Aug 6 2014 10:12 am

    Hahah!!! I guess I did kind of beg you to take me to see it, but not just for the lift!! I wasn’t having it when Mum and Dad said I could see it another time but not with you!!!!! It was good tho, despite all the crying (I don’t blame Ben for crying)!!!!! Xxxxx

    • ljbradburn / Aug 6 2014 10:20 am

      Arrrr thanks Gracie 🙂 It was very good, I really enjoyed going with you 🙂 Have you decided what you are going to do with the Will Grayson, Will Grayson book yet? Love you xxx p.s he is a softie really isn’t he 😉

  2. Bridget / Aug 7 2014 3:12 pm

    Dear Grace, please read Harry Potter – you are the perfect age now, and I think it has a lot to teach you about the world.

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