John Green is the kind of writer who gets better and better with each book. I swear he could write a menu for a restaurant and it would be bestseller materiel. Thankfully for us, he skipped the menu and wrote The Fault in Our Stars. This is where I would like to point out that it would be entirely appropriate to stop and have a moment of silence for the FEELINGS, etc that this book inspires. *insert moment of silence here*
So what, exactly is this insanely amazing book about. Glad you asked. It's about cancer. But not the usual cheesy, cry your eyes out, ohmygod WHY IS THIS BOOK SO SAD sort of cancer. I mean, this is a book you will definitely need some tissues for, and it IS sad, but it's also John Green, people. And John Green is totally the Jane Austen of the YA genre, because he just gets what young people are going through and how they would actually experience things and then totally knocks your socks off with his tres brilliant writing skills.
Hazel Grace, the book's heroine is totally kick butt. She's had cancer since middle school, and she has to carry around a portable breathing machine in order to carry out her day-to-day routine, but never once do you feel like she's asking for your sympathy. In fact, she wants nothing more than to live her life, because she knows that she may not have long. AND JUST WHEN SHE'S DECIDED that she's going to shut herself off in her own little world, because it's easier to stay home and have ANTM marathons and re-read her favorite book over and over again than meet new people and run the risk of getting attached to them and then dying, she meets Augustus Waters. AUGUSTUS WATERS. Just mentioning his name makes me want to run for the smelling salts, because this boy has cornered the market and modern-day swoon-worthiness.
I want to shout my love for Augustus from the roof-tops, but then again, I don't want to ruin him for you. Because his and Hazel's journey getting to know one-another is what makes The Fault in Our Stars so real and beautiful and poignant. That and John Green's knock-your-socks-off writing:
"My favorite book, by a wide margin, was An Imperial Affliction, but I didn't like to tell people about it. Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book. And then there are books, like An Imperial Affliction, which you can't tell people about, books so special and rare and yours that advertising your affection seems like a betrayal."
But I just can't bring myself to pull a Hazel and keep this book to myself. Because everyone NEEDS to read it. And I promise that when you make it to the end, you'll say to yourself that Hazel and Augustus are brave and the world needs more people like them. And that these two, somewhat ordinary, but mostly extraordinary characters have worked their way into your heart. They've set up camp and refused to leave until you've shared their story with others. And they've convinced you that the un-lived life is simply unacceptable.