Thursday, January 19, 2012

We Have No Stars That Last Forever

Published: January 10th, 2012
The Fault In Our Stars
By: John Green
Dutton Juvenile
ISBN-13: 9780525478812

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.


   Hazel being alive is a miracle in and of itself, after being diagnosed with stage four cancer.  Gus is also lucky to be alive after losing a leg to osteosarcoma.  The two of them meet at cancer support group and there is an immediate connection, although Hazel is reluctant to make any friends at all because of her tenuous hold on her health.  But when they exchange books, Hazel's favorite book about a teenage girl with cancer strikes a chord with Gus.  Determined to have all the unaswered questions at the end of the book resolved, Gus uses his wish from the 'Genies' at the Make A Wish Foundation to arrange a trip to Amsterdam for him, Hazel and her Mom (because she used her wish on Disneyworld).  Through the disappointments of the author Peter Van Houten and everything that comes, Hazel and Gus manage to forge a strong relationship.  All of that comes crashing down in the shocking aftermath of a relapse of the health of one of them.  Who will live and who will die?  And what does it really mean to live on after you die, to make a difference with a life that meant something?  I loved this book quite a lot.  Hazel is a witty main character, who knows what to expect for the rest of her life and how she wants to live it.  I also adore Gus who likes the sunny side of things, but is also a stark realist with his feet on the ground.  The side characters are wonderfully written, with a plot that never goes stale or cliched.  There was not a single instance when I was disappointed with this book and it produced a beautiful ache in me that only the best books can give.  As my first John Green book, I am happy to say that I was not let down.  It was everything it promised and more.  I found myself truly angry whenever I had to put it down and go back to life.  Highly recommended for those who like books with heart to them.

VERDICT:  5/5  Stars

*No money or favors were exchanged for this review. This book is now available in stores and online.*

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