Wednesday, January 23, 2013

What 2 Read Wednesday:
"is the fleeting jolt of meaning
that art gives us valuable?"
Book Review: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

"Given the final futility of our struggle, 
is the fleeting jolt of meaning that art gives us valuable? 
Or is the only value in passing the time as comfortably as possible?"
John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

John Green's latest young adult novel, The Fault in Our Stars, is the story of Hazel Grace Lancaster, a sixteen-year-old girl living with thyroid cancer, and Augustus Waters, the boy she meets during a reluctant trip to a support group for children with cancer.  Like others of John Green's young adult novels, though the characters in this book are teenagers, the book is heavy and filled with adult emotions.  Hazel and Augustus develop an intimate and interesting relationship based on their compatibilities, which includes Augustus giving Hazel his "wish" to go to Amsterdam to visit the author of a book about a young girl with cancer.

I feel that I cannot explain anymore about the plot without giving the ending away, and it is imperative to read the book through before encountering the ending.  Green is a masterful relationship craftsman, and his writing evokes an emotional response suitable for the events of the story.  This story is not about a typical teenage romance, though if the main characters did not have cancer, and had not already been made painfully aware of the brevity of life, that is exactly what it might be.  However, they are who they are.  At one point Augustus tells Hazel 
"I am in love with you, and I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we’re all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust, and I know the sun will swallow the only earth we’ll ever have, and I am in love with you."  
This is a story of star-crossed love that is more real than Romeo and Juliet ever could hope to be, and yet, though the novel ends in truth and reality, I closed the book with a feeling of satisfaction.

I would recommend this book to both mature, older teenagers, as well as adults.  This is a difficult book, due to the subjet matter, but it is worth every moment spent reading it.

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