A few days ago, I finished my 32nd book of 2013…The Fault in our Stars, by John Green…
The book tells the story of Hazel, a young woman who, although holding the tumors in her lungs at bay thanks to experimental drugs, still fights the complications from the cancer, such as fluid buildup and labored breathing.
She meets Augustus at a cancer support group. He is a cancer survivor. The attraction is immediate; however, she fights herself and worries about how her illness might leave others to deal with her loss one day, so she can’t fully give herself over to the affection she feels for Augustus.
She has a wonderful set of parents who you just can’t help but love. Her mother needs to win Mom of the Year. She is so patient and attentive to Hazel’s needs. Their relationship is tight; however, Hazel fears leaving her parents should she one day pass away.
This book is not one filled with trite sayings…the stuff you’d find embroidered and hung up on the wall so you’ll find inspiration.
Hazel, Augustus, and their friends are very blunt about their cancer. Their witty comments leave you chuckling at various points throughout the book.
However, it is their brutal honesty and raw emotions that leave you in tears at various points throughout the book. Somehow, it feels wrong to laugh, but you can’t help yourself, and those moments are very fitting.
I didn’t want to read this book, I’ll admit it. I don’t like to cry when I read.
However, as a teacher, and this is Young Adult fiction, it really is my duty to read what’s out there.
I’ve got to find books that will touch my students’ hearts, and this certainly is one of them.
It was incredibly poignant and smartly written with references to Shakespeare and other great literary works sprinkled throughout.
I highly recommend this book, both for teenagers and adults. These are characters you will not soon forget, and you won’t help but think of them when you encounter a friend or loved one who is battling this tragic disease as well.