This was one of those books that I heard about from friends and then I began to see it everywhere. It never dawned on me until recently that the author John Green was one of half of the Vlog Brothers. For those of you that don’t know about me, I love YouTube. I subscribe to copious amounts of channels and watch the ongoings of people’s lives religiously. As noted above, one of the channels I subscribe to is the Vlog Brothers Channel. So when I clued in that not only was John Green one half of the Vlog Brothers but also the author of The Fault in Our Stars, I knew I had to read this book. So I packed it in my luggage, brought it down to Florida with me and cracked it open by the poolside, where I shed tear after tear as I turned each page. I fear that many of you that regularly visit this blog have already read this book, but I’m going to write about it anyway, because if you’re like me and you haven’t read this book up until now, it’s my duty as a book blogger to recommend not only new books, but books that I think all of you will enjoy and this is definitely one I think you’ll enjoy.
This is the story of Hazel Grace Lancaster and Augustus “Gus” Waters. Both in their teens. Both affected by cancer. Both smitten with each other. After meeting in a support group for kids with cancer, Augustus makes his intentions very clear from the beginning, but Hazel (or as Augustus likes to call her Hazel Grace) is much more hesitant with the idea of becoming romantic. Her thyroid cancer appears to be much more aggressive and she’s nervous about making commitments, especially since Augustus is in remission and his future is bright. She doesn’t want to jeopardize that, so instead of exchanging kisses, they exchange book recommendations.
Sharing your favourite book, especially the one that you like to read over and over again, can be a difficult feat. What if the person you’re sharing it with doesn’t like it? What if they don’t get it? As Hazel hands Augustus her well worn copy of ‘An Imperial Affliction’ by Peter van Houten, her fears subside as Gus quickly becomes equally as obsessed with it. Their friendship begins on the basis of understanding certain passages and trying (over and over again) to figure out what happened to the protagonist after the book ends. Building their love of literature and talented writing, their love story begins to develop even stronger. ***For those of you that have read The Fault in Our Stars, I know that I’m leaving out a major thread of importance, but I don’t want to take away from future readers expectations, so I’m refraining to share this tidbit of information.
When things go astray, it’s their love that helps to create balance, that gives them something to fight for. There are passages in this beautiful young adult novel that are likely going to make you tear up. There are passages that are sheer brilliance. It packs a powerful punch, but in a powerful and moving way. If you were like me and you’re on the fence about reading this one, stop what you’re doing. Hit pause on your current to-be-read pile and read this book! Why? Two reasons:
1. You’ll absolutely love it.
2. You’ll be part of The Fault in Our Stars fan club that seems to be taking over North America (you know who you are.)