I have been struggling to write this review ever since I finished the book about a week ago. I find myself rehashing the story in my head, reminiscing over parts I loved, and most especially that first moment when I realized I was falling fast and hard in love with this book. I re-read favorite passages, some that I have now committed to memory. I search out playlists put together from other passionate readers, and I find myself sifting through my own music, piecing together my own musical accompanying soundtrack. I silently wish for others in my life to read the book so I can talk to someone, one-on-one, about it, commiserate on the highs and lows, and talk in depth about the falling in love of it and the heartbreak of it, as well. In all of this I find myself avoiding the actual writing of the review, even though I want to write it, I do. I want to write it so I might just encourage everyone to read it. I want to write it because I loved the book so very much, and I want to express that. But still I persist in stalling, I stop and start, I procrastinate.
I want to write it, but I end up not writing it.
I think this may be due to subconsciously fearing that once a review is written and posted it will be over. I will have to admit that I am through reading it and move on to another book. I will have to accept that these characters story has ended. Thing is, honestly, I am not ready to move on to new pages. I am not ready to get over Augustus Waters and Hazel Grace yet, not even a little, not at all.
Incidentally, if I was writing a review I would have to comment here on how my frustration and refusal to let go of this book, and the wish to continue these characters’ story is quite similar to how both Augustus and Hazel want to know the ending to their own beloved book, within the book, An Imperial Afflection and how their needing for more of said book they travel to another country to ask the author to tell them what happened next. How I so understand and find myself reading interviews with the author, John Green, hoping to catch glimpses of Hazel and Augustus in the author’s responses.
But, this is not a review of the book, no it is not.
This right here, written and posted, is not a review, not really, it is something else all-together. This is more of a plea to go read this book, and a hope that books like this will not only transcend the overwhelming hype of books such as the Twilight series and the Hunger Games series, but also make readers aware that not all YA offerings are about dystopian futures or vampires – not that there is anything wrong with either genre, but there is more to life than fangs and death games. I would also hope that it will be taken as just more proof of how wonderful the YA genre can be, and how you do not have to be a YA aged reader to enjoy a YA book. Fault in Our Stars is a book that I hope will reach beyond a genre label all-together, as to me it is a story meant for any age, timeless, and beautiful, with characters that need to be known.
Without spoiling any plot, or by chance scaring anyone off by the subject matter, I will tell you this is a story about living and dying, about humanity in all its beauty and all its flaws, it is about love and loss, and it is about hope – a word, and feeling, that seems so missing from this modern life we live in. It is not just a book about Cancer, I guarantee.
As much as this book is heartbreaking, and it is heartbreaking, it is also funny, intelligent, and heart-soaring, too. There are moments in these pages that are now tucked forever into the core of me, with quotes that will rattle about in my head and heart endlessly, occasionally coming out because they make so much sense to me that they are destined to become a permanent part of me.
The characters, oh my stars the characters, they are amazing. They are not perfect, there are moments when their actions and/or reactions will make you want to yell at them through the pages, but then again there are moments when you will want to know them always, cherishing their thoughts and dialogue and story. All the characters, no matter how small, are wonderful, even if, at times, unlikeable.
Hazel Grace is a wonderful protagonist, who you cannot help but cheer on and love. She is sarcastic in a way that is so familiar, especially being that sarcasm is like breathing amongst my circle of friends and immediate family. She is witty and too old for her years, jaded in some ways, hopeful in others, and quite lovely.
Her parents are significantly likeable, as are both Hazel and Augustus’ close friends Isaac and Kaitlyn, and Augustus’ parents even though we get to know them much less than Hazel’s. The author and his assistant help paint the magic and disappointment, both in equal shares , of Hazel and Augustus’ wish-filled trip to Amsterdam.
But my favorite character, by far, is Augustus Waters. In what may sound utterly juvenile and terribly “fan-girl” of me (so be it), I fell in love with Augustus Waters. It does happen, you know, falling in love with fictional characters, I did now, and have once before, when I fell in love with God-Shaped Hole’s Jacob Grace.
Fault of Our Stars is now right there next to God-Shaped Hole, holding hands and sharing space as my most favorite book, now books, ever. And just like its space partner, God-Shaped Hole, which I never got over completely, well, I am not over Fault of Our Stars yet either. There is an ache that has settled in me ever since I read the last lines, and in some ways it feels as if it will infinitely ache if I close it completely, so for now I am not done. Not yet. Not at all.
“Some infinities are bigger than other infinities.”