Book Review: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Today John Green’s newest title, The Fault in Our Stars, was released. If you have not read anything by John Green, I highly recommend that you do so. Now. Seriously. John Green writes realistic fiction with an authentic and gripping teen voice. His earlier work, Looking for Alaska, won the 2006 Printz Award. It also is amazing and I suggest you check it out if you haven’t already. (Some circles suggest that the film is supposed to be released in 2013, which would be completely cool.)
TFiOS is the story of Hazel Grace, who has a terminal case of thyroid cancer that seems to keep always just on the verge. It begins with her mother’s admonition that she needs to attend a cancer support group because she “seems depressed.” Here she meets one Augustus Waters, a cancer survivor and amputee. A certified “hot guy” who is witty and charming and lives his life metaphorically. Together the two of them go on a journey to try and meet the author of their favorite book and find answers to those nagging unanswered questions, but their journey is really a journey to find love and self in the midst of great odds.
On the surface it seems a simple love story, but the power of John Green is the way in which he writes. Here he presents teens as deep, thoughtful, articulate creatures struggling with what it means to live – and die. (And yes, there are actually many deep, thoughtful, articulate teens which is part of what makes my job so amazing.) For me, this was a 5 star read. The characters are fully fleshed out and developed; they are compelling and you care about them. You want to spend time with them and are sad when the story comes to an end. And the way that Mr. Green can turn a phrase is awesome and inspiring; don’t just take my word for it, read it and discover for yourself. This is the type of book that leaves you with a book buzz: when you are done reading it you want to shove it into the hands of every teen you encounter and say read this. Right. Now. It is the type of books that reminds you to live an awe inspiring life. And it makes you want to memorize words and phrases and quote them again and again. It reminds you that “The universe wants to be noticed” (John Green, The Fault in Our Stars).
Hear John Green read Chapter 1 of The Fault in Our Stars here.
See the booktrailer for The Fault in Our stars here.
For more John Green fun, be sure to check out his Vlogs and the Nerdfighters.
So this is me saying go read this book. Right. Now.
If you like this book, you may also like If I Stay by Gayle Forman, The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson, 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher and anything by Sarah Dessen.
About Karen Jensen, MLS
Karen Jensen has been a Teen Services Librarian for almost 30 years. She created TLT in 2011 and is the co-editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services with Heather Booth (ALA Editions, 2014).
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