Green, John. The Fault in Our Stars. Recorded by Kate Rudd. [Audiobook]. New York: Brilliance Audio, 2014. ISBN 1491510706.
2. PLOT SUMMARY
In many ways, Hazel Grace Lancaster is a typical teenager. She likes pizza and watching trashy television on the couch. She’s witty and sarcastic, and occasionally depressive – but she has good reason to be. Hazel has cancer. Facing her reality and dragging herself to support group where she “communicated in sighs” with her friend Isaac used to be her normal existence. Then she met Augustus Waters – who’s wit and sarcasm match her own and challenge her to live for once – even though she’s dying. Through health scares and a disappointing but exciting trip to Amsterdam, Hazel and Augustus find something special in each other and cherishing each moment, even knowing that “[t]he world is not a wish-granting factory.”
3. CRITICAL ANALYSIS
From the very first pages of this book, the reader understands that it might not have a happy ending and that’s okay. In fact, knowing your dealing with Hazel Grace’s cancer, you almost expect it not to be. There were many times within the book, I was afraid it would end as Hazel and Augustus’s favorite book, “An Imperial Affliction” does – mid sentence, with the reader left wondering or saddened at the sudden loss of a dear friend. John Green creates characters that you can almost feel breath along with you – even if it’s Hazel’s stuttering wheezing breath through a cannula. You fall in love with the setting and the people the same way Hazel falls in love with Augustus, “slowly, and then all at once.” Everyone has known someone with a disease or cancer in their life and Green keeps this book from being a pity party of the poor kids with cancer and more about life and making choices and learning to accept what you have, even when you want to push it all away. The characters are not happy, but they don’t have to be. The setting is normal, except for one fantastic trip through the streets of Amsterdam, but it’s all believable. Every step of the journey is real – from throwing eggs at a person’s car for breaking your friend’s heart to falling in love even when you’re scared and don’t want to. Green’s language brings to life more than just the characters. I was especially happy with the casting of Kate Rudd to read the audio. She gave Hazel’s voice sound within Green’s language. I could imagine her pulling her sharpied oxygen tank bag along, internally cursing her lungs and laughing at a friend’s comment. Hazel’s fitting eulogy had me in tears, especially as she recounts her own struggle with life: “You gave me a forever within the numbered days, and I’m grateful.”
4. REVIEW EXCERPT(S)
NOMINATION FOR GUARDIAN CHILDREN'S FICTION PRIZE
NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER (#1 for Seven Consecutive Weeks)
WALL STREET JOURNAL BEST SELLER
INDIEBOUND BEST SELLER
BOOK SELLER BEST SELLER
TIME MAGAZINE #1 FICTION BOOK (2012)
KIRKUS BEST FICTION BOOKS OF 2012
From NPR.ORG – "[Green's] voice is so compulsively readable that it defies categorization. You will be thankful for the little infinity you spend inside this book."
From BOOKLIST – “Happily, Green is able to transcend such pitfalls in his best and most ambitious novel to date. Beautifully conceived and executed, this story artfully examines the largest possible considerations—life, love, and death—with sensitivity, intelligence, honesty, and integrity. In the process, Green shows his readers what it is like to live with cancer, sometimes no more than a breath or a heartbeat away from death. But it is life that Green spiritedly celebrates here, even while acknowledging its pain.”
Gather other books by John Green such as:
• PAPER TOWNS. ISBN 014241493X.
• LOOKING FOR ALASKA. ISBN 0142402516.
Gather other books about surviving and reclaiming life such as:
• Downham, Jenny. BEFORE I DIE. ISBN 0385751834.
• Lowry, Lois. THE GIVER. ISBN 0544336267.
• Kline, Christina Baker. Recorded by Jessica Almasy and Suzanne Toren. ORPHAN TRAIN. ISBN 1480537381.