The Fault in Our Stars is profound in its unflinchingly honest portrayal of young people living with cancer. I was moved and my eyes were opened to an experience that is alien to me. The beauty of Green’s writing is that he was able to tell the story of children and cancer without making a depressing book. It was tragic at times, but it was also sardonic, witty, romantic, and intelligent. The characters were not saints but regular people who happened to have cancer. I fell deeply in love with the two protagonists, Hazel and Gus. Sometimes I forgot how young they were because they ruminated and bantered in ways far beyond their years. In any other story, it would have been unrealistic. But, in this story, it was a logical side-effect of cancer. Face to face with mortality at an age when most consider themselves invincible, the characters would naturally think more on death and religion and life’s true meaning than the average teenager. It didn’t make them wiser, just more cognizant. I hope young people will find and read this book. It isn’t the paranormal or dystopian fantasy that so many teenagers gravitate toward, but it is very real and gut-wrenching, dramatic and funny. This book will resonate with me for a very long time, and I highly recommend it. Note: The novel does contain language and sexuality that might make it inappropriate for younger teens.
I just finished a blog post on the popularity of supernatural fiction in the YA category and I must say your book review about youth with cancer is showing all of us that life is about more than fang fiction. Its good to see authors are remaining true to themselves.
Don’t get me wrong, I like fiction that has the supernatural elements in it, but it is so refreshing to have authors publish something different, witty, and intelligent.