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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

"The Fault in Our Stars"

by John Green, YA, 2012, 318p, rating=2
Source:  library

Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 12, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs... for now.
Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault.
Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind. (Goodreads)

WARNING  --this review might sound preachy but it's merely what I felt during the read.  Anyway, this started off with a bang for me.  I was thinking, 5 stars definitely 5 stars.  Then that physical connection thing between Hazel and Augustus happened.  I was taken aback!  It bothered me.  It's just not an occurrence to be taken so lightly.  It seemed that subliminally it was saying that it's okay to have fornication (remember, they're teenagers) because you're dying of cancer and under the umbrella of "we're in love" syndrome.  Yes, this was not the main focus of the book but to me it shouldn't have been added.  It was so subtle that it could easily be missed but you've read it and it's saying that it's no big deal.  It is to me.  I want my children to reserve their gift of procreation to the person they have lawfully and legally committed to.  MY OPINION.

That aside, this book tackled the world of dying in varying voices.  Namely, two teenagers (Hazel and Augustus) and a broken literary writer (Van Houten).  Hazel's voice was one of acceptance of death ..que sera, sera; Augustus was one of "I'll be the dashing debonair to make a cancer girl's last moments great since I don't have it as bad as others" attitude (yikes, the twist!); and Van Houten was just an unpleasant man drowning in the excuse of self pity.  Quite a group of characters, eh?  Indeed the mixture was recipe for boredom buster.  But overall, I saw this book to be over my head philosophical.  --Oh, I did like a couple of the sidekicks ..Isaac (Augustus' best friend) and lady Lidewij Vliegenthart (Van Houten's personal assistant).  Those two rocked!!

I'm not soulless.  This book did make me cry but this time around the indiscretion overpowered that emotion to award a great rating.

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