Wednesday, 18 January 2012

The Fault in Our Stars

Wow! It's not often that you finish a book and have a feeling that you just had an amazing experience.  I felt it when I read The Book Thief by Markus Zusak and last night I felt it again as I read The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. Green's previous books An Abundance of Katherines, Looking for Alaska, Paper Towns and Will Grayson Will Grayson have always made me think that he has an amazing ability to live in the body's of teenagers, understanding their fears, their fun, their humour, their sadness, their adventure, and all their complexities.  In The Fault in Our Stars (TFIOS) his main character 16 year old Hazel is living with terminal cancer and meets Augustus at the kids with cancer support group.  Having experienced life and death with a terminal cancer sufferer I found the characters to be so realistic - when facing death there is no right or wrong way to behave - and in this book the characters tackle life, death and love in differing ways.

The title taken from Shakespeare's  Julius Caesar "The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, But in ourselves, that we are underlings." leads to the lifelong questions of  How will I be remembered? Does my life, and will my death, have meaning? These questions are all tackled by the characters in how they live and love, how they live in the shadow of death and how that shadow effects their relationships with their families and each other.

To say I was moved by The Fault in Our Stars is an understatement.  To say that I am so proud of John Green and his characters is an understatment.  I recommend this book not only to teens, but to your parents as well.

I can understand why Green has such a loyal following of Nerdfighters with catchcry's like DFTBA (Don't Forget to be Awesome) , and  followers on his website, twitter, facebook and youtube channel I can now understand why my daughter preordered a copy of TFIOS as Green had signed 150,000 books with a variety of Sharpie colors. I can understand how TFIOS  rose to number 1 on the Amazon and Barnes and Noble bestseller lists prior to the books release. 

In an interview about Looking for Alaska, Green said 
" The truth is that in our lives we are all going to encounter questions that should be answered, that deserve to be answered, and yet prove unanswerable. Can we find meaning to life without those answers? Can we find a way to acknowledge the reality (and injustice) of suffering without giving in to hopelessness?".

No spoilers here - just read The Fault in Our Stars and tell me what YOU think!


Bridget said...

I've read this book 3 times since I got it and god... It just gets better and better. I'm a nerdfighter and proud to be one! There was so much that this book made me think about and appreciate. I can't wait to read it more and am working to perceive the questions posed within it as clearly as possible. DFTBA!

Casey Cardinia Library Corporation said...

Hey Bridget, I really understand what you mean...definitely needs more than one reading. The questions that come from TFIOS aren't answered easily, sometimes never - but discussing or thinking about those questions and the way TFIOS poses them makes the journey of life so much more meaningful!

Fox Studios has optioned the film rights to TFIOS. Check out link to hear John's thoughts on this. There's already a lot of discussion about casting. Just can't see who could play the Augustus Waters who is in my imagination.

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