Two sisters' reviews of Young Adult and Middle Grade books, inspired by their lovely library.
I read The Fault in Our Stars for the first time earlier this year at the incessant recommendation of my best friend Lydia, and haven’t regretted it for a moment since, even when I was bawling the hardest I have ever cried for any book or movie.
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Rating: 5+ stars!
Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 13, 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.
I read The Fault in Our Stars for the first time earlier this year at the incessant recommendation of my best friend Lydia, and haven’t regretted it for a moment since, even when I was bawling the hardest I have ever cried for any book or movie. I actually began reading it at a family friend’s house when we were staying for dinner, saw the book on the counter, and read to page 165 before we had to leave. The next day I rushed to the library to pick up a copy and finished later that afternoon. This was the first contemporary, realistic, romance fiction book I have ever enjoyed so much, and I don’t think it will ever be beaten.
To explain my obsession with this book, that will be the difficult part. Everything. Everything is perfect.
This book contains so many of my favorite quotes that if I were to include them all in this post it I would need to copy and paste the entire book. The Fault in Our Stars speaks to avid readers, questioning teenagers, everything I am and more.
As for quotes, first there are the famous ones of course, such as:
“My thoughts are stars I cannot fathom into constellations.”
“As he read, I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once.”
I love how the second one begins with “as he read” as if that is the root of all love or something.
Then there is the quote that speaks so fully to me, which I promise to recite to anyone who thinks of Amsterdam, my beloved dream city, as simply the Red Light District and nothing else.
“Some tourists think Amsterdam is a city of sin, but in truth it is a city of freedom. And in freedom, most people find sin.”
Sometimes when reading his books, I forget that John Green isn’t a teenager anymore. The way he writes sympathizes with us so clearly, and some sections especially sound directly from the hall of a high school or teenage home, such as this one.
“‘Oh, yeah, no. I have nephews, from my half sisters. But they’re older. They’re like–DAD, HOW OLD ARE JULIE AND MARTHA?’ ‘Twenty-eight!’ ‘They’re like twenty-eight. They live in Chicago. They are both married to very fancy lawyer dudes. Or banker dudes. I can’t remember.'”
Although most of the dialogue is very teenage-esque, there are some things that don’t seem to fit completely. For example, Augustus and Hazel both like to use very big words, some I had never heard of before and some I had and therefore realized they were being used incorrectly (on purpose by the author but not the characters). Some of these included hamartia (a fatal flaw as Hazel explains), proverbial, existentially, soliloquy (which Augustus uses incorrectly in place of monologue), and haranguing.
Augustus’s constant use of incorrect big words is not his only flaw, because he is often criticized by both readers and characters in the book as being especially pretentious. And while this certainly is a character flaw, it is done on purpose because it makes the characters seem more real and lovable. No one is perfect, and characters shouldn’t be either, or we will come to expect this in real life and only be disappointed.
Yes, this book is extremely sad, but it is beautiful too. I treasured this book so much, especially when reading it for the second time just before the movie came out. I look forward to reading John Green’s other books in the future, but don’t believe any can come close to the perfection in The Fault in Our Stars.
The Fault in Our Stars Movie Review:
Movie Rating: 5 stars
I went to see the premier of this movie last week on Thursday night, making it my first ever movie premier. I definitely had hight hopes for this movie, and I was in no way disappointed. At first, I was worried because Ansel Elgort didn’t really fit my mental picture of Augustus, but at the first sighting of him, with his cocky grin and all, I knew he would be perfect.
Although I was fully expecting to cry for the movie as much as I did for the book, I found myself able to keep it in due to the hilarious sound of everyone else in the theater crying all around me. However, I did tear up at seeing Amsterdam on film, and since no one else found that cause to cry, I couldn’t hold it in as easily (I’m afraid I’m a little homesick for the place that was my home for the shortest part of my life).
Luckily, although they did move around some big speeches and sometimes changed the setting of certain scenes (the dinner at Oranjee was indoors), the overall plot of the movie remained the same, and almost all of the actor’s lines were directly from the book. Some minor characters such as Kaitlin and Caroline were cut, but it didn’t really change the overall movie.
All in all, this movie has become one of my favorites, and is very high on the list of top movies based on books. I cannot recommend both the book or movie enough!