Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Book 27 of 2014: The Fault In Our Stars

I've been looking forward to writing this book review post ever since July (which is when I read it). I don't normally like to read books which are being really hyped up, usually because I'm disappointed by them. But occasionally I do miss out on some gems (I didn't jump on the Harry Potter bandwagon until the fourth book came out). As many of my friends who have similar taste in books to me were reading, and loving, The Fault In Our Stars I decided to pick up a copy for myself.

I don't really remember what we had gone to Glasgow for, all I do remember is that I finished reading Sealed With A Kiss on the train into the city, so I had to make an emergency trip to Waterstones to pick up more reading material. I went for The Fault In Our Stars because it was on one of the buy one get one half price tables (I also picked up Will Green, Will Green which is one of the next books on my shelf to read).

This book is about Hazel, a teenager with terminal cancer which is currently being held at bay by the drugs she has been prescribed, and Augustus, a teenager who lost his leg to cancer. They meet at a therapy group for kids like them which Hazel has, reluctantly, agreed to attend. What follows is a beautiful tale of love and loss as Hazel and Augustus share their favourite books, make a trek to Amsterdam and yes, fall in love.

There is so much I want to say about this book and I can't because I don't have the words to describe all the feels that this gave me. There are very few books that actually make me cry, but this one did. I was quite glad that I was reading it snuggled under the covers rather than while I was travelling or sitting in the canteen at work.

I copied out several long quotes from the book which left me with very little room to actually write a review in my book journal. I'm sharing them here, but they contain spoilers so watch out, read on at your peril:

Late in the winter of my seventeenth year, my mother decided I was depressed, presumably because I rarely left the house, spent quite a lot of time in bed, read the same book over and over, ate infrequently, and devoted quite a bit of my abundant free time to thinking about death. Page 3

The whole affair was the precise opposite of what I figured it would be: slow and patient and quiet and neither particularly painful nor particularly ecstatic. There were a lot of condomy problems that I did not get a particularly good look at. No headboards were broken. No screaming. Honestly, it was probably the longest time we'd ever spent together without talking. Pages 207 + 208

I woke up to my phone singing a song by The Hectic Glow. Gus's favourite. That meant he was calling - or someone was calling from his phone. I glanced at the alarm clock: 2:35AM. He's gone, I thought as everything inside of me collapsed into a singularity. Page 242

It's a beautiful, beautiful book. I loved everything about the way that it was written. If it had been possible I would've happily copied that whole book into my book journal. There were loads of quotes I wanted to copy out.

I really loved the characters, everything about them but especially the way that they interacted with each other. Hazel and Augustus are these cute and cool, precocious teenagers. I loved the way that they spoke to one another, because that was the sort of geeky way I would speak to people when I was their age.

And yes, it made me cry my eyes out. I wasn't really expecting what happens at the end to actually happen. On the one hand I was fairly certain that it was going in that direction and yet I didn't think that the book would actually go there. And it did and I was devastated.

I've heard lots of good things about the film so it's definitely one I'm going to pick up for myself at some point in the future.

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