Book Review : The Fault In Our Stars By John Green

ImageTitle: The Fault in our Stars
Author: John Green
ISBN: 978-0-141-34565-9
Publisher: Dutton Books, Penguin Books
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Pages: 316

Sometimes you read a book so special that you want to carry it around with you for months after you’ve finished just to stay near it. That book for me would be ‘The Fault In Our Stars’ by John Green.
Initially I was scared to face this book, as I partly knew what it had. I knew that it was the book in which the protagonist had cancer. I was worried about the sadness it had. I cry very easily, and I almost had to weigh the facts if I’ll be able to handle it or not. I just can’t see people suffer. And I’m so glad that my friend pushed me to read this book, because it’s far from disappointing.

This book starts very unconventionally. Hazel Grace Lancaster and Augustus Waters (Gus) meet at a Cancer Support Group for Teens.
Hazel, who is sixteen, was diagnosed with lung cancer when she was 13, and is living on an experimental drug called Phalanxifor. She is nothing but terminal. This made her keep a distance from a lot of people including her parents (since she thought of her as a grenade.) She was afraid, that when she died, it’ll be devastating.
Augustus, a seventeen year old amputee is as charming and confident as ever. He was an ex-basketball player and loved playing video games. He always lost though, because he wanted to save everyone.

At the support group, their eyes meet, and sparks fly instantly.
Hazel cannot help but be friends with him.
Augustus falls in love with her at the first sight, whereas Hazel tries to stay reserved.

Little did they know that their life is about to change.

They come closer over the book called ‘An Imperial Affliction’ by Peter Van Houten (Hazel’s favorite). They have so many questions unanswered and decide to go to Amsterdam, The Netherlands to visit the reclusive alcoholic author.
However their meeting with Houten doesn’t go very pleasantly, but the rest of the trip is beautiful. Later, they also go to Anne Frank’s house, and kiss for the very first time. That’s where they are sure, that they love each other.

The characters, apart from Hazel and Gus, such as their blind friend Isaac, Hazel’s parents, Gus’s parents all play a very important role in adding perspective to this book.

They best part about this book is, it’s not sympathetic. It’s far from it. The interaction between Gus and Hazel is so subtle, that you almost forget that they’re sick. John Green knows the exact amount of emotion any situation would require and writes intelligently. He has a particular style of writing which is consistent throughout the book. It’s simple, deep and humorous, all at the same time!

Sometimes the humor is awkward and uncomfortable, coming from the people who were terminal. I was surprised as to how they could crack a joke, ignoring the grim situation they were in. John Green manages to take a cancer book and fill it with sweet memories.

The Fault In Our Stars was a book where I laughed, I cried and the beautiful quotes by the author took me by surprise. This book is not about the suffering of two teenage souls because of cancer, it’s about the thousands of happy and beautiful moments gained in their timed life.
It felt as if I was living with them. Their innocence and unconditional love was enough to keep me hooked. After a very long time I read a book which left me in pure awe. I was unable to put it down. And even if I did put it down, I just came back for more.

This book broke my heart, which I’m yet to fix.
But I’ll probably read it again, and again, and again.

WHY I READ.

I took to reading long before I started writing. After a very long rant about why I write, here’s to why I read.

Although reading children’ magazines since I was little(encouraged by my mother), I never really felt the force of books around me until I was eleven. I started reading Enid Blyton and was in awe every time I read about the adventures of the children in it (roughly my age back then). I instantly wanted to be a part of those adventures. Since it was not possible in real life, I read more of those. Very soon I switched from Enid Blyton to Harry Potter and there is no stopping me ever since.

I started reading like, how to put it delicately, like a maniac. I read all the time. I read in between my classes at school, in the break time (I had an advantage since I had two breaks per day), sometimes between my meals and I read past my bedtime.

It made me a believer. My best friends and I used to discuss books till we were exhausted. Getting books as birthday presents became pretty much obvious.

Now life is a little more complicated than it was in school, but I read nonetheless. My closest friends are still the ones back from school time, and they understand my obsessive reading disorder very well.

Reading is an experience beyond words and I am having a very difficult time in trying to describe it right now. One has to experience it to understand it’s joys.
I believe reading brings out the best in me. Every single moment I have read, it has been totally worth it. It makes me see some people differently, and then it also helps me to shut out from people I do not want to see at all.

I can enter, exit any world, any time. I can be anything. I can be the characters in the book or a mere spectator to the happenings in it.

Books, they liberate me. I don’t need to follow social norms. I just have to read. All they require are my thoughts and emotions. Sometimes there are numerous conversations that I cannot have with people, but I can definitely have them with books.
There are no pretenses. It’s bare.

Sometimes when I’m reading I try to finish the story the way I want it, giving the characters the closure they do/ don’t deserve.

Whenever I’m feeling low, books always save the day. When I am angry, I read.
I am able to channel all my negative thoughts and transform them into positive ones while reading. It makes me realize that I am not alone. Sometimes it also makes me see that being alone isn’t that bad either. Obviously you have to face all the hardships in your life yourself, but reading always make it easier.

Sometimes while I’m reading, I wish that I pass into some kind of sheer oblivion, where there are just books and no one else, and then never come out.

Lastly, for the utter joy, pleasure and excitement of it, I read.

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Why Books Are Better Companions Than Boys.

Boys. Oh lord, Boys.

These are the creatures who have made our lives utterly confusing with their condescending selves. They constantly want the world to revolve around them. They want good girls who look like plastics but have brains of a scientist. I mean what is THAT about?
Having expectations exceeding their heights, drowned in insecurity up to their necks, bossing us around, all the time. Their over-possessive nature and massive ego drives me nuts. If they have a problem, they don’t say it out loud. They keep it inside them until they are ready to have an outburst in a “disagreement” totally irrelevant from the current topic. They totally get upset over very small issues. And sometimes they end up blaming you for all the mess THEY have made!

Wait, this is not a Boy vs Girls match, so Chill.

FINE, they’re not as bad as I’m trying to make it sound. They care for you, they protect you, even nuzzle you, look into your eyes and mesmerize you, and several other cute gestures, but c’mon, they do tire you out.
I’d prefer books over men any day. I absolutely adore my books. I can get away from my real life any time I want.

For one thing, Books can’t hurt you.

Relationships with books surprisingly have a lot of advantages over relationships with boys.

Books are magical and so wonderful and they take you away from reality. They let you be someone different for a little while. In case of boys, they have a problem with you being ever-so-same and also when you try to change. Did I mention they’re utterly confusing?

Books can be available to you anytime you want to read them. Literally anytime. But boys? No, no, no, no, no. They’re either busy partying with friends, watching movies/cricket, playing video games or just plain lazy.

Books, they don’t care if you’re wearing pajamas, have oily hair with pimples all over your face. They just long to be read, by anyone. In case of boys, I see girls going crazy over ‘what to wear’ or ‘is it too much make-up’ or ‘will he like me in this or that’ or ‘what if he doesn’t like me at all’. I mean, GIVE IT A REST, Lady! If he likes you, he likes you! Period.
I have no idea when will the time come when girls will stop dressing up too much just to validate themselves for boys. So there, I blame boys for their high expectations.

When you’re busy fighting, crying, yelling at your guy and he shows no signs of comforting you, books will always jump to your rescue, needless to ask. They will be there, ready to give you an escape, and take you to a different world altogether. They don’t want anything in return (except that please keep them in a good condition.) Sometimes, a better world.

You can read a book in your own time. Boys, they constantly need attention, they need to be fed, and don’t even get me started what happens when they’re horny. You can read through a whole book and be done with it and then not open it ever again. You can start over it any time you want from any page. It understands your pace. Book is your loyal lover, best friend and companion.

Books don’t have commitment issues, or ex-lovers you are threatened of, hidden past and stuff like that. Books are just as they are. To be with you as long as you live, even longer. Books don’t take back their words. You can open a page days, weeks, months or even years later, and you can be sure of the what it says.

Books will let you move on. If you decide you no longer have interest in your book, you can be rid of it, and it won’t bug you like a lost puppy to take it back. Books can’t stalk you, unlike some boys I know.

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Don’t get me wrong, I’m not here to criticize boys. They are also amazing, sweet and c’mon they’re human beings(with a heart and pulse and everything). They can hold you late at night and can comfort you with their warm bodies so close to you. They can tell you exactly what you want to hear. They can cuddle you to death and even love you unconditionally. But as a single person, I was just thinking that in almost 80 percent of the situations, I’d take a book over a man any day, since it’s just easy and laid-back. You don’t have to give any answers, you don’t have to explain.
All you have to do is, READ.