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Friday, 28 June 2013

Book Talk: The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

This book needs to come with a sticker that reads, "WARNING: Do not read at 5:00 am because you will wake your whole household with your hysterical sobbing!" (Yes, this really happened to me. No, they were not at all sympathetic. Or happy. Oops.)

But don't let that put you off! This is a truly remarkable book. It's the only book that has ever made me cry as much as I do when I watch Titanic -- and if any of you have ever seen that, you know it is not pretty. I'm not usually such a sentimental person, but real drownings and fictional cancer really get to me.

Anyway, this is the only John Green book I have read to date, and I have extremely mixed emotions about reading another -- not because I didn't enjoy it, or because I don't think he's an amazing writer, but because I'm afraid he'll once again reduce me to a soggy, quivering mess. That's a dark place I'd rather not return to, which is why I'm currently rereading The Sweet Dead Life (my signed hardcover copy!!!!! Thank you Joy Preble!!!!!!), a nice, comparatively cheerful, and sarcastic-funny read.

This is the book that will make you donate to cancer charities, get through a whole box of tissues, and never again believe the quote, "The fault, dear Brutus, is not in the stars but in ourselves." That's right: we can't trust everything we read, not even by Shakespeare. (Sidenote: I really adore the metaphorical resonances and deep symbol-y meaning of this book's title. Me likey.)

I tried to describe this for you in my own words like I usually do, but I can't do it any better than the master himself, so here is the book blurb:

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten.

Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning author John Green's most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.

 I found this book because my best friend Ellie forced it into my hands, and as I caused her significant emotional trauma at the hands of a paperback last year, I agreed to read it, even though I was warned of its sadness. (I was also told much about its awesomeness.) I don't regret my decision at all, despite the aforementioned 5:00 am incident. This is a book we can all relate to. Even if we don't fully understand how "some infinities are greater than other infinities."

Ellie describes Augustus as "cute to an idiotic level and idiotic to a cute level". I totally agree. There is nothing else to say.

Go get it on Amazon!

Star Rating: 5/5

So, friends, even though you will be devastated, you need to read this book. I give you permission to scream at me if you don't like it. Just try it. And buy tissues.

*sobs* I'll never be able to look at a venn diagram the same way again! (You'll get it when you read it.)

So to end on a light, happy note -- the author of the ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD series, Kendare Blake, will be here on Wednesday to talk to us about movies, her next book, writing, and what's in Thomas Sabin's desk drawer. (Admit it, you so want to know...)

If you've forgotten what I said about the Anna series or you're a new reader, check it out here.

See you there!!!