Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Book review Tuesday: The Fault in Our Stars

Book Review Tuesday:

The Fault in Our Stars

Summary from Goodreads.com 
Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 12, 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 behin

At this point, everyone who is going to read this book has already been told to read this book.
It’s on the New York Times Bestseller List.  It’s been on like every blog.  It’s got billions of 5 star reviews.  In a word it’s perfect.

So here’s the thing, The Fault in Our Stars was my reward for finishing my revisions on Penny and Hank.  I spent three weeks avoiding all spoilers.  I knew four people IRL who read the book and asked me “Did you read it yet?” and every day I had to say, ‘no.’

I finished it in two days.

It was everything everyone had promised.

But I had a totally different reading experience than everyone else.  

My cousin had the same form of cancer as Gus Waters does in the book.

For a girl who spent the last three weeks of her life avoiding spoilers... my own life was a spoiler.

I cried.  

Not just for the characters and the pain they suffered but for my cousin who I didn’t know as well as these fictional teenagers.  

And when the book concluded it got me thinking, what makes a good book?

Is it the plot?  (admittedly Fault in Our Stars, doesn’t shine as much as Paper Towns)
Is it the characters?
or is the the emotional impact on the reader?  

And I’m still at a loss.  

Obviously the book is wonderful and I give it 9.6 out of 10.