Sunday, 22 April 2012

The Fault in Our Stars

(I know it’s not the book I chose to read for class but I just finished reading this one)

I read a book called ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ by an author named John Green. The book is about a sixteen year old girl named Hazel Grace Lancaster. She has thyroid cancer and falls in love with a seventeen year old guy named Augustus Waters who also has cancer. I loved this book because it’s not your typical cancer book; it’s about two teenagers that just happen to have cancer. While there were some things in the story that were pretty exclusive to people with cancer it still accurately portrayed teenagers as how they can be; smart, curious but still a tiny bit naive. Hazel easily relates to teenagers because of this.  An example of how she relates to me is how she was obsessed with a book named ‘An imperial affliction’ and as a teenager I do similar things with books, TV shows and music too. For example, I do it with Doctor who and John Green books.

One of the techniques used in this book are metaphors such as “I’m on a rollercoaster that only goes up”. This line is used to show how despite the fact all odds are against him, Augustus chooses to remain positive and live every day like it’s his last. This line also ties in with his cancer to show that he is building up all this anticipation only to reach a totally unavoidable outcome. I think this shows how much he dislikes the situation he is in as well as playing on the sarcastic side of his character.

Death is a pretty prominent idea in The Fault in Our Stars. It is everywhere. As Hazel was diagnosed with cancer when she was young, it meant she spends a lot of time dwelling on what life would be like when she was gone, often comparing herself to a grenade. This helps show a bit of her naivety and as she realises later in the novel – She will always be a daughter and her mother will always be a mother as long as at least one of the two are alive.

While this book appears very serious at first, it is also really funny. It uses Venn diagram humour and lines like “Lonely, Vaguely Pedophilic Swing Set Seeks the Butts of Children” to lighten the mood. I felt that it also helped to show how they are still young and how even dying people are still able to have a bit of fun, as well as showing the lighter side of life.

After finishing this book in a single day I felt a little lost because I really enjoyed it. It made me laugh and cry all in the space of about 10 minutes and I think at the moment it is one of my favourite books. I think it did live up to the expectations of many (An example of the massive expectations is how it was photoshopped in with the Mona Lisa. I’m not even kidding) and is my favourite book of his so far and I can’t wait for his next one.

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