Friday, August 28, 2015

Cephalopod Coffeehouse - The Fault in Our Stars

Welcome to another edition of the Cephalopod Coffeehouse. The idea is simple: on the last Friday of each month, post about the best book you've finished over the past month while visiting other bloggers doing the same.  In this way, we'll all have the opportunity to share our thoughts and our books with other enthusiastic readers. Please join us:
http://armchairsquid.blogspot.com/2015/08/the-cephalopod-coffeehouse-august-2015.html


This month I'm going to tell you about The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green.


The story begins with Hazel, 16, who has cancer and is probably going to die, barring a miracle. Her day revolves around her illness which is in a sort of holding pattern thanks to an experimental drug trial. But she still needs to carry an oxygen tank around with her and gets tired easy, which limits what she can do. She spends a lot of time reading, and watching reality shows like America's Next Top Model. She's also very funny. For example, when forced to attend a cancer support group, she has this to say about it:

"This Support Group featured a rotating cast of characters in various states of tumor-driven unwellness. Why did the cast rotate? A side-effect of dying."

Hazel is very snarky, and wise beyond her years, but also inexperienced when it comes to real life and boys. She was diagnosed at the age of thirteen and not expected to live. She hasn't been to school since and has one 'real' friend left from the days when she was well. But it is exactly this mix of wisdom and inexperience that makes her relationship with Augustus - whom she meets at said cancer support group - so charming.


"Both kids are preternaturally intelligent, and Hazel is fascinated with a novel about cancer called An Imperial Affliction. Most particularly, she longs to know what happened to its characters after an ambiguous ending. To find out, the enterprising Augustus makes it possible for them to travel to Amsterdam, where Imperial’s author, an expatriate American, lives..."(Booklist)


I won't tell you what happens, but lets just say you won't expect it and you're probably going to want a hanky. The last time a book made me this sad was Mockingjay.

This book easily gets five-stars. I adored Hazel and Gus, their sharp sense of humors, their brutal honesty in the face of death, their dear parents, and their fellow sufferers. Booklist says, "Beautifully conceived and executed..." and I couldn't agree more. I've read two other John Green books and this is by far my favorite.

18 comments:

  1. While I haven't read this, I've seen the movie. I loved the PoV of somebody so sick--such a different perspective from what we normally see. And definitely lots of hankies.

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  2. I cried my eyes out at the end of that book. Not many books are able to do that to me. *sniff*

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  3. I'm so pleased to read a review on this book as it seems to have been hyped up which put me off but now I think I will go and look in to it more.

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  4. This book should be sold with a box of tissue attached!
    Thanks for sharing!
    Veronica
    http://vsreads.com

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  5. Thanks for the review! I haven't read this one yet because my kids told me it was sad and I read sad books in small doses, but I'll get to it eventually.

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  6. I'm about 100 pages shy of finishing that book now, and I couldn't agree more. I absolutely LOVE it. Hands down, it's the best one I've read all month.

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  7. I read it. And about a week later I picked it up and read it again. An incredible book. And so much to love. I really enjoyed the black humour they use as a coping mechanism, and warmed (so much) to the characters.

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  8. For obvious reasons, this book has been a big deal among the preteen and early teen girls I serve, as was the movie. They like to cry. I haven't read it but with my daughter now a member of the target demographic...

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  9. My niece loved this book and movie.

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  10. I saw the movie, and I have added the book to my TBR list. It is nicely snarky, but very real feeling. I was shocked by the ending too.

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  11. Marcy, I both read the book and saw the movie. It made such an impression on me. The ending haunts me. I'll never forget it, the sign of a great book.

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  12. I saw the movie (loved it), and the book is on my wish list.

    Love,
    Janie

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  13. I'm currently translating his and Levithan's WILL GRAYSON,WILL GRAYSON and then his LET IT SNOW :) My editor did FAULT IN OUR STARS :)

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  14. Wonderful review.
    I didn't see the movie but I saw the trailers, it is nice to know that there is a twist at the end. I will add to my book list.

    cheers, parsnip

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  15. This book is now one of my favorites. Every moment flawless. That both main characters are healthy individuals AND interesting marks this novel exceptional. It is hard to make well-adjusted people compelling!!!

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  16. I have not read this book yet but read John Green's book Paper Towns on my flight home Saturday. The book made me laugh quite a few times; I don't generally laugh out loud when reading, especially when shoved in a sardine can. He had real, likeable characters and good character arc. I am anxious to read the Fault In Our Stars next.

    Another book that dealt with a sick child that was well done was Jodi Picoult's My Sister's Keeper (I never saw the movie so I cannot comment on how close it was to the book.) I picked that up for the flight and had to put it down because I was so caught up and emotional- not appropriate for a packed flight. I finished it at home and cried away. I loved every minute of the book.

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