Book Shelf: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Book Shelf: The Fault in Our Stars
By Georgie Caroll

Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.  
- The Fault In Our Stars, page 33

For the past eighteen months, my favourite book has been Looking For Alaska by John Green. I was given it to read by a Canadian friend, and it was love and first flick through. I had never encountered a writer quite like Green before. He puts words together so they form these beautiful sentences that make you stop, and re-read them over and over again because you can’t quite believe something could be so perfect. 

I soon devoured his other published works, and when I heard he was releasing a new book, The Fault In Our Stars, I pre-ordered it straight away. It was finally released at the beginning of January, and once I got my hands on it, it took me three hours to read.

The Fault In Our Stars is told from the perspective of 16-year-old Hazel Grace Lancaster (Green says he wanted to call her Hazel because hazel is an in-between colour, and Hazel is an in-between girl). For the past three years Hazel has been dying of stage IV Thyroid cancer. One day at the support group she reluctantly attends, she meets the fascinatingly perfect Augustus Waters and soon finds herself falling in love – something she never thought would happen.

Augustus is the ultimate Dream Guy. The curse of the single teen who finds an escape in books is you end up falling hopelessly in love with boys constructed merely of words on a page. "You gave me forever within the numbered days," Hazel tells him. 

The novel made me sob and text my best friend in all-caps horror, but it also made me laugh and smile and be glad that I am alive. It captured the beauty and pain of life in 300 brilliant pages, and it is the kind of book I could read over and over again.

It made my fifty-something year old mother sob, and then recommend it to all of her friends. It’s painful, but it’s the kind of bittersweet pain that you don’t actually hate. Don’t let the fact that you will cry put you off reading it, because it is absolute perfection.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, $19.95, is published by Penguin.

Georgie @ Girl With a Satchel