Monday, June 3, 2013

The Fault In Our Stars

Every once in a while a book comes along that hits all the right notes and you cannot bring yourself to put it down until you read the last sentence - and then you start over.  Whether it is the tone, the characters, the underlying story itself, or all three, it captivates you from the first word to the last, every time you read it.
For me, the tone of the book is always the initial determining factor.  I can fall in love with a story after just three or four sentences (or still keep reading and trying after 50 pages before finally giving up) and know that I must buy it and read it right away. 
And for me, such a book is The Fault In Our Stars.
The first sentence (Late in the winter of my seventeenth year, my mother decided I was depressed, presumably because I rarely left the house, spent quite a lot of time in bed, read the same book over and over, ate infrequently, and devoted quite a bit of my abundant free time to thinking about death) immediately drew me in.  I was curious - why was she thinking about death? Why did she as a seventeen-year-old feel like she had abundant time to do anything? Who ever does? And why does she sound like an overachiever?
The main character Hazel, who suffers from thyroid cancer and metastatic lung cancer since age thirteen, is captivating.  She is a simple girl yet there is nothing average about her; in a way she is completely withdrawn from the entrapments of teenage life, but in other ways she is your girl next door, living as if she were healthy, not ready to give up.  Almost dying from pneumonia, a side effect of cancer, she travels to Amsterdam to meet her favorite author, mother, boyfriend, BiPAP and oxygen tanks in tow.  Therein lies her strength and the appeal of the story - it is not just a book about cancer, it is a book about living despite it. The other characters are great as well, and the unexpected relationship between Hazel and Augustus is perhaps more emotionally mature than most fictional adult relationships.  He lost a leg to cancer and thus can relate to her and understand her, more than we first realize. The characters you feel sorry for are the parents - as Hazel puts it, "There is only one thing in this world shittier than biting it from cancer when you're sixteen, and that's having a kid who bites it from cancer."
And that is something I, as a mother, can well imagine but hope to never ever have to understand.
Anyway, if you are looking for a great book that is a pageturner where you can wait to turn each page so as to savor the well written words - pick up The Fault In Our Stars


  1. Loved, loved, loved this book. Underline, underline, exclamation point, exclamation point.

  2. I agree with you. TFiOS is such a great book and it's one of my favorite books ever. Also, great review! Keep it up!

  3. Thank you ladies for visiting - this book is really amazing! I think I'll pick up Paper Towns next from the author. Cannot wait.

  4. sounds like a great read,,, I know what you mean about being held transfixed with a good book. I just read the latest Jodie Picoult book which is about the holocaust and forgiveness. Had me hook line and sinker.

    1. Indeed! I wish there were more books like that, keeping us glued to the page and leaving us fully satisfied.

  5. I agree! THE FAULT IN OUR STARS was an emotional read for me as well. That first sentence is something else, isn't it? Great post.

  6. Sounds good but it also sounds sad. I'm always looking for light entertainment. It's just my quirky personality I guess.

  7. Great blog checkout my latest post at
    don't be shy to leave a comment and like us on facebook

  8. Me again. lol. Okay, so I just read ME BEFORE YOU by Jojo Moyes. It was a little similar to THE FAULT IN OUR STARS, and I really enjoyed it. Definitely made me cry a lot. Anyway, I changed my blog address to I have enjoyed staying in touch through our blogs. Hopefully we can continue to do so :) Take care!