John Green tackles “the cancer novel” with satirical glee and a touch of melancholy in his young adult romance The Fault in Our Stars.
Sixteen-year-old late-stage cancer patient Hazel Grace has survived longer than anyone predicted, long enough to somewhat regret having blown her one wish from the “Genies” of the Make-a-Wish Foundation on a cliché trip to Disney World. Her mundane existence of reading and watching bad reality TV changes completely, however, when she encounters Augustus at a support group meeting. A high school basketball hotshot in remission from osteochondroma, one-legged Gus and Hazel Grace quickly strike up a flirty friendship which evolves into an angst-filled romance. How can you allow yourself to fall in love when you know you will be dying within the year?
Hazel Grace and Augustus, along with their circle of dying friends and bereaved parents, have that winning quality of well-drawn characters which compels you to keep reading. Their tragic romance warms the soul in unexpectedly deep ways despite the overarching comedic tone of the book.
Green’s humor is spot-on 95% of the time, with its fair share of laugh-out-loud moments. Simultaneously, The Fault in Our Stars offers truly wise insights into cancer, illness, and death for teens and adults, too.
Green brings all of his talents to bear in this irreverent yet well-written parody of books about cancer sufferers.
Buying a copy for my sister, the nurse.