Thursday, 22 November 2012

Book #96 The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

The Fault In Our Stars

In The Fault In Our Stars, terminally ill teenager Hazel is forced to go to a support group for young people with cancer by her mother in the hope she'll make friends. Step forward Isaac and Augustus, a boy losing his sight and a boy who has lost his leg respectively.

Hazel and Augustus begin a romantic relationship, which is heartwarming and thoroughly believable. Though suffering from cancer the two become consumed with the need to decipher the secrets of (fictional) novel "An Imperial Affliction" by reclusive author Peter Van Houten, and having the answers to their question becomes a mission and distraction for them.

Earlier this year I read Stephen Chbosky's "The Perks Of Being A Wallflower" and questioned whether or not I had passed a certain age threshold when it came to identifying with teenage issues. The Fault In Our Stars was very different however; heartwarming without being sentimental or cloying, at times darkly humorous and refreshingly lacking in cliches or self help jargon, The Fault In Our Stars though about teenagers is not necessarily exclusively a teenage novel.   

The best thing about this book was its honesty and believability in the face of terminal illness and death, which leads me to wonder about the author's personal experience in this area. That which I liked least was its "Americanised prose" a tonal quality/style which seems to pervade contemporary American novels, making their inner voice sound the same. British novels don't do this, or at least I don't feel they do, perhaps Americans feel they do, and this is a problem both sides of the Atlantic!

Though this is a very accessible novel for all ages, I particularly recommend it to 14-20 year old reader for whom I think this novel will earn a special place in their hearts. Certainly a cut above most novels in this age bracket. Put Twilight down and read this! 8/10

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