Following completion of my first read of the year – And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini (review here), a little over a week later and I’m back reviewing my second read, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.
I have had this book sat on my shelf for months, maybe even the past year? I picked it up on Amazon when probably trying to round up the cost of my basket to qualify for free delivery and until last week, I just haven’t got around to reading it. Thing is though, when you know something is going to be a sad read (and of course until you get stuck in, you don’t know how sad, you’re just going by what you hear), you sort of feel you have to brace yourself for it. While I don’t think anyone is particularly in the mood for something sad, last week I was just like, let’s do this!
In summary, The Fault in Our Stars is a brilliant book and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it (until the sad bit of course but I’ll get to that in a moment). If you’re unsure what the book is about, here’s the blurb:
Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.
The dialogue between all the characters is both intelligent and brilliantly witty, particularly between Hazel and Augustus (Gus). Sometimes I did question if the language used sounded natural for teenagers, but in this kind of scenario where kids are older than their years, you accept that they probably do. Either way, it makes for a great narrative and an engaging read.
Now for the sad part.
While I haven’t actually read a proper review of the book before reading it for myself, I have seen countless people on my social feeds over the past year or two, saying how much they cried. I also had a couple of colleagues tell me how their daughters and wives cried at it. Regardless of this and let’s say you came into this book totally organically having read nothing about it before, as the story progresses, you can feel something slowly creeping up, like you can tell the ending it suggests throughout is probably going to happen. Without giving the story away, despite the plot clearly leading up to something fateful in the long run, the story still manages to take a sudden turn and surprise you.
But let’s not beat about the bush. The book is about cancer, it involves death and it’s sad, you’ll cry, in fact, in all honesty, you’ll probably be a snotty mess but it’s not emotionally draining. Fortunately for me, I timed the sad bit brilliantly by arriving at it on Friday night and not, Friday lunchtime in the office as that would have been a bit awkward.
Until next time x