Book Review: The Fault In Our Stars

I know I have already posted a blog post today but I wanted to write another one because this morning, I finished reading The Fault In Our Stars by John Green. I want to watch the film now I've read the book, so I wanted to write and post this now while it's still fresh in my head, and then write about the film so that I can share my genuine first impressions! That does mean that there will be another blog post later today but who said who I can't post 3 blog posts in one day?!

Anyway, The Fault In Our Stars, this is the final book in the John Green collection, the last book he wrote (published in 2012). The book follows the story of a girl named Hazel, who has terminal cancer. She goes to a support group with her friend Isaac, and meets a guy named Augustus Waters (Gus). Hazel's cancer affects her lungs and she always connected to an oxygen tank to help her breath (during the day she has a tank that connects to tubes that go into her nose, the tank is on a cart so she can wheel it around with her, and at night, she is connected up to a machine which takes control of her breathing for her as she sleeps. Isaac's cancer is in his eyes. He's had one eye already taken out and replaced with a glass eye but in order to help stop his cancer from spreading, he can have his eyes taken out so he'll be blind but with nothing left to spread. Gus, has had cancer in his leg and as a result, he's already had one leg amputated from the knee, so he has a prosthetic. Before I started reading this book, I'd heard so much about it, obviously because it did really well in both book and film form, so I had an idea of what to expect. Everything I'd heard about it was that it's really sad and heartbreaking but then it's kind of happy and mushy.. It's generally not the kind of book I would of usually gone out of way to read, however, after watching the way John Green talks about his books, and that book in particular, on YouTube, I started to become interested. I decided I wanted to read all of his books though, just to see the different stories and see how his writing develops from the first book. 

So I read through his collection in order, and now I'm here. The Fault In Our Stars was nothing like what I expected it to be. I didn't find it really mushy and sad and depressing. Obviously, it's a book where the main characters have cancer, and with cancer comes sadness.. but it's not a story about their struggle or their battle with cancer. It's a story about them as individual people and their relationships and their adventures. Before reading the book, all I knew was that the main characters had cancer, but I didn't know what actually happened or what the actual story was. The story wasn't about them having cancer, the story was about a group of friends who meet at a support group, Hazel and Gus really love the same book, An Imperial Affliction, which is a book where the main characters who are the same age as themselves have cancer, so they really relate to it and they feel like it's an honest depiction of what it's like to be a young person with terminal cancer. However, An Imperial Affliction ends on a cliffhanger, literally mid sentence, so Hazel and Gus presume that the main character dies before finishing the story. Being young people with cancer, Hazel and Gus get a wish granted to them from a make-a-wish type organisation. Gus uses his wish to take himself and Hazel (and Hazel's mum because she needs supervision with her oxygen tank stuff), to Amsterdam, which is where the author of An Imperial Affliction lives and arranges to meet with the author so Hazel and Gus can ask him questions about what happens next in the story, like if she actually did die before finishing and what happened to her parents and the other characters in the story etc. 

So a lot of The Fault In Our Stars, takes place in Amsterdam and you get to see their adventures and their relationship etc, and the book is written in first person, in Hazel's perspective, and the way she talks about everything, you sometimes forget that she has cancer because she doesn't see herself as 'a case' she is just a normal young person who happens to have to carry around a tank of oxygen everywhere. When she does talk about her cancer, she doesn't talk about it as if it's something that's happened to her, she talks about it as if it's just "a side effect of dying", because whether you have cancer or not, you're going to die anyway at some point, it just so happens that she does have cancer and it is terminal, but it's only sad because of her age, however, that's her life and she deals with it. It's not as depressing as it sounds, because as I said before, she is still a normal young person, she has a sense of humour, she goes to Amsterdam, she plays video games, and so I found that I didn't feel sorry for her, I liked her in the same way that I liked any other of John Green's book characters like Margo from Paper Towns or Alaska in Looking For Alaska. Obviously, it does get sad at points, but only in a way I'd expect from cancer, I didn't feel like it depressed me while I was reading, when Hazel talks about life and death, she talks about in a way that makes you appreciate your own life and it actually made me feel good, despite the situation. 

So now I'm going to watch the film. I'm interested, and a little bit nervous, to see how Hazel's story is going to translate into film, John Green has such a great way of writing and making the characters speak that I don't how you would show it on screen. After having read it, I don't feel like it really needs to be a film but it is, so I'm going to watch it and see how it compares! I'm probably going to write about it straight afterwards while it's fresh in my head so look out for that later!

 Have you read The Fault In Our Stars? What did you think/How did it make you feel?
Also, whats your favourite John Green book?! :)

For more book reviews, check out my Book Club

Thanks for reading! 
♡ Katya