Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

The Fault in Our Stars 
By John Green
Publisher: Dutton
Date Published: January 10, 2012

        Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumors tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault.

Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind.


In fact, this review (for now) will be rather brief because after finishing The Fault in Our Stars in about seven hours, I still find myself utterly speechless and at a loss for how I could ever write a review that will be able to encompass all the feelings I feel for this book. 

In short, this book is achingly beautiful. I didn't want it to end. I loved Hazel and Augustus, who exude intelligence and charisma but are not without their flaws.Who knew a novel about two teens with cancer could be so humorous and lovely and real? While Looking For Alaska did not fully garner my attention until its last pages, The Fault in Our Stars captured me the entire way through.

I haven't read Green's An Abundance of Katherines or Paper Towns yet, and I'm a little afraid that they won't measure up to my impression of TFiOS, which is his most recent (and probably most mature) book as a writer. Nevertheless, Green has won a fan in me with this novel and I plan on reading and rereading all of his work.

This one is highly, highly recommended.Well done, John Green- and thank you!

Looking for Alaska by John Green

Looking for Alaska 
By John Green
Publisher: Puffin 
Date Published: March 3, 2005

       Miles Halter is fascinated by famous last words and tired of his safe life at home. He leaves for boarding school to seek what the dying poet Francois Rabelais called the "Great Perhaps." Much awaits Miles at Culver Creek, including Alaska Young. Clever, funny, screwed-up, and dead sexy, Alaska will pull Miles into her labyrinth and catapult him into the Great Perhaps.

After discovering John and Hank Green's vlogbrothers channel (which has kept me wonderfully entertained and sane throughout the college application process) about a month ago, I finally ventured into John's writing with his debut novel.

Nearly seven years after its release, Looking for Alaska still holds the same it did when it received the Printz award in 2005. It’s raw, gritty (graphic at times), and doesn’t shy away from the reality of teenage angst and emotion.

While I never quite thought I can really see myself as this character or that character (mainly because I don’t smoke or drink or engage in many things of the same nature etc.), the questions Pudge or Alaska ask are ones which every young adult, every adult even, grapples with, like “How will [we] ever get out of this labyrinth?”

I admit that while I found Looking for Alaska enthralling in its closing, a majority of the novel "Before" left me feeling kind of empty. All the same, Green excels most in painting a picture of coming to terms with pain and loss. How do we escape suffering? Despite the aura of gloom and sadness, there is a sense that hope dwells in suffering. Things happen, but we move on. 

The beginning may not have captured me, but the final stretch is completely worth it.

Monday, January 2, 2012

John Green Week

 A bunch of lovely bloggers are hosting John Green Week this week, leading to the release of his newest novel The Fault in Our Stars next Tuesday (January 10). I actually have not completed any of Green's books (I stumbled upon the Greens from Vlogbrothers, their amazingly hilarious youtube channel), but I picked up all of them from the library last week and am planning on reading them this week as part of the festivities. I was one of the Barnes and Nobles customers who received a leaked copy of TFiOS last week, but I have joined the Nerdfighter movement and put it on my shelf to be read at a time when it was meant to be read.

 Head over to I Eat Words for more information on John Green Week!