Monday, May 23, 2016
The Fault in our Stars by John Green , Dutton Books
John Green is possibly the most renowned author of Young Adult Fiction currently operating. His most well known book so far is probably this one, The Fault In Our Stars. The basis of the story is that a girl named Hazel who has cancer meets a boy named Augustus who she falls in love with. The two of them try to deal with cancer, love, and books. It's your average boy meets girl, girl has cancer, boy and girl talk about how a fictional book ends book. The whole story is beautifully written and is just breathtaking. The metatextual elements with references to the fictional book which the two are both a fan of (An Imperial Affliction) have a very Third Policeman–esque vibe to it, which, as a great fan of The Third Policeman was very enjoyable. I thought the plot was wonderful, the characters were absolutely believable and you do completely fall in love with them. Hazel and Augustus are fantastically drawn and the voice of them both is very funny and very well done. It is not a sick lit novel, despite having many of the trappings associated with the genre, it is a story about two people in love, one of whom has cancer. It also has a certain philosophical bent in which it discusses the meaning of life and death.
Of course, I cannot talk about The Fault In Our Stars without mentioning the brilliant film adaptation. It is equally as brilliant as the book and, in my opinion, enhances the novel which very few films do. For me, the novel and book are now as one, each dependent on the other. Augustus will always be Ansel Elgort and Peter Van Houten will always be that guy who I thought was John Hurt but wasn't and then realised was in The Life Aquatic. Or Willem Dafoe for short.
I would recommend that everyone reads this book. It is beautiful, enthralling, funny and just fantastic. It shows how a short life can still be an infinity, even if it is a lesser one. It enthralls, entertains and educates and offers a jumping off point for young people to explore and discuss important philosophical issues.
And yes, I did get something in my eye at the end.
But it was totally dust.