Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Book Review: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

book review of the fault in our stars
Source: Google Images

Book Details. . .

·         Title: The Fault in Our Stars
·         Author: John Green
·         Genre: Fiction
·         Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd (2013)
·         ISBN: 9780141345659
·         Pages: 316 Pages
·         Rating: 3.5/5

Behind The Book. . .

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.

Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning author John Green's most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love
Book Synopsis. . .

“. . .but it is the nature of stars to cross, and never was Shakespeare more wrong than when he has Cassius note, ‘The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars / But in ourselves”

I do wonder what Shakespeare must have been pondering when he pronounced the legendary statement that ‘The fault is not in our stars but in ourselves’. . . it’s awfully true at one hand and a fallacy at the other. John Green’s book takes a cue from this and embodies the story of the lives of Hazel Grace and Augustus Walters intervened and interfered by the fault in their stars.

‘The Fault in Our Stars’ shares the story of sixteen year old cancer ridden Hazel who is struggling for a motivation and drive in life & a seventeen year old amputee Augustus, who is a cancer survivor and walks on the artificial limb. While Hazel is an introvert and silent soul interested in poetry and longing for solitude; Augustus, on the other hand, is an extrovert, ex-basketball player who is war game frenzy and sci-fi novel reader, always up to some adventure and excitement. They meet in the weekly support group work shop, which is meant for inducing positivity and will in the heart and spirits of cancer ridden patients. Their chemistry cracks immediately and their contrasting nature provides a perfect pedestal for a tender relationship ahead (remember…Opposite Attracts!!!)

Hazel has this tingling desire to meet Peter Van Housten, the author of her favorite book ‘An Imperial Affliction’, a book regarding a cancer ridden girl Anna and her experiences in life which happens to draw close resemblance to her own life. There remain some unanswered questions in Hazel’s mind with regard to Anna’s life and people therein, the answer of which she longs to learn from the author. Augustus manages to track down author’s correspondence and the two starts e-mail correspondence with his assistant during which the author invites the two for a meeting in his home at Amsterdam to talk about the unanswered parts of the book. Hazel and her family cannot afford a trip to Amsterdam to meet the author, which upsets her. Augustus once again surprises her with tickets to Amsterdam to meet Peter Van Houten, the author.

However, in Amsterdam, the meeting with the author turns out to be a bitter affair with the author, being a shrewd and cunning drunkard who insults the duo compelling them to leave his place. Amidst all the junctures, the relationship between the two evolves and Augustus confesses his love for Hazel, who affirm and the two undertake to support each other in thick and thin. While Hazel continues her struggle with the cancer, August too finds his health deteriorating. The two, however, continue to stand for each other as the circumstances proceed.

How did Augustus manage to arrange for the trip to Amsterdam? What causes Augustus health to deteriorate? What surprise does Augustus plan for Hazel that she would cherish throughout? Do Augustus and Hazel finally manage to stay afloat despite their health issues? How does the fault in their stars affect their lives?

Grab a copy of the book to be a part of Augustus and Hazel’s life and cherish the little nothings they share amidst themselves.

My Thoughts. . .

I had not read any of the John Green’s work earlier and being privy to the praises and kudos this book has garnered, I purchased this one hoping that it does hold true to all the praises. My initial thoughts about the book were of being skeptical as it dealt with cancer suffering characters and I thought, would have the usual story line unnecessary baking up the sentimental stuff in an attempt to forcibly touch the emotional chord of the reader (that’s why it perhaps remained in my ‘to read’ list for long). However, now when I have read the book, it did not really disappoint me per se.

‘The Fault in our Stars’ is a typical teenage romance where a boy meets girl, fall in love and then spends his life exploring answers to quench girl’s quest for the ending of a fictional story she adores. Despite being so predictive, there’s something in the book which connects with the reader the instant one starts reading the same. It’s actually a beautifully narrated human story of a cancer survivor boy and a cancer ridden girl that encompasses all the human emotions of love, longingness and affliction. Though it’s about the cancer suffering / surviving characters, this book is neither about the disease nor about the final fate it leads to but about the life that remains in between. As the story matures and characters evolve, the reader feels to be the one in Hazel & Augustus world, experiencing their ecstasy, pains and longings.

The book paints the story of Hazel Grace who despite struggling to live lives out her struggle to survive, it is about Augustus Walters who despite being an amputee infuses enthusiasm and positivity in the life of people around, it is about Isaac who despite losing his eyes to the cancer manage to stay afloat and it is about many other lives which are intervened and tangled in their affairs. The plot of the book is simple and doesn’t really have that edge of the seat twists and turn & tend to flow effortlessly with the story, the high point of the book, however, is the dialogues. The manner in which the author effortlessly strings his words together to form sentences which are simple and uncomplicated yet deep and impactful is simply great. The inherent humour amidst the conversation and the ease with which the same has been crafted further add to the pleasure.

However, at some junctures the book and the language thereof did appear ostentatious and far from being true. I specifically disliked the character of Peter Van Housten and the subplot of the story involving him. His character never really fit in the whole scheme of events and right of the beginning it appeared the odd one in the bunch. Infact, his character has been portrayed in a sketchy and shabby manner that all the scenes involving him actually appear sluggish and would have been better, if avoided.

The cover page of the book is simple with blue ground its name written on a black patch. The title of the book is apt as it reflects the ironies in the lives of its characters which the contours of their hands structure. The printing, font and word spacing are decent enough to grant reader a comfortable read.

The Final Word. . .

‘The Fault in Our Stars’ isn’t completely path breaking and remarkable but it does have its moments and phases which touch the chord. High on wit and humor & rich in emotional quotient, this one has been written beautifully with some amazing quotes providing an enthralling reading experience.

Nothing life changing stuff here but the book surely moves you in bits telling you that even the most mediocre and short life can make a difference to the one around them. Recommended to be read & experienced for the wonderful quotes and statements and nuggets it offers.

Rating: 3.5/5

Five Favorite Quotes. . .

1.      I almost felt like he was there in my room with me, but in a way it was better, like I was not in my room and he was not in his, but instead we were together in some invisible and tenuous third space that could only be visited on the phone.
2.      I tried to tell myself that it could be worse, that the world was not a wish-granting factory, that I was living with cancer not dying of it, that I mustn't let it kill me before it kills me and then I just started muttering stupid stupid stupid stupid stupid stupid over and over again until the sound unhinged from its meaning.
3.      That's the thing about pain. It demands to be felt.
4.      You don't get to choose if you get hurt in this world... but you do have some say in who hurts you.
5.      You gave me a forever within the numbered days, and I'm grateful.

About the Author. . .

John Green is an American author and educator.

A few other books authored by him are Paper Towns, An Abundance of Katherines and Looking For Alaska.

Green was born on August 24, 1977, in Indianapolis. He spent his growing years in Orlando, Florida, and completed his schooling from Indian Springs School, after which he graduated with a double major in English and Religious Studies from Kenyon College in 2000. He and his brother host VidCon, a yearly conference dedicated to the online video community. In addition, they also founded the Project for Awesome, a project aimed at creating videos that promote charities or non-profit organizations. Green also hosts a video blog, VlogBrothers. He currently lives in Indianapolis, Indiana, with his wife and children.

Where to grab a copy. . .

Please click here to buy the book from Amazon

Please click here to buy the book from Flipkart

~ Shubh Life . . . OM Sai Ram 

© 2015 Manish Purohit (Reserved)

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