Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Fault in Our Stars

Last month Nancy Pearl, one of my favorite book recommenders, shared some of her favorite books. As she discussed books' various plots and settings I listened, scrubbing a sink load of dishes all the while. It was when Ms. Pearl said, 

"…it's called The Fault in Our Stars and it's by John Green who wrote Looking for Alaska and An Abundance of Katherines. While I don't want to give anything away about the plot, I would like to say that the two main characters are a young man and a young girl who meet and …I have not been able to stop thinking about Augustus and Hazel. I read this book about three weeks ago, and they are still so present in my life. They are just really, really, really wonderful. Its an amazing, awesome novel, it is just great."

Imagine my happiness when just a week or so later a query from BlogHer Book Club landed in my email, did I want to review a book entitled The Fault in Our Stars?

Yes please.

Usually books for review aren't yet available in libraries or in bookstores, however, this one had been out for a bit already and so alerted my fiction-crazy sister about the title and invited her to read along with me. 

She got her copy from the library about a week before my book arrived in the mail. Unable to resist, she began reading and texting me...
"Just finished chapter one, this is gonna be a doozy!"

Followed by...
"Just finished chapter five"
"seven...must stop soon and feed my family"

"Almost finished. You may need a tissue or two...towards the end."
"finished! What a book!"

Three days had passed from the opening of her book to its completion. 

In the meantime, my book had arrived and I too had fallen in love with the teenaged Hazel and Augustus. These characters, the major ones and the minor ones alike were well drawn, and real, the dialogue smart and funny, and the plot...well, it was fantastic, compelling, and perfectly paced. I found myself waking each morning wondering what Hazel and Gus were going to get into that day.

"Gus and Hazel are on the plane." I texted to my sister when I was about halfway through the book.

"Oh, if they could only just stay on the plane...You are gonna need a tissue at the end." she texted back.

"Stinker." I shot back.

I did in fact need a tissue or two at story's end buy not for the reason I thought I would. I hate to cry. I especially hate to cry over a work of fiction, after all, life can be sad enough without inviting pretend sadness into it. However, can I just tell you what this story and these characters were worth?

Every. Single. Tear.

I promise. 

Below are a number of resources associated with this wonderful book. Just click on the colored links for more information.

An excerpt from the book with a video: here
BlogHer Books discussions of the themes of The Fault in Our Stars here
Information about John Green, author: here
Nancy Pearl talks about her favorite books INCLUDING The Fault in Our Stars: here

I read this book as a reviewer for BlogHer Book Club, the opinions, as usual are completely, wholly and souly my very own!

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