Friday, March 8, 2013

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Title: The Fault in Our Stars
Author: John Green
Series: stand-alone
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Publication Date: January 10, 2012
Source: purchased
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible

Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 13, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumors in her lungs... for now.

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.

Somebody needs to smack me around for taking my sweet time getting to this book.  Especially since I've had a signed copy on my shelf for ages.  I guess even I was tired of waiting on me to get around to reading it, though, 'cause I ended up listening to the audio instead.  I don't think there's a word for how far from being a mistake that decision was.
“What a slut time is. She screws everybody.”
Kate Rudd perfectly executed the narration of the verbose Hazel Grace and the loquacious Augustus Waters.  Her portrayal of these two unbelievably poignant characters still has me pondering the book, days after finishing it.  Every bit of the dialogue felt as if I were listening in on a real conversation between two real people, the wit and dry humor perfectly reflected in their sarcasm and clever banter.  Rudd's intonation was such that every emotion could be felt through the headphones as if it were my own.  I am not a cryer, and I'm not sure if I would have cried reading this novel to myself, but Rudd's interpretation of this book managed to bring me to tears.  And not just a few, I was ugly crying, sobbing at my desk at work like someone had just run over my childhood dog.  (Luckily, I share my office with my sister, and she understood...I even got her to listen to it!)

I don't know what I can really say about this novel that hasn't already been said.  But, maybe I should mention that this is my first John Green novel, so I had zero expectations going into it, other than having been warned that I would bawl my eyes out.  (Which I did.)  However, I do have experience with novels about cancer and other illnesses.  I really don't want to admit this, but I had a penchant for Lurlene McDaniel's novels when I was a prepubescent youth.  I know, I know.  Looking back now, those novels were kind of really ridiculous.  Regardless, they don't hold a candle to how realistic and genuine and just lovely the story of Hazel and Augustus is.
“As he read, I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once.”
Their story is beautifully sad and even amazingly funny at times, and it is masterfully told without coming off as morose or by making light of the situation these two kids are faced with.  And what endears me to this author further is that the characters are intelligent and clever and sound like real teenagers, not the perceived notion of them.  And Green took chances with these characters.  They are quirky and imperfect.  They're dealing with issues and illnesses that some have never even heard of, and they don't always take things in stride.  But it is the imperfect way in which they handle life's setbacks that make them honest, real, and right.
“You don't get to choose if you get hurt in this world...but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices.”
This may have been my first John Green book, but it will not be my last.  I finally see what all the fuss is about.  And now I want to read and own every book he's ever written.  Because I can't imagine this book is a fluke.  Or that thousands of people could be that wrong.
“My thoughts are stars I cannot fathom into constellations.”

Rating:   photo 5-1.png


  1. I just finished my review for the audiobook as well (posting on 3/18) and I agree about everything. It took me forever to get to it and I want to kick myself for it. Kate is amazing and I am now looking for more audiobooks narrated by her. Great review. I will be adding your review to mine in the REVIEW BY OTHER BLOGGERS SECTION!

  2. I've been so afraid that this book would keep me in tears I've been afraid to start it.

  3. This was one of my favorite audio books. Ever. I listed to it on a roadtrip. It sure was hard to drive while sobbing! Like ugly crying while driving! I think John Green is an amazing wordsmith! I'm always happy to see when other people like books I like too!

  4. This was also my first john green novel and he took such a depressing and sad topic and turned it into a beautiful one. I loved all the characters and how the subject of cancer wasn't perceived as a hushed topic because both of the characters had it so none of these awkward situations. I am glad you enjoyed it so much

    - Juhina @ Maji Bookshelf

  5. I've been wanting to read this book for such a long time now. I hope to pick it up soon. It sounds very intense and beautiful. Great review Jen.


  6. Those quotes are perfection. I'm so glad you finally got around to this one. It was also my first John Green book but I look forward to reading more from him. Great review! :)

  7. I am listening to this audiobook right now and just love it. Kate Rudd does a phenomenal job. I read the book a year ago and it was long enough ago that there are new surprises for me. Thanks for the good review.


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