Last night, I crawled into bed at midnight. I’d received notice that a library book I hadn’t yet started was due the next day. Since I wasn’t quite ready to sleep, I thought I’d read the first chapter and see if it was worth paying a fine in order to finish it. I opened The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.
It’s told in first person, from the point of view of a sixteen-year-old girl named Hazel who has terminal cancer. I didn’t want to read something depressing nor did I want something falsely sweet. Hazel quickly wiggled into my heart, pulling me along with her brilliant humour, insightfulness, honesty, and truth. I was soon holding my duvet over my mouth to muffle my laughter and not wake my husband. I finally forced myself to shut the book at 2:00 AM.
I looked forward to finishing it all morning, hoping it would not become overly sentimental or callous or religious. It did not disappoint. The characters are beautiful and flawed. They surprise, amuse, and inspire. There are no pat answers to the tragedy of young death, just possibilities and simple, but powerful, realities.
By far, the best book, young adult or not, that I have read in a long time. I so wish I could give it six out of five stars. I am immediately getting John Green’s other books.