“Heart wrenching. Lovely. Okay”
I have been dragging my feet literally when it came to reading this book. See, I thought this book was going to be too overly sentimental. Plus, I have never read any book by John Green before. I also thought this was going to be like A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks. I was right, in a way. When I was able to purchase the audiobook (via an Amazon Local Promo) last week, I decided to listen. Initially, I had thought I would be listening to the book over the course of a week while driving from work but it did not pan out that way. I was able to finish it in less than 24 hours.
The Fault in Our Stars is about two cancer teens. One with terminal cancer (Hazel) and one in remission (Augustus). Both of them met at a Cancer support group. Both of them fell in love. Naturally, when we are talking about cancer, this story does not end well…for both of them.
I cannot stop gushing about this book. This is just simply a work of absolute brilliance. John Green really captured the feelings of being a teen and being terminally ill. Not that I have been terminally ill but in my line of work, I am exposed to these sorts of things – being around the terminally ill, I mean.
I love the overall pace and feel of the book. And for a cancer book, it wasn’t really about cancer. It was more about the love between two people complicated by cancer. This is one of the reasons that I love the story. The voice of the main characters Hazel and Augustus didn’t really sound like normal teenagers. But then, they weren’t really normal teenagers. I love their vocabulary. Granting that not a majority of teens speak like them but I’d like to think that because of their condition, they are more mature than your regular 16 and 17-year-old.
I love the secondary story about Hazel’s favorite book “An Imperial Affliction” by Peter Van Houten. I think that including this in the plot really made us see how strong Gus’ feelings towards Hazel is. When he went out of his way to give up his wish so that they could go to Amsterdam to meet Van Houten.
I also love the twists of the story. I knew someone was going to die. The question was: who would die first. Initially, I thought that Hazel would be the one to go but then when Gus said that “he lit up like a Christmas tree” I knew that it wouldn’t be so. I also loved how the author portrayed a very strong female character in Hazel. Initially, she didn’t start out that way but as the story progressed you could see that she was.
I love the reality that was injected into the story. The incontinence, the vomit – everything that you see when there is terminal cancer involved. Including the medical lingo that Green used. I am used to hearing those terms and I thought those were incorporated into the story really well. So it did feel very realistic.
The story was written really simply. I love that. It was straight forward but it told the whole story really well. Sort of like using a few words to adequately describe something. Concise.
I cried. I did. I could not help myself. This was emotional but not in an overly dramatic sort of way but real. I really empathized with them, even with Isaac.
My favorite quote would be the one when Gus said, “Maybe ok can be our always.”
The audiobook is narrated by Kate Rudd and I love her narration. I love the changes in voices that she used, especially between Hazel and Gus. When her voice breaks and cracks at the appropriate times is just brilliant! I actually felt like it was Hazel talking to me.
I liked the pacing that she used and I was able to follow the story without any problem at all. I also think that her narration added to the overall effect of the book. I liked that she sounded like a teenager trying to be an adult. Since I listened to this book without pause, I did not get bored or get annoyed by her voice. Overall, this was one amazing listen. I would definitely find out more about the books read by Kate Rudd.