You gave me a forever within the numbered days, and I’m grateful.

WARNING:  This book will make you cry.  Uncontrollably.  Snot.  Sobs.  Embarrassed looks from onlookers.  Expect the lot.

John Green is a well-known author who has the ability to both make a reader cry and laugh from the same book, actually, often the same page.  So it was no surprise that The Fault In The Stars, a book that was so good he quoted “you can punch me in the face if you don’t like it”, lived up to its reputation.

Which means that I won’t get the opportunity to punch John Green in the face.  Which isn’t really a bad thing, because he looks like a really nice guy.

The Fault In Our Stars follows the life of 16 year old cancer patient Hazel Grace, who, while continuing to fight the disease, knows that she is terminally ill.  When her mum forces her to go to a Cancer Support Group she meets Augustus Waters, who suffered from camera himself and lost a leg in the process.  Over time, and through the wish that they both have to meet the author of their favourite book, they fall in love.  And then, because it’s a cancer book, tragedy strikes.

Like previous John Green books, he infuses humour, alongside metaphor and symbolism (in a non-wanky way, I promise) into every page; even when you’re sobbing uncontrollably.  Promise.

More importantly though, he strips the bullshit that often comes along with cancer, particularly with very young people with cancer, to show the real truth.  That cancer is ugly, and mean, and unfair.  And that no one, especially not teenagers, can deal with it at all times gracefully or with patience.

On top of that, this book reminds us, in a non-soppy way, about the important things in life.  Instead of being horrified that Augustus had to have his leg amputated when he was still in his teens, we’re happy that he was able to make it to the remission stage of cancer.  And although we know, as readers, that Hazel is not going to live for a great deal of time, we can still live in the moment alongside her.

As one friend quoted “it’s basically like poetry in novel form”; there are some truly moving passages in this book; passages that make even the most cynical person (read: me) turn soppy.

If you haven’t given this book a go, please do so as soon as you can.  And if you have, start letting me know what you thought in the comments!

PS.  About a month ago (the book is relatively new) Fox 2000 book the film rights to The Fault In Our Stars.  Fingers crossed they make a film of it…and do it right!

the fault in our stars

You know it's a good sign when the title is from Shakespeare-(image taken from http://www.nedia.tumblr.com)