I absolutely loved Paper Towns, by John Green. I loved the movie adaptation, despite the ending. I wanted to read more by this author.
So, when I took the 2016 Reading Challenge, I knew the “YA bestseller” would be The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green. There would be no other choice.
I still don’t get what a “young adult novel” is. I mean, I know what it is, but I don’t get it. In The Sims 4, there is an age called “young adult” which falls between “teen” and “adult”. But there’re really no difference between a Young Adult Sim and an Adult Sim. And, to me, a young adult novel is a novel, even if it has its own section in the library. But, if you want to call a novel “Young Adult”, that’s fine with me.
The Fault in Our Stars is John Green’s sixth novel. It was published in 2012, and became a #1 best seller at both Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
16-year-old Hazel Grace Lancaster has thyroid cancer. The cancer has metastasized into her lungs. Her mother has ordered her to go to group therapy for teenage cancer patients. There, she meets a cute boy named Augustus Waters, who has osteosarcoma, but is at the therapy session to support his friend Isaac, who may loose a second eye to cancer.
At first, the attraction between Hazel and Augustus is purely physical. He tells her that she looks like Natalie Portman in V for Vendetta. She has never seen the movie, so he invites her over to his family’s house to watch it. Hazel isn’t impressed with V for Vendetta – she calls it a “boy movie”.
Hazel is obsessed with the book An Imperial Affliction, about a young girl with cancer. She thinks of the author, Peter Van Houten, as the boyfriend she has never met. Augustus prefers books about zombies or stormtroopers.
Hazel and Augustus just don’t have a lot in common. So, they get to know each other better by reading the other person’s favorite book. Augustus, of course, reads An Imperial Affliction. Hazel reads The Price of Dawn – a novelization of Augustus’ favorite video game.
An Imperial Affliction, a mysterious novel that ends abruptly in mid-sentence, the only book published by the reclusive Peter Van Houten, becomes the thing that bonds Hazel and Augustus together, and changes their lives.
It seems like a book filled with cancer-stricken kids would be depressing, and it is. It is a tear-jerker. But it’s also romantic, clever, and – funny. (Augustus is a terrible driver. His prosthetic leg makes it difficult for him judge how much pressure he’s putting on the accelerator and brake pedal. Hazel decides that the only reason he passed his driver’s license test is that people are always giving kids with cancer free stuff.)
I loved The Fault in Our Stars. I sailed through its 313 pages in three evenings. I’m not quite as enthusiastic about seeing the movie adaptation as I was with Paper Towns, however.
- A YA bestseller