Monday, July 16, 2012

The Funniest, Saddest Book I've Read

The Fault in Our Stars
by John Green

Genre; Drama/Fiction
Publisher; Penguin Group/USA/2012
Pages; 313
ISBN; 9780143567592

Plot; Hazel is terminal.No point in sugar coating it. The tumour-shrinking medical miracle may have bought her some time, but Hazel remains terminal.

Being a teenager with cancer is no picnic. There are her parents to worry about, how will they be when she is gone, and then there are her friends. The ragtag bunch of cancer kids, all trying to outdo each other with their miracles and miseries.

Let's face it, it is a downhill road. Well, until the gorgeous and charismatic Augustus Waters walks into her world. With his unlit cigarettes and drool-worthy swagger, Hazel's life is about to be shaken up.

My Thoughts; When I was half-way through this book I went into work and started to tell my co-workers about it. This is how the conversation started, "Yeah, I am reading this book about a bunch of teenagers who all have terminal cancer. It is hilarious!"

As you can imagine, I was singled out as the cold hearted weirdo who laughs at cancer kids.

The truth is, this book is hilarious. It is the funniest, saddest thing I have ever read. Green leads you on an (sorry to use this old and over-used term, but it really applies) emotional roller coaster. One minute I was crying uncontrollably, the next I was laughing to the point of stomach pains.

John Green is one half of the popular, and totally enjoyable, "Vlog Brothers" on YouTube. This is a channel run by brothers John and Hank Green on which they post regular videos talking about current events, world history, interest topics, you name it. It is definitely worth a visit because they are so intelligent and so funny.

I had seen quite a few of Green's videos, so when the book was mentioned at my book club, I jumped in anticipation. Never has my book club picked such a fantastic book.

As you read it, it is as thought it really has been written by a teenage girl. I don't know how Green has this insight, but I have not been so impressed by a man's insight into the mind of a female since I read Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden.

As I understand it, John Green used to counsel children with cancer, and I think this is why he has been able to write so believably. As adults, we have all been witness to how amazing children can be in difficult situations, so it is inspiring to read this book and see these children. How they are so strong, and brave, and lighthearted through all these events, making jokes and supporting each other. All in only the way children can.

I recommend this book to everyone. These kids make you realise how precious life is and where your priorities should lie. It is also one hell of an entertaining read!

I warn you, have tissues at the ready.

Happy Reading!

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