book review: The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green is the second John Green book I’ve read.  I saw the movie recently and ended up liking it more than I thought I would so I decided to give the book a shot.  The movie follows the book pretty closely so even if you read the book first, you probably won’t be disappointed in the movie.

The book is told from Hazel’s point of view.  Hazel is a 16-year-old girl with stage 4 cancer.  Her character was somewhat inspired by Esther Earl, to whom the book is dedicated.  In interviews, John Green says that he has trouble answering questions about whether Hazel is supposed to be Esther.  He says sort of.  He had been writing a book about cancer when he met Esther, but Hazel’s cancer is the same type as Esther’s.  The author also said that Esther’s death motivated him to write and write until this book was finished.  However, the character’s personalty is different from Esther’s and the plot is fictional.

This is a drama book, not a mystery.  The ending is not surprising; it’s about how you get there.

The best part about this book is that it was believable.  The dialogues and other conversations between the characters were realistic.  The relationship issues between Hazel and her parents, Hazel and Gus, Hazel and her other friends, were demonstrative of how much insight the author has into how cancer/dying affects lives.  The characters aren’t perfect, but they’re just the way the should be.  The dialogue is clever, but in a fun way, not in a coffee-house-frequenting-slim-cigarette-smoking-snooty-I-insult-everyone-and-the-world-sucks kind of way.

My favorite part was the bit where Hazel talks about infinities.  There are infinite numbers between 0 and 1, there are more infinite numbers between 0 and 2 … This bit summed up the book for me.  It’s what you do with what you have.

My biggest disappointment is that the book mentioned in the book, An Imperial Affliction, is not a real book.  That seems almost cruel … kinda like ending a book in the middle of a

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