Why YA? The Fault in Our Stars, that’s why.

The Fault in Our Stars

Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 12, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs… for now.

Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault.

Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind.

This book makes me want to hug my children more and thank God seventy-two times a day that all four of my children are healthy and happy (most of the time). It makes me appreciate my husband more (please don’t tell him I said that…on the Interwebs).

You see, my husband was diagnosed with Stage III colon cancer nine years ago, at the age of 32. Stage III means the cancer is treatable, but it has invaded the lymph nodes, thereby entering the bloodstream, making for a poorer prognosis. My husband was lucky. He had surgery and underwent nearly five months of chemo and has been cancer free for nearly nine years now. This is a miracle and a blessing for our family.

But I digress. This is a book review about a girl with terminal cancer, and given my life experience it’s no wonder I crawled right inside Hazel’s world.

It took me about ten days to read this book because life kept getting in the way of my reading. I stayed up way past my bedtime two nights in a row to finish it, which was difficult to do at times due to the steady flow of tears. It was worth feeling tired and a little cranky so I could finally finish this book.

Hazel is not someone you feel sorry for. She simply will not allow you to. What she will do, however, is give you a honest picture of what life with cancer looks like, feels like, sounds like, and on occasion, smells like. Hazel is bad ass, and someone you want to know. She’s smart and understands things about life most of us never will. She sees things we miss because she pays attention. Hazel worries about those she will leave behind and is fully aware of the devastation that will follow her death, referring to herself as a “grenade.”

But don’t despair. Hazel has a wicked sense of humor and although she is painfully aware of the graveness of her situation, she often comments on the irony of things and sees humor in even the most serious situations.

Meeting Augustus at a cancer support group is serendipitous, cathartic, and just what Hazel needs, despite her prolonged resistance. She eventually learns that resistance is futile, and embraces the gift Augustus becomes in her life. Augustus is bad ass in his own right, and you can’t help rooting for the two of them.

Advertisements

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Meg
    Mar 18, 2012 @ 23:23:44

    Okay, so now AI want to read this book, too!

    Reply

  2. mfryhover
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 01:42:26

    You won’t be sorry, Meg, I promise!

    Reply

  3. mollyspring
    Apr 10, 2012 @ 03:01:26

    ah! this book is definitely on my to-read list, but it’s got a long hold list at the library so I’m trying to be patient and let the patrons read it before the librian snatches it up 🙂 I’ve heard such fabulous things!

    Not all YA is created equally, but thankfully there are authors like John Green to make us not feel to bad about being grown up YA fans.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Nerdy Chicks Write

Get it Write this Summer!

Reverse Perspective

by Lucie Smoker

Dani Stone

I Hear Laugh Tracks

Cat Poland

When Life Gives You a Story, Tell It

chantelltiatrakul

A topnotch WordPress.com site

J a m m i e K e r n

author of stories for children, teens and young adults

Texana's Kitchen

Yummy food. Pithy commentary. Pretty pictures.

Wyz Reads

The Reviews of The Reads of The Wyzlic

Summer of SUCCESS

Having FUN Getting Ready for Sixth Grade!

Nerdy Book Club

A community of readers

kennedp85

Just another WordPress.com site

Rachel Russell

YA AUTHOR * SUBMISSIONS COORDINATOR * EDITORIAL ASSISTANT * FREELANCE EDITOR

Our Fun Filled Journey to Motherhood

Just your average lesbian TTC blog!

Book Tasty

a young adult fiction blog

The Tikiman Says...

The Writing Life

Neal Shusterman's Blog

The author's official blog

April in Wichita

squeezing more Life into Poetry

The WordPress.com Blog

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.

%d bloggers like this: