Before this book, I’d read another John Green book, Looking for Alaska, that everyone seemed to adore but left me feeling cold. So when I started seeing stellar reviews for this book, I was a bit skeptical that it would entrance me as much as everyone else. Still, so many bloggers that I trusted absolutely raved about how amazing and uplifting and funny and sad this book was that I felt I had to give it a chance. So I did. (And I stayed up way too late last night finishing it.) As I wiped away my tears and hit the sack, it occurred to me that the perfect way to review this book would be to capture my feelings about it as the five stages of grief. (Very apropos given that the subject of the book is teenagers with cancer.) So before I forget this brilliant, middle of the night inspiration, I’m writing my review the day after finishing the book (which is pretty much unprecedented for me as I still have reviews to write for books I read in APRIL!!!)
Stage 1: Denial (before starting the book): This book can’t possibly be as good as everyone says it is. How can a book about teens with cancer be funny and uplifting yet also heart-breaking? And a YA book that really moves me? Bah humbug. I’m too old for these YA books. They disappoint me more often than not.
Stage 2: Anger (within the first five chapters): Damn it! This book is brilliant! I’m loving Hazel Grace and Augustus Waters and their witty repartee and view of life. Why did I wait so long to read this? Why did I delay? Why didn’t I listen? What if I’d decided to chump out and not read this and MISSED IT? Arggghhh…you stupid fool!
Stage 3: Bargaining (about the middle of the book): I don’t want this book to end. I want to stay with these characters longer. If I slow down my reading pace, I can spread the delight of this book out over a few days. Maybe if I start another book, this book will never end and I’ll get to read it for days and days.
Stage 4: Depression (at about the three-quarter mark until the end): I can barely read through my tears and my smiles. I’m having my heart broken by this author over and over. Such emotion and pain and laughter and feelings of truth and beauty. Each page takes me closer to the end of this amazing gem of a book and I don’t want that to happen.
Stage 5: Acceptance (now): Everyone was right. The Fault In Our Stars is a truly special book that transcends the YA genre and speaks to the human heart. It is fierce and funny and unapologetic and realistic and it broke my heart in the best of ways. A true five-star read and one I’m grateful to have read. Thank you, John Green. I bow before you in your brilliance. You’re no Peter Van Houten!