Green, John. The Fault in Our Stars ‡
Fic. Dutton, 2012. 318p. $17.99 978-0-525-47881-2
OUTSTANDING GRADES 8-ADULT
It is ironic that such a funny YA book is about teens with cancer, yet that is the case with John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars. As 16-year-old Hazel wryly points out on the first page, “Depression is not a side effect of cancer. Depression is a side effect of dying.” Hazel’s ruthlessly smart and honest voice drags us into situations we’d prefer to avoid and introduces us to tragically stricken individuals. Mortality is not a prop, it is the philosophical core of this book. Yet the wit and appeal of Hazel and her friends ensures we crave their company and, with them, willingly contemplate oblivion. Green is a master at casually and meaningfully weaving literary and cultural detail into his narratives. His narrative includes first-person shooter video games as well as T. S. Eliot. His adults are distinguished in the genre. appearing as rounded and fully human. Not only is the novel hilarious, profound, and intriguing, it is hugely romantic. This balance allows the book to appeal to both boys and girls, many of whom will want to reread it. The rich, complex, and achingly beautiful world Green creates proves his author’s-note point: made-up stories can matter.
Melissa McAvoy, Independent