Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 13, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumors in her lungs… for now. Despite the miracle, now 16, Hazel is constantly attached to an oxygen tank and keeps the tumors at bay with a continual chemical cocktail. Hazel’s mom is convinced that she’s suffering from depression (LOL, ya think?!?, she has terminal cancer) and makes her go to a Cancer Kid Support Group for other teens who are recovering or battling the illness.
Normally Hazel hates going to the Cancer Kid Support Group that her mom drags her to every week, until she meets Augustus Waters. Augustus is hot, in remission, and surprising to her, interested in Hazel. The two teens quickly become friends, but a few weeks into the friendship, Hazel starts questioning just how close she should get to Gus. She doesn’t want to hurt him by her imminent death.
The Fault in Our Stars was painfully beautiful. I resisted reading this book for months because I usually steer away from books that look like they are going to be sad. I’m glad I broke down and jumped on the ‘this book is amazing’ band-wagon.
Hazel is smart and sarcastic. Augustus is charming, witty, and the kind of friend everyone needs. Despite the heavy content matter, this book is full of hope, love, and even triumph.
I spent the first three-fourths of the book laughing out loud and the last fourth weeping and sobbing like a little baby. My daughter kept asking me what was wrong with me while I listened to this audio book, “Mom, why are you laughing?” Ten minutes later, “Mom, why are you crying.” Ten minutes after that, “Mom, are you okay?” I’ve probably somehow damaged her with the emotional mood swings I went through while listening to this book. The audio version of The Fault in Our Stars was fantastic and just won the Odyssey award for the best children’s/YA audiobook for 2012.
I really loved this book and think adults will like it despite it being from the YA shelf.
- Sex: a boy grope’s a girl’s breast, teens kissing, a sex scene between teens-a light after description of the experience by a character, but nothing explicit
- Language: swear words are used: I mean, the girl has cancer, that’s worth a lot of swear words (including one F-word)
- Adult Themes: teens drink champagne, death, grieving, life-threatening illness of children