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The Fault in Our Stars
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on 5 July 2017
I absolutely love this book. It is a fantastically written, emotional book.
John Green really knows how to capture a mood, and throw you right in with the characters. It was stunning. I was gripped from start to finish. I actually brought this book as a gift for my partner, but after she told me how good it was, I had to steal it.
The book has been made in to a movie, but the adaptation is never going be as good as getting lost int he words.
Very cleverly written and a very emotional book. I give credit to John Green for writing a book this good about such a difficult subject.

Amazing!
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on 5 November 2017
I held off on reading this book for a long time, as I knew the read would undoubtedly be interspersed with floods of tears, followed by a day of swollen eyes and headaches. I suspected the book would be worth the price and how right I was. Without a doubt, this is most intricately crafted piece of literature I have read since picking up Tom Stoppard's Arcadia, well over 10 years ago. A part of me wants to be the English Lit student I was then, so I could sit and tease this book apart to fully appreciate the minutes that went into making every facet mesh together so elegantly. I found every one of the characters to be believable and likeable and there was something very real about the entire story line. For a book this painful to be worth reading, it needs to be also humorous and exquisitely beautiful. Aim achieved, John Green.
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on 13 January 2017
I've just finished the sob-fest that is 'The Fault in Our Stars' by John Green. It was recommended to me by my teenage daughter. I started to read it, out of a sense of obligation, to show an interest in her taste in books, and to have something for us to chat about. Knock my socks off, it's fantastic! Brilliant characterisation from the start. It's terribly sad. I suggest you don't read it if you are unwell or depressed, but it raises some very deep philosophical issues about life, death, the universe and everything. It gives me a bit of hope that our young adults might not be scrambling their brains with screens all the time, but engaging with a beautifully written story with some challenging themes. Five stars.
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on 31 May 2015
Hazel is our main character, she is seventeen and has thyroid cancer with mets and her mother decides she needs to go to a weekly Support Group to beat depression. Hazel has an almost non verbal friendship with Isaac whom she meets at group, both frustrated with the group lead and share looks and sighs with each other. Isaac's friend comes along to group one day, Augustus (Gus) Waters and Hazel can't help but notice him, he is hot and won't stop staring at her. They strike up a conversation, friendship blooms and the two quickly become inseparable. What follows is a journey between two people, brought together by friendship who go through and share so much in a limited amount of time.

I hadn't heard of this book until recently, it is now out as a movie and getting much interest and reviews although it has been around since 2012 I believe. For two young people our characters are very deep thinkers, Gus has theories and philosophies and shares them with Hazel, whom he refers to as Hazel Grace throughout. This is a beautiful story that, looks at friendship, suffering, loss, emotions, humour, attraction and death. Hazel is terminal, she is on a new drug that will buy her some time but ultimately she will die, this sees her holding back from Gus.

Hazel shares her favorite book with Gus, it ends abruptly and Hazel would love to know what would have happened to the other characters. Gus and Hazel set out to get some answers and try and track down the author whilst courting and getting to know each other. The story covers a range of emotions and I found myself moved a few times throughout. The two main characters are only seventeen and sometimes you felt they were very advanced emotionally however maybe due to what they have both been through the author done this on purpose? I would have read this in one sitting however I started it on my phone and only got it on a proper device today and I finished it that way.

I found it a really engaging read, it is a hard topic, young people dealing with cancer, young Isaac has it in his eye, he is in the book for small portions as is Hazels other friend (who doesn't have cancer), but mostly the focus is Hazel and Gus. Gus lost a leg to cancer and Hazel knows she is on borrowed time however I think the balance of the book is well done, the impact it has on the people within the circle of the person who has it. I did see how the book was going at one point but don't think this took anything away from the story to be honest. I hadn't read this author before and I would read him again. It is worth noting that this is listed as teen fiction but I would say it is more than suitable for adults and that at times you forgot the characters were meant to be teenagers. 4 out of 5 for me and I think I will need to be seeing the movie too, definitely worth a read.
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on 2 June 2017
A love story that I was afraid to read because I suspected that it would make me cry. I avoid Lassie films for the same reason. The story did bring a tear to my eye but more than that it opened up a world to me full of well meaning people who care about their sick loved ones and try very hard to help them. Their words fall short because the sick persons journey is known only to her/himself and the kindness of others is often another burden. A funny thoughtful and somewhat eccentric, warm, and sometimes puzzling story. Well worth reading.
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on 28 February 2016
I recently lost my uncle to cancer and have a friend who's been suffering for 3 years and undergoes treatment regularly, so reading this helped me understand the journey cancer sufferers go through. I really enjoyed this book and it was extremely emotional, you really feel the pain and the struggle the family members go through but also the bravery of the characters and their determination. The love story that develops between gus and hazel is so lovely they are truely the best of friends and its such an amazing relationship they share. the meeting with Peter was such a disappointment for hazel but she took it in hrr stride and she dealt with idiots on a good level you really fall in love with her character. After finishing this book I also really wanted to read an imperial affliction but obviously it doesn't exist but u too was wondering what happened at the end! Really good book its hard to put down. Epic read about bravery love suffering and appreciation for life!
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on 2 May 2015
This book broke my heart.

In the past, when I've said that a book made me cry, what I really mean is that I had a little bit of a lump in my throat, my eyes started to water and I may have sniffed once or twice. This book, however, had me sitting in bed at 11pm last night, quite literally sobbing.

description

I don't know how coherent I'm going to be, to be honest. I have a feeling that the morning after is a little bit too soon to be tackling the emotional onslaught that is this book. To be honest, I don't know how to do it justice without ruining it for everyone, so I'll just keep this short.

The character that really made this book for me (and, I suspect, everyone) is Augustus Waters. He was charming, and funny, and flawed and tragic. And, more than that, in a way, he was me. His fears and struggles and frustrations with life and the world through-out are something I can relate to (minus the terminal illness) on such a massive level that I couldn't help but love this book.

The writing is wonderfully clean and simple, interspersed, liberally, with gems of wisdom concerning life, it's fragility and inevitability that at times forced me to put down my Kindle and just Think. The narrative voice is genuine, and I will be forever astounded by grown men who can so accurately convey the inner mind of a teenage girl.

John Green is brutally honest concerning the horrors of someone living with a terminal illness with all of the characters he offers us; he does not spare your feelings and he forces you feel their pain, frustration and humiliation. However, he shows you their strength and their determination not to let their illness define them or their lives, how they find joy, love and humour in spite of what they have been through and what they are going to face. I don't know about you, but it was enough to make me question my own priorities.

This was my first John Green book, and I am beyond impressed. The book-hangover is strong with this one, and it's going straight into my Best Reads of 2015. Any book that can make me feel so strongly is a winner in my eyes.

please, read this book.
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on 3 May 2015
What can I say that hasn't already been said and probably much more eloquently than I can manage? This is a corker of a book which deals with a truly horrific subject but does it in such a way that the subject never takes over. Instead it's a book about live and loss, and it's over arching message is one of hope; live each day well, love whenever you get the chance.

In no way does Green prop up the humbug of the stoic and virtuous Cancer victim who has become a walking saint just because they have cancer. There's plenty of Dylan Thomas raging against the dying of the light going on. And yet these are flawed and like able characters that it's impossible not to identify with.

Hazel is a wonderful character. Not perfect but clever, kind, unpretentious and with a courage of the heart that's very rare. It's even more apparent when she is faced with seeing someone die than dealing with her own impending death. Gus is also great, charasmatic, funny and with a serious white knight complex.
But I think I might live Isaac most of all. It takes courage to die well but it takes a different and possibly more difficult kind of courage to have to live.

In short this book lives up to all the hype. Flawless prose, big ideas, laughter, tears and a great cast.

I'm being very picky here but it got 4.5 stars rather than 5 because I worked out what the grand reveal would be at the end of the second chapter. If you're going to use Chekhov's gun - make it subtle. Of course it might have been my medical knowledge that tipped me off.

Great book and I would recommend it to anyone regardless of genre preferences.
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VINE VOICEon 31 March 2015
This novel was recommended to me by a prisoner on Texas Death Row; a man I have been writing to for three years. This is relevant, for he is a man who knows what it is to face death on a daily basis, and who really knows what this means; like the characters in this book.

Where do I start? This novel just blew me away. Hazel and Augustus are teenagers facing death from cancer and who meet at a particularly grim and cliche ridden "self help" group. Hazel, bloated from the drugs she takes, and having to cart her oxygen cylinder around with her wherever she goes, is amazed when the "hot" Augustus falls for her, and the two are soon in love. Theirs is a world of well-meaning and heart-broken parents, painful treatments, brief remissions, the deaths of friends, the embarrassment of other friends, hopes raised, and hopes dashed...and yet their love blossoms and seems to rise above it all. They share their hopes and their fears, their often hilarious gallows humour, their despair and their over-riding belief in living to the full the life that is left to them.

The characters in this novel are so loveable that I identified with them both completely, faults and all. They are quite beautfully drawn, and yet three-dimensional, very human, and yet totally individual. I loved them both (and their friend Isaac, who has lost both his eyes through cancer), and felt for their parents, who do their best under appalling circumstances. I even became a little fond of the dreadful Patrick, leader of the self-help group, who begins every session with the joyous story of his own recovery from testicular cancer, before inviting those attending to "share" (a word that, in that kind of context, I loathe as much as the two protagonists do. And I'm a counsellor).

When I came to the end, I assumed that the author had written the novel from some personal experience. But not at all. At the end, the author writes that "this book is a work of fiction. I made it up." That gave me quite a jolt.

So - a work of fiction, maybe. But what a work of fiction! Do please read it.
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on 15 September 2017
Admittedly I wasn't sure what I would read having never before seen any book is by this author. But what I found was an amazing book, exceptional in the way Gus and Hazel thought and lived. Lots of humour, love, writing that is completely unique, so much so that it is so easy to forget this is a work of fiction rather than a true story. Simply - just read this book.
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