Hazel Grace Lancaster is your very un-average 16-year-old girl. Home-schooled since the age of 13 her parents are desperate for her to get a life. But Hazel wonders what the point of getting a life is when you’re dying from cancer. Enter Augustus “Gus” Waters. Augustus is a former basketball star who lost his leg to bone cancer, so it’s a no brainer for her and Hazel to get together, right? Wrong. Because Hazel is determined to live as solitary a life as possible until she can no longer live at all.
APA Reference of Book:
Green, J. (2012). The fault in our stars. New York, NY: Penguin Group
I have been hearing about this book since it came out. My boyfriend got it almost the day it came out and really just gobbled it up. He and what seemed like friend after friend kept talking about it until the point where I even saw my former Baylor professors blogging about it. However, despite all this I kept resisting. They kept telling me how amazing it was, how I was guaranteed to love it, but what I kept trying to explain was not that I was afraid that I wouldn’t like it, I was afraid that I WOULD. So when I saw it on my reading list for my literature for youth class I knew my time had come, I could delay no longer. So I picked it up and started on the long journey that was John Green’s widely talked about new(ish) book. I have to say, it is worth the hype. It was everything I expected from a John Green novel, beautiful and honest and heartbreaking. As some of you may have noticed, I did a book trailer on this particular title back a few weeks ago. The problem with that book trailer is that I could not possibly include all of the wonderful and quirky things about this book. I sifted through hundreds and hundreds of quotes trying to find one that summed it up just perfectly, and while I think I succeeded I just loved the book so much I wish I could have done more in my time limit. Alas, I couldn’t. But that is why I have chosen to do a review on it here because I really feel like this book is worth your time and energy. It’s not a happy book, but despite telling the story of several kids with cancer it can definitely make you laugh. But please, PLEASE make sure you read it in a safe place with a box of tissues. Don’t do like my dear friend Bethany who read it on a crowded airplane. Trust me.
“If there’s a knock on John Green (and it’s more of a light tap considering he’s been recognized twice by the Printz committee) it’s that he keeps writing the same book: nerdy guy in unrequited love with impossibly gorgeous girl, add road trip. His fourth novel departs from that successful formula to even greater success: this is his best work yet. Narrator Hazel Grace Lancaster, 16, is (miraculously) alive thanks to an experimental drug that is keeping her thyroid cancer in check. In an effort to get her to have a life (she withdrew from school at 13), her parents insist she attend a support group at a local church, which Hazel characterizes in an older-than-her-years voice as a ‘rotating cast of characters in various states of tumor-driven unwellness.’ Despite Hazel’s reluctant presence, it’s at the support group that she meets Augustus Waters, a former basketball player who has lost a leg to cancer. The connection is instant, and a (doomed) romance blossoms. There is a road trip—Augustus, whose greatest fear is not of death but that his life won’t amount to anything, uses his ‘Genie Foundation’ wish to take Hazel to Amsterdam to meet the author of her favorite book. Come to think of it, Augustus is pretty damn hot. So maybe there’s not a new formula at work so much as a gender swap. But this iteration is smart, witty, profoundly sad, and full of questions worth asking, even those like ‘Why me?’ that have no answer. Ages 14–up.”
(2012, January 16). [Review of the book The fault in our stars, by J. Green]. Publishers Weekly. Retrieved from: http://www.publishersweekly.com/978-0-525-47881-2
A lot of this book revolves around a Make a Wish trip to the Netherlands, so I would use this as an opportunity to do a cultural lesson. I would do Dutch snacks like stroopwafel, gouda and sparkling cider (since they make a big deal out of drinking champagne in the book) and decorate using wooden shoes and the Dutch flag. I know this all sounds stereotypical, but I lived in the Netherlands, trust me.