Wednesday, November 6, 2013

My book report: The Fault in Our Stars

It's been a long time since I have done a book report. However, this book is worth staying up all night researching things, organizing my recipe cards of information, and colouring in my title page.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Have you ever read a book so powerful it made you feel as though there was nothing more than that book? That the pain and honesty and heartbreak of it was more than you could physically bear?

That is this book.

It is story about teens who meet through a cancer-supoport group and face all the horrors of cancer all while facing the worse horrors of teenage-dom.  It is a widely agreed upon fact that children should not have cancer. Cancer, if it has to happen at all, should be for people who have experienced things already, who have lived and loved and travelled. You shouldn't get your first cancer treatment before your first kiss.

Cancer is one of those words whispered when spoken. It always makes me think of the scene from St. Elmo's Fire when the mother keeps whispering words she finds scandalous: "cancer" and "prison" hiss from her mouth like the words themselves are poisonous.

This book not only talks about cancer, but about how it feels to have it and be left physically and emotionally altered for the rest of your life which might just be miserably short. It's about being a teenager and experiencing things teens experience which would be completely normal except that it's tempered with being terminal or even in remission.  You can't just be teen depressed or teen in love, it all has bigger meaning.

And yet, the book isn't even really about cancer. It's about finding out what is in the world, experiencing things in the world you should get to experience, and also the reality of the world versus our expectations of it. About our heroes, how we think they "get" us and yet, they too are just people who can disappoint. About how we can find it all and how short that "all" can last.

It's about how life just isn't effing fair.

This book is all that and more. I imagine it is different for every person who reads it. It is different for me experiencing it as someone who lost her mother to cancer. It would likely be different if I had read it as a teen versus an adult. It would likely be different for everyone.

When I finished this book, I sat and sobbed. I sobbed for the raw emotion it brought forth and the unfairness of life. I sobbed because it was an amazing book that I could never read for the first time again. I sobbed because I could never write anything as beautiful and as painful.

I wish I had never read it because no other book will be as good.  And that is why I normally stick with trashy romance.


  1. Oh my! Now I don't know whether to read it or avoid it for something a little shallower! Great review.

    1. That's how I felt too! If you want, instead, I have a really great book about a Navy Seal and a lady in distress!!

  2. Ky and I talked about how reading TFiOS is like joking with someone who has also experienced cancer in their family: it just gets that familiarity. It came out when I was grieving a really specific loss, and reading this book was such a relief.

    1. It is exactly like that. I feel like this book and I could make dead Mom jokes because it's been there. It was like another step in the grieving process.

  3. Oh man... I don't know if I could read this. I am just SO affected by things like this these days- probably why I, too, also stick to trash or comedy. I will definitely keep it in mind, though. It sounds like a phenomenal book.

  4. Your summary and description of this book beautifully brings it to life. Something tells me, based on your description, you could write something equally as moving.

  5. Wow. Sounds amazing. I always wish for that type of experience when I read a book, and it is really rare. Thanks for posting.

  6. A powerful review! Flagging to my Amazon list!


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