The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
On one level, this is a love story between two exceptionally bright, quirky teenagers, Hazel and Augustus, who meet at a group for kids with potentially terminal diseases. Morbid humor and playful ways with words unite them. Also, they share the typical adolescent concerns about appearance and attractiveness and "losing" one's virginity, and the Holden Caulfield-style suspicion of adults who pretend to know what they do not or cannot know. At the same time, having to lug around an air canister to breathe, or screw in a prosthetic leg to walk, means they cannot take any of those concerns too seriously too much of the time. I believed in the characters. I wanted to listen to them talk all day.
This is also a book about the meaning of life and how to live it. My cousin Inbal Samin gave it to me and after I finished reading it, I had to write her a heartfelt letter about what I thought my own life had taught me. I can just imagine book clubs all over American going late into the night discussing the big questions raised in this book.
So, read it for the story, or the philosophy, or both. But do read it.
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