Review Post: The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars
Title : The Fault in Our Stars
Author : John Green
Publisher : Dutton Books
Pages : 318 Pages
Year of Publication : 2012
Language : English
Genre(s) : Young Adult,Romance, 
Bought from : – ( I got the free e-book ^.^)
Synopsis and Cover Pic : Goodreads
Synopsis :
Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.
 

 

***
It’s been a long time since my last review!!It took me long, really long just to finish one book. I made myself read more than 2 books, either fiction or nonfiction, at the same time so that I could go after my reading target this year and also reading target in some challenges I’ve been joining. It was not as easy as deciding which books to buy first, given some pocket money I was received. The time is enough, I think, but the one who uses it did not use it well. I always postponed my plan to continue reading and yeah, no wonder I haven’t finished , like, four books since March. =(And this is it, out of 6 I finally finished two and The Fault in Our Stars is one of the two. I have been really curious with this novel ever since I read the review about this book as well as John Green’s name as the author of this story. I have been interested in his other masterpiece after reading Paper Town so I thought I would like to give this book a try.

“But in fact, depression is not a side effect of cancer. Depression is a side effect of dying.”

First, before I jumped to conclusion, let me share a glance of the story to you. Situations happened in this novel was seen and told through the eye of Hazel Grace,a 16-year-old girl who has a thyroid cancer in her lung. She was unpleasantly and skeptically living her life, befriending but her parents and reading books and novels, repeating her favorite novels, An Imperial Affliction by Peter Van Houten, whom she considered her third friend. Her mother couldn’t bear seeing her like this made her join a Support Group, a group consist of some kids and teens with cancer that met up every week and share their (cancer) fighting story to each others. Hazel did not think this was her thing but she didn’t want to make her mom more difficult so she came every week, without sharing a single story but a single sentence ‘I had a thyroid cancer’ kinda. The only person she could connect with there was Isaac, a 17-year-old boy with an eye cancer. There’s not much talking between them (yet) but their eyes usually met whenever they thought something was too much. And things changed in Hazel’s life, too, because of Isaac (in my opinion lol); once, he brought his friend, Augustus Waters, to the Support Group. He had an appendiceal cancer, making him lose one of his legs, thus, making him wear a prost. From the description Hazel poured, Augustus was really hot. He was so attractive with his crooked smile and muscular body. That’s why Hazel was fascinated, and became more fascinated when he showed much interest in her.

“Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.”

Augustus, or Gus, said she’s so cool, looking like Natalie Portman in V for Vendetta, repeating it like more than twice. Gus so bluntly said that he liked her and wanted to go steady with her. Any girls and women will be like melting as well as feeling confused at the same time, encountering a boy like this. And since then, they became close. Hazel shared her favorite book to him, An Imperial Affliction while Gus told her to read The Prince of Dawn series, asked her to come to his place to play the game version also, with Isaac. Hazel also told him how she really wanted to know the ending of AIA which was left unfinished, how many times she sent letters to Van Houten without ever being replied even once. Gus, who happened to be interested in that book upon reading it, sent an e-mail to Van Houten and got replied. Despite her jealousy, it encouraged Hazel to send Van Houten an e-mail, asking about the ending of the novel. And finally, she got his reply! But unfortunately, the e-mail said that he couldn’t tell her the ending unless they met each other directly, meaning Hazel should go to Amsterdam.

“I’m in love with you, and I’m not in the business of denying myself the simple pleasure of saying true things. I’m in love with you, and I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we’re all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust, and I know the sun will swallow the only earth we’ll ever have, and I am in love with you.”

But things got rough all of sudden. Hazel, who was always thoughtful about how her parents and Gus would keep up living once she’s gone, got recurrence and forced her to attend the hospital. But after this, things got sweeter. After she’s back home, she developed more intimate relationship with Gus and told him that the only way she could find out about the ending of AIA was by going to Amsterdam and meeting Van Houten. In short, with a funding support from an organization concerning themselves in kids and teens with cancer, they’re able to go to Amsterdam and meet Van Houten. Sadly, he wasn’t as cool as what Hazel had extracted from his novel. She couldn’t get to know the ending she was dying to, but she really did not want to pass the chance to be with Gus so she decided to forget about Van Houten and the ending-she-was-damn-curious-about, and had fun with Gus in Amsterdam, including making love hehehihi. The nice thing doesn’t last forever, fella. I really didn’t figure it out before. Yes, it’s soooo improbably unpredictable.

“Oh, I wouldn’t mind, Hazel Grace. It would be a privilege to have my heart broken by you.”

But I will not tell you! Please, read it yourself =3 Though unpredictable, it did not surprise me. Perhaps because this is about cancer so, yeah, there is not much those unexpected things. And I really wished I would have cried so many tears reading this but in fact I didn’t. I don’t know if it’s because I read this in a very distant time that sometimes I forgot how the story had gone, or because I really could not feel the sadness Hazel felt, or it’s just the story that wasn’t really that sad at all. But I did feel touched when it came to Hazel’s parents. Well, you should read it yourself hehe. By the way, most of the narration and dialogue are quotable. They were so beautifully chained to each other =). Anyway, the main character, Hazel Grace, was just so mature for her age. There was no scene that she didn’t talk like a philosopher, a skeptic philosopher for exact. And I think she’s what differed TFIOS with other YA novels whose main character has a cancer; while most of typical stories offer an optimistic character with a great struggle, Hazel’s just so skeptic and perceivably effortless to live her life. She tended to ask ‘why’ to almost everything in her life, but she never questioned why she should be having the cancer. And Augustus, well, I don’t know what to say about him. Compared to Hazel, Gus was more optimistic and willing to leave his trace on others, though he knew he might hurt or even get hurt. He wanted to live his life being useful to other people, showing much love to them, especially Hazel. He was just so damn blunt! I wonder if there is a man or woman able to be so honest about his/her feeling towards the one he/she loves. How he was willing to sacrifice so much for Hazel was just so adorable.

“Do the thing you’re good at. Not many people are lucky enough to be so good at something.”

For teenagers, I think they should read this, especially the teen girls. Hazel is a character that they could learn from; such a skeptic yet brave and loving girl, and instead of crying over her ‘untied’ relationship with Gus, she could cope with her life and found things she could hold onto, things that could help her remember Gus. Even the love story offered is not the cheesy type. I myself learn to be honest with my feeling to people I love, though it may not be so good for me. And that everything has a risk, even in loving itself. But the return of it is great also, so don’t be afraid to love and just take whatever the risk might be. And parents are everything. Hehe.

“You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world, old man, but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices. I hope she likes hers.”  

Rating : 4/5

Book Review : Paper Towns

Paper Towns

Paper Towns

Paper Towns
Title : Paper Towns  
Author : John Green
Publisher : Speak
Pages : 305 Pages
Year of Publication : 2009 (First published in 2008)
Language : English
Genre(s) : Young Adult, Mystery, Contemporary, Adventure
Bought from : Books and Beyond (SunPlaza)
Synopsis and Cover Pic : Goodreads
Synopsis :
Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs back into his life—dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge—he follows.After their all-nighter ends and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Q soon learns that there are clues—and they’re for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer he gets, the less Q sees of the girl he thought he knew.
***
Of five John Green’s books that were displayed in the bookstores, I chose to read Paper Towns first. Actually I was more curious about The Fault in Our Stars, since this has gotten so famous that the movie adaptation was made and gonna be aired around July 2014. But the book was about 0.99 cent more expensive than Paper Towns so I thought I just tried the later. Yeah, money talked. Lol.I did not expect too much for the first time of reading Green’s But the title itself quite made me wonder when reading the prologue, like what is paper town? Does it has anything to do with the ‘me’ (who is Q, the main character as well as narrator of the story)? or Margo? And it pushed me towards the next page.

“The way I figure it, everyone gets a miracle. Like, I will probably never be struck by lightning, or win a Nobel Prize, or become the dictator of a smal nation in the Pacific Islands, or contract terminal ear cancer, or spontaneously combust. But if you consider all the unlikely things together, at least one of them will probably happen to each of us. I could have seen it rain frogs. I could have stepped foot on Mars. I could have been eaten by a whale. I could have married the queen of England or survived months at sea. But my miracle was different. My miracle was this : out of all the houses in all the subdivisions in all of Florida, I ended up living next door to Margo Roth Spiegelman.” Q

I can say I enjoyed reading this novel. Green’s writing style seems to suit my taste, to the point, detailed about the setting, but entertaining. I also love the jokes in this books, told by some characters in this books. It’s so teenagers.

The story itself is interesting, the ideas, the characters, settings. Quentin or Q, as the main character as well as narrator of the story, was shown as a boy who was comfortable with his own life, a good boy to his parents and never made a trouble. Perhaps, the flaw in his life was being bullied by Chuck Parson ever since they knew each other. Also, he had this secret feeling with his childhood friend as well as neighbor, Margo. But he always thought she’s beyond his reach, even though they used to be so close until age 9, because she appeared to be so sociable, popular, but adventurous. She was completely different and in a different world with him. Eventually, an event got him close again with her, which made him able to know her more. But when he thought they could be like they used to be, Margo suddenly disappeared. Only leaving him some clues, which led to the title of this book, Paper Towns.

The searching of Margo didn’t only involve Q alone. Two Q’s best friends, Ben and Radar, and also Margo’s besties and later became Ben’s girlfriend, Lacey, joined Q’s journey. I really like Q, Ben, and Radar’s friendship. Each of them has different character. Ben’s somewhat silly, quite obsessed to have a prom date, often talking about ‘balls’, but fun to get along with. While Radar’s a genius in technology, smart, able to give way out to problems, though he can be dramatic when talking about his parents’ obsession. At first they two had different opinions with Q about Margo’s leaving. Q even happened to have an argument with Ben. But the fight didn’t last long and finally, they voluntarily joined Q and skip school graduation. With Lacey.

“You know your problem, Quentin? You keep expecting people not to be themselves. I mean, I could hate you for being massively unpuctual and for never being interested in anything other than Margo Roth Spiegelman, and for, like, never asking me about how it’s going with my girlfriend — but I don’t give a shit, man, because you’re you…I’m too obsessed with a reference web site to answer my phone sometimes when my friends call, or my girlfriend. That’s okay, too. That’s me. You like me anyway. And I like you. You’re funny, and you’re smart, and you may show up late, but you always show up eventually.” Radar

Though Q and Margo are the centre of this story, I prefer Radar and Ben. Radar is so nice and wise as a friend, and quite useful too in technology Lol. He is matured enough in dealing with people though he can be so absorbed when being around his reference website. He is also a good listener and good advisor. While Ben, though he is quite childish and silly, but he could cheer his friends up and a kind that would apologize once he knows he is wrong. And though appear ignorant, he can become the savior of his friends! Just read the book and you will see!

“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I wasn’t thinking about none of y’all. I. Wanted. To. Save. My. Ass.” Ben (he said this in one of my favorite scene in this book. So funny Lol)
The characters that are so unpleasant to see is Margo’s parents. I am really grateful that I have parents that are happy to have me around though I make troubles so often. 

Well, the process of finding Margo finally makes Q realize that she may not be who she is known as all these times. Their previous conversation and the clues about paper town(s) helps Q not only finding where Margo is, but also getting close to understand who the real Margo is.

“I didn’t really look down and think about how everything was made of paper. I looked down and thought about how I was made of paper. I was the flimsy-foldable person, not everyone else. And here’s the thing about it. People love the idea of a paper girl. They always have. And the worst thing is that I loved it, too. I cultivated it, you know?” Margo

John Green through Paper Towns is kinda telling us that sometimes people can be mistaken in judging others. They may appear too unreachable for us, because of their status, their unique hobbies that differ from us, or the different peers each of us join. Even I myself often think that people that seem to be so sociable and obnoxious never feel lonely or hurt. Yeah, that makes us forget that they are also a human, who, like us, can also feel facing this world alone. 

Sometimes they become like what we think because we make them to. 

“Margo Roth Spiegelman was a person, too. And I had never quite thought of her that way, not really; it was a failure of all my previous imaginings. All along– not only since she left, but for a decade before– I had been imagining her without listening, without knowing she made as poor a window as I did. And so I could not imagine her as a person who could feel fear, who could feel isolated in a roomful of people, who could be shy about her record collection because it was too personal to share. Someone who might read travel books to escape having to live in the town that so many people escape to. Someone who–because no one thought she was a person– had no one to really talk to.” Q

Also, it’s good to realize the capacity we have to support the one we love, like Q towards Margo. He really loves Margo but he knows who he is and who she is, finally. And that makes him feel sure if he could stay with Margo or not.

“I can’t be you. You can’t be me. You can imagine another well– but never quite perfectly, you know?…”
Well, despite all the goods, I happened to feel so bored in the middle of the story and I was like ‘when will this Margo show up? When will this Q finally find her?’ And after all the enjoyment I got, the ending pissed me off. Quite. It’s not that disappointing actually, but It left me hanging, wondering about the conclusion. I kinda figure it out but still, I want Green to make sure it is like what I am thinking of. 

Yeah, but still, this book is worth your penny. =)

PS : I am sorry if my English is not so good and probably quite difficult to understand.

Rating : 4/5

“When did we see each other face to face? Not until you saw into my cracks and I saw into yours. Before that, we were just looking at ideas of each other, like looking at your window shade but never seeing inside. But once the vessel cracks, the light can get in. The light can get out”