YA Favorite: The Fault in Our Stars

Sixteen-year-old Hazel Lancaster has cancer, and she’s never been considered anything other than terminal. Hazel is living on borrowed time, owing to a “miracle” drug that slows tumor growth. Concerned that she is depressed, Hazel’s mother insists that she attend a weekly Cancer Kid Support Group. (Though depression, Hazel states, is not a side effect of cancer. It is, like most things, a side effect of dying.) At Support Group, Hazel meets Augustus Waters, a boy who lost his leg to malignant osteosarcoma but is currently in remission. Hazel and Augustus have an almost instant connection, and they form a fast friendship that eventually leads to love. When Hazel lets Augustus into her very private world and introduces him to her favorite book, it begins a chain of events that will leave a permanent mark on both of their lives.

Because the story centers on characters afflicted with cancer, one might assume that this book is a sad, depressing one. I admit, I cried a little, but I laughed so much more. There was something to make me smile, chuckle, or even laugh out loud on nearly every single page. And that is a quality that exists in very few books. The story is full of plot twists, excitement, and joy. I was engrossed in this book from beginning to end and loved every single minute of it.

Though John Green’s work is classified within the genre of Young Adult Fiction, I think that his books transcend that title. It’s true that the main characters are teenagers, but The Fault in Our Stars is a book that anyone can read. Quality writing paired with a powerful story makes this book a must for adults too.

Recommended for ages 13 to adult.

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