The Fault In Our Stars from John Green, is a sensitive yet gutsy portrayal of Hazel, a sixteen year old with terminal cancer. Yep, he's tackled, head on, this most awful illness through the character of Hazel, and her developing friendship with Augustus.
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Where The Fault In Our Stars wins through is via its multi layered plot and well drawn characters which pull the reader into the storyline.
Unsurprisingly Hazel is depressed, her mother - who's whole life revolves around taking care of Hazel - recognises it and encourages Hazel to disrupt her viewings of America's Next Top Model and join the Support Group. The group is depressively dismal, with fluctuating membership numbers, until the more upbeat Augustus turns up.
Hazel's developing relationship with Augustus takes centre stage, previous school friends having faded slowly but surely since her diagnosis. Hazel's wry voice shines through, her dry humour and observations shape the tone of the novel.
The added dimension provided by the inclusion of author Peter Van Houten's subplot is a valuable element. It allows for a shift in focus, providing opportunities for the characters to develop further.
This is a stunning novel, looking at how two teenagers tackle living ... knowing that life is limited, and oh so precious.
The Fault in Our Stars is a gripping, emotional read.