When people call YA trite, shallow and mediocre, I think I will hand them The Fault In Our Stars by John Green as it is one of the best young adult offerings. The Fault In Our Stars is filled with meaning, deeper themes and a sense of personal investment. As a reader, I was deeply invested in Hazel Grace’s story.
Hazel’s story basically begins at cancer survivor group. She doesn’t want to go, but her mom makes her. Yet, Hazel’s life is changed by this one meeting. You see this meeting is where Augustus Waters shows up. Augustus Waters is super hot according to Hazel, but he’s more than just good looks. You see he does existential layups, likes video game based fiction and makes excellent conversation with Hazel. He calls her Hazel Grace. Hazel is scared to fall in love because she’s always seen her death on the horizon, so she doesn’t see the point in hurting someone like that.
Oh, friends – dynamic, well rounded, intelligent if not a big precocious characters are all up in The Fault In Our Stars by John Green. As a huge character/dialogue person, I greatly admired John Green’s latest book. Neither Hazel nor Augustus are perfect people, BUT they feel like real teens. Not like some adult’s vapid construction of a teen, but living and breathing people. I love that John Green infuses complications into his characters and gives them room to grow and change.
If you’ve read John Green before, you know what to expect with his writing. If not, well it’s like he’s having a love affair with the words on page. Seriously, John Green’s command of the English language is so strong that bits and pieces from The Fault In Our Stars will rattle in my brain and stay there. There is absolutely NO writing down to teens. He sets the bar pretty high, and I love that.
I had the pleasure of listening to the audiobook of The Fault In Our Stars produced by Brilliance Audio narrated by Kate Rudd who I am used to (she narrated Tithe and Ironside). It’s 7 hours and 19 minutes unabridged with an interview with John Green at the end. Kate Rudd gives a dynamic performance – from Hazel’s shortness of breath to Augustus’s massive confidence/presence to the douchiness of Peter Van Houten. There are no awkward long pauses. No weird noises. The audiobook of The Fault In Our Stars by John Green knocks right into you as Rudd’s voice is so emotional and absolutely takes you on Hazel’s journey.
Disclosure: Audiobook received for review.