Stunning! For those who cling to the “classics” as the only true literature, literature far superior to contemporary young adult literature, The Fault in Our Stars will surely make them reconsider.
First of all, it is beautifully written. Open randomly to any page and point. You will see what I mean.
Secondly, it is filled with big ideas, worthy of thought and discussion.
Also, as someone who works with smart, witty, precocious teens on a daily basis, I know that some of them really do talk like this. The voices of the main characters, Hazel and Augustus, will ring true to the myriad of smart teens who read John Green. This is a story of extraordinary teens in extraordinary circumstances. There is nothing “normal” about them or their situations. Because of their unusual circumstances, they both read voraciously. As a result, their sophisticated thought processes and repartee work. John Green clearly believes in teens and their potential—just look at the Nerdfighter phenomenon! This is a smart book for smart readers.
In addition, for anyone who has held the hand of an individual he or she loves who was dying of cancer, The Fault in Our Stars rings very true. The death experience is something we all own. It is a part of our collective destinies. John Green takes us to a dark place where many are afraid to go and makes us take an honest look at what that place might look like. For some of us, this is purely speculative; for others who have stood on death’s doorstep or stood there with someone else, it is very real. This is the beauty of books. They provide us with those windows and mirrors from which to consider what it means to be human.
Finally, this book makes us feel something—the true test of a good book. It makes us laugh, groan, dread, cry, ponder…all of it. Readers will be exhausted when they are done. But what sweet exhaustion it will be!
John Green is someone special in the realms of contemporary young adult authors. Truly.
P.S. The commitment to the signing of all 150,000 first print copies of this book was, well, crazy. Who ever heard of an author risking bodily harm for his or her craft? Way to go, John Green!
—Terri Evans, high school media specialist
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