Mini Review: ‘The Fault in Our Stars’, by John Green


 I lost two grandparents, neither of whom were particularly old, to cancer in the last 18 months and, like everyone, I’m pretty scared of the disease. I thought this book would aggravate my problematically frequent and fearful musings on the topic, but it didn’t. There was a sense of normalisation, inevitability, randomness… I can’t explain it fully without having to abandon the ‘mini’ in my review, but basically I felt less scared of cancer after reading this. If it happens, it happens, and I’ll worry about it then, because what else can you do, actually? You can eat right, try to be healthy, but ultimately you can’t absolutely rule out the possibility of it happening to you or someone you love, even if they’re young. I guess that’s what I got out of reading this; some reinforcement for my more logical cancer thoughts. I mostly enjoyed the book, but it didn’t (couldn’t) live up to the expectations brewed by the hype and it didn’t make me cry, even though many books do and, given the subject matter, I assumed this would be one of them.

Verdict: Worth reading, not for the snarky (and sometimes unconvincing) teenage banter, but for the way that the themes of dying and death are handled. It’s modern, it’s interesting and it’s bittersweet. No, I have not seen the movie.


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