I’m not in the habit of writing book reviews here, but I can’t not tell you about this book. I had high hopes for The Fault In Our Stars by John Green and it easily exceeded them. I devoured this book.
You may have heard about The Fault In Our Stars due to its huge popularity among young adult lit fans or via the hype that’s building about the upcoming film.
But that’s not why I think you should read the book.
This is an important read for anyone who cares for or about children and teens with chronic medical conditions. Not because all of them are a Hazel or an Augustus, but precisely because they are not. This book is an awesome reminder of the uniqueness of each person, including those who happen to have an illness. It made me reflect on the importance of considering this in the way that I, as a physician, talk with patients and their families. It reminded me once again of the importance of truly listening.
The Fault In our Stars also gives voice to a group of teenagers not often heard- those with a chronic illness. They are believable and real. They’re a little quirky, a little brilliant, a little geeky, a little cool. They love to read, which instantly endeared them to me. They each have an illness, but they are not their illness.
The book is full of simple, beautiful writing like,
“I had a PET scan scheduled in a couple weeks. If something was wrong, I’d find out soon enough. Nothing to be gained by worrying between now and then. And yet still I worried. I liked being a person. I wanted to keep at it. Worry is yet another side effect of dying.”
The Fault In Our Stars also has one of the best endings I’ve read in a while. I won’t give it away, except to say that the last lines have stayed with me long after finishing the book.
So, read The Fault In Our Stars. It’ll make you think and may even challenge some assumptions, which in my mind is pretty much always a good thing.
Have you read the book? Plan to? Would love to hear (spoiler-free) thoughts below.