Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Sneak Preview: The Fault in our Stars

The Fault in Our StarsTitle: The Fault in our Stars
Author: John Green
Publisher: Dutton Books
Publication Date: Today!! Happy book birthday!! (January, 2012)
Genre/Format: Realistic Fiction/ Novel (This is a review of the first two chapters)
Summary: Hazel survived thyroid cancer that her doctors said was incurable.  Though there are "cancer side effects" that she has to live with such as an oxygen tank that helps her breath because her "lungs suck at being lungs". Another one of the cancer side effects, is being a bit depressed, so Hazel's mother forces her to go to a cancer survivor support group that meets in the basement of a church.  She is not excited about this support group... UNTIL she meets Augustus Waters- a seemingly normal, hot teenage boy (except his amputated leg) who gives her the time of day. Thus begins John Green's The Fault in the Stars  
What Kellee Thinks: This is a book about cancer. That is funny. Really. And good at being funny. About cancer. John Green once again gives us a character with an amazingly funny and authentic voice.  I cannot wait to see what happens to Augustus and Hazel!
What Jen Thinks: I can't wait to read this book. Like Kellee said, it's about cancer and it's funny and it's amazing at being both serious and funny at the same time but it also has the potential to be another epic John Green love story and I am so excited. I have a feeling this book is going to rival Sonnenblick's Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie and After Ever After. I can't wait to find out!
Age Range (from bn.com 1/4/12): 14-17 years
Snatch of Text: 
"I hadn't been in a proper school in three years.  My parents are my two best friends.  My third best friends was an author who did not know I existed." (p. 14)

"August Waters turned to me. 'Literally,' he said.
'Literally?' I asked.
'We are literally in the heart of Jesus,' he said. 'I thought we were in a church basement, but we are literally in the heart of Jesus.'
'Someone should tell Jesus,' I said. 'I mean, it's gotta be dangerous, storing children with cancer in your heart.'
'I would tell Him myself,' August said, 'but unfortunately I am literally stuck inside of His heart, so He won't be able to hear me.' I laughed. He shook his head just looking at me." (p. 18)

"Then Augustus Waters reached into a pocket and pulled out, of all things, a pack of cigarettes. He flipped it open and put a cigarette between his lips.
'Are you serious?' I asked. ' You think that's cool? Oh, my God, you just ruined the whole thing.'
'Which whole thing?' he asked, turning to me. The cigarette dangled unlit from the unsmiling corner of his mouth.
'The whole thing where a boy who is not unattractive or unintelligent or seemingly in any way unacceptable stares at me and points out incorrect uses of literality and compares me to actresses and asks me to watch a movie at his house. But of course there is always a hamartia and yours is that oh, my God, even though you HAD FREAKING CANCER you give money to a company in exchange for the chance to acquire YET MORE CANCER. Oh, my God. Let me just assure you that not being able to breathe? SUCKS. Totally disappointing. Totally." (p. 21-11)

"It wasn't even that the book was so good or anything; it was just that the author, Peter Van Houten, seemed to understand me in weird and impossible ways. An Imperial Affliction was my book, in the way my body was my body and my thoughts were my thoughts." (p. 36)

**Page numbers are from the NCTE Exclusive Chapter Sampler**

Topics Covered: Cancer, Depression, Friendship, Reading, Death

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