Author: John Green

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green | Book Review

Posted February 16, 2015 by Jana in Book Review, Young Adult Fiction / 5 Comments

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green | Book ReviewThe Fault In Our Stars by John Green
Published by Dutton Juvenile on January 10, 2012
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Realistic Fiction, Romance
Pages: 286
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
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4 Stars

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten.

Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning author John Green's most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.

I can’t believe I read this. I can’t BELIEVE I read this. I had vowed to never, ever read The Fault in our Stars because I hate crying and being sad and cancer. And being the perfectionist, type-A student I am, I finally did. If the love of my life had asked me to read TFioS, I would have said no. But when my grade’s on the line I’ll pretty much do anything that isn’t illegal and/or against my moral code. Haha. So yay! Now I’m cool and I’ve read the book, and I only cried a little (but that’s because I read the spoilers because I’M SORRY, but in addition to being a perfectionist I’m also a planner. So sue me.). Anyway, so much has been said and re-said about TFioS so I’m not going to do a full review like I usually do. Here are my thoughts!

– I think The Fault in Our Stars‘s biggest selling point (aside from the sweeping romance) is that suffering is a part of life sometimes, and people go through things that are not fair. It’s part of life. We all go through a lot of suffering, and while it might not be as huge as cancer, loves are lost and devastating things happen (big or small). I remember times where I felt convinced that my life was over for one reason or another. The Fault in our Stars really puts everything into perspective and gives readers a chance to think about their own lives. I thought a lot about what I would do if I knew I was terminal. I wondered how I would change or how I would re-prioritize my life.

– The story is unique because the romance feels so realistic and true. Hazel and Gus are dying, so they have risen above time just to be in the moment. I love their story, and I love how they fell deeply for one another. And, oh, Augustus. I love his personality.

– Hazel’s voice is so poignant and strong, even though she’s scared. Her maturity matches that of someone who has had to grow up faster than average in order to live her entire life in a too-short period of time.

– Hazel’s thoughts about love and life are so real, especially for someone that is dealing with something horrible. I identified with her in many ways because I have debilitating diseases that have altered my life. I’m not terminal, and I’m not in danger of becoming so, but I understood her reflections. It’s unbelievably scary and confusing to live in pain, and John Green writes like he has been through it. He writes Hazel and Gus like he knows what it’s like to be them. He conveys such perfect emotion. 

– The romance is so sweet. I had a perfect fairy-tale love story as a teen (obviously it was far from perfect and we went our separate ways), and I was told all the time that I couldn’t possibly know what love is like. I appreciate that John Green understands that teens can know. And they can have a deep love story. I love it when an author respects their audience like that, and does not put characters in their book that tell teens how wrong they are, and how their feelings aren’t true.

The book gave me hope. The jokes and the sarcasm and the funny jabs are a reminder that you can always have hope, even in dire circumstances. I loved that message.

All in all, The Fault in Our Stars really spoke to me. Readers do not have to be suffering from cancer or even know someone who has/had cancer in order to relate. The book is about living and loving and enjoying the time you have. It’s about hope. I think everyone should read this book because the messages of the necessity for suffering, the realities of cancer, living in the moment, hope, and love are so strong and beautifully delivered.

4 Stars

Let it Snow, by J. Green, M. Johnson, & L. Myracle (Book Review)

Posted December 20, 2011 by Jana in Book Review, Young Adult Fiction / 10 Comments

Let it Snow, by J. Green, M. Johnson, & L. Myracle (Book Review)Let it Snow: Three Holiday Romances by John Green, Lauren Myracle, Maureen Johnson
Published by Speak on October 2, 2008
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Holiday - Christmas, Romance
Pages: 352
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
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4 Stars

Sparkling white snowdrifts, beautiful presents wrapped in ribbons, and multicolored lights glittering in the night through the falling snow. A Christmas Eve snowstorm transforms one small town into a romantic haven, the kind you see only in movies. Well, kinda. After all, a cold and wet hike from a stranded train through the middle of nowhere would not normally end with a delicious kiss from a charming stranger. And no one would think that a trip to the Waffle House through four feet of snow would lead to love with an old friend. Or that the way back to true love begins with a painfully early morning shift at Starbucks. Thanks to three of today’s bestselling teen authors—John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle—the magic of the holidays shines on these hilarious and charming interconnected tales of love, romance, and breathtaking kisses.

I love Christmas romances that aren’t sad. Why do all Christmas books have to be sad? The back of the book always says, “After Mindy’s mother died, her dog got hit by a car, her husband divorced her, and her kid ran away from home… she meets a man at the ER who was severely burned and can’t see. Love blooms, and a Christmas miracle happens.” Haven’t you read that before? Ugh. Christmas is happy! Not sad! The back of this book sounds happy. :) So I decided it was worth a shot, even though I don’t like the idea of short stories. I like to read a book that is one big story. Not three little ones. Needless to say, this book was a gamble. JACKPOT!! Halleluiah! I LOVED IT! Gush, gush, gush. Ok, on to the review. (Clearly I don’t read enough books that cause happiness to gush out of me. I’m not crazy, I promise.) Oh, and wanna know what else is fun? These three stories are all intermingled. I didn’t realize this until I started in on story #2. They all take place on and around Christmas Eve in Gracetown, NC during the biggest blizzard in the last 50 years. Each story discusses different characters, who end up all being connected. I loved all of them, and want to go find everyone at The Waffle House in Gracetown now.

The first story is called The Jubilee Express, by Maureen Johnson. I’d never read anything by her, and pretty much adore her now. Not many authors make me love them in roughly 100 pages, but I’m about to go buy more of her books! Anyway, there’s a girl named Jubilee (she was named after a building in a very expensive Santa village! Hahah!) who finds herself on a train to Florida because her parents decided to be crazy this year. A big snowstorm causes the train to stop in a small town, where she finds some interesting people (and some sweet ones) in the Waffle House. Her Christmas plans end up needing a slight alteration, but I doubt anyone would feel that she suffered as a result! I loved this story. Jubilee is hilarious. The thoughts running through her head had me laughing out loud. I loved the main guy in this story too. He is so sweet and sensitive. I’m not giving away more of the plot, because you just need to read it. That is all.

The second story is called A Cheertastic Christmas Miracle, by John Green. Oh my. It’s hilarious. The main guy, Tobin, has two friends named JP (my favorite character, because he is amazing) and the Duke (Angie). While watching Bond movies, they get a call on Christmas Eve to hightail it to the Waffle House to see 14 stranded cheerleaders from the same train Jubliee was on, hanging out and being cheerleadery. Their journey to this Waffle House (in the middle of a blizzard) is priceless. It includes a lost wheel, some scary twins, a Twister mat sled, and a dangerous beer keg. I died of laughter. And of course, it turns out to be an adorable story. I want to meet JP. The things he says are hilarious, plus he was wearing Tobin’s dad’s baby blue ski suit for the entire story because he thought it would make him look like a hardcore skier, just back from the slopes. Gotta impress those cheerleaders! Oh, good stuff, Mr. John Green.

The last story is called The Patron Saint of Pigs, by Lauren Myracle. This was a very “meh” read for me. Luckily it was the last story, because I don’t think I would have continued with the book if it had been the first.  It’s all about this girl named Addie, who I didn’t care for much, who cheated on her boyfriend a week before Christmas, dumped him, and now wants him back. She spends a lot of time whining about her situation, even though it’s her fault. And she spends a lot of time being mad at him for not responding to her latest apology e-mail with open arms. She CHEATED on him. Why does she expect a happy ending to this? The story also involves a little old lady who thinks she’s an angel, and a quest to acquire a little teacup pig that is to be her friend’s Christmas present. It was just weird, and a pretty weak way to end the book. The first two stories were brilliant, and long-lasting loves for me. This story really fell flat, and pales in comparison. The ending was also pretty cliche and unrealistic. I can look past this story, though, and rate this book 5 stars for the other two. If we factor in my rating for this one, the book would probably get a 3.5.

I definitely see myself re-reading the first two stories a lot. They are so sweet and Christmasy, not to mention a quick dose of the Holiday spirit. I was delighted to find them. Did anyone here love the third story? I’m pretty lenient when it comes to Christmas reads, but I held this one to pretty high standards after the first two. What do you think?

4 Stars