John Green is my favourite author. He has been since I first found out that he secretly signs his own work in bookstores to give his readers something special. Green is most famous not for his bestselling novels, but for his relationship with his brother Hank Green. This relationship is broadcast on youtube, on their channel Vlogbrothers, an undertaking for a new kind of brotherhood, that includes the community that supports them. His most recent novel, The Fault in Our Stars, or TFIOS for the sake of convenience, sold out its entire first print in pre-sale due to the followers of this endeavour.
The Fault in Our Stars follows a wisecracking and introverted sixteen year old girl, Hazel, who has terminal thyroid and lung cancer. She is living with cancer, not dying of it, she has time to live, she just doesn't know how long. Her friends, from school before diagnosis, and from her support group after, are dealing with their own problems and trying to give her as much time and understanding as possible. She finds her support group all kinds of boring and counterproductively depressing but goes anyway, partly just for something to do. One day there is a new boy there, a friend of a sufferer, a very attractive boy that won't stop staring at her.
Their relationship is stilted by her illness, his past and their fears, but they fight to be together anyway, through shared loves and the same fantastic sense of humour. After Hazel suffers a relapse a Wish is used to help her get answers from her favourite novelist as to what happens after her favourite book, and then real life kicks in. Adventures and twisting turns, realisations. disappointments and heartbreaks. Then lessons.
I don't cry a lot, but this book made my cry on four separate occasions, twice in sadness and twice in happiness, but it also made me laugh out loud [and look like a crazy person on the bus]. Honestly it's the saddest thing I've ever been inspired by, the happiest thing I've ever cried about and I know I'm a better person for having read it. The Fault in Our Stars is surprising and heart achingly beautiful. It's real and perfect, the characters are so relatable it hurts and the honesty is absolutely incredible.
John Green has a gift for young adult fiction that everyone of any age would enjoy and be moved by, this is no exception and may be his best work yet.