John Green has been critically acclaimed for some time within the writing community, but only lately some of his novels like 'Looking For Alaska' and 'The Fault in Our Stars' have managed to achieve mainstream success. In fact, with the big screen adaptation of 'The Fault in Our Stars' starring Shailene Woodley as the lead character, people have realised that there is a book out there I should probably read before the movie releases.
So with that in mind, I decided to re-read the book and nostalgically relive the genius that is John Green. Now, Green typically writes books for young adults, and more often than not, they end in tragedy. But not the kind of tragedy that leads you into a depression, instead it's one that makes you analyse life in a way that makes you appreciate what you have. See, it's Green's subtle talent to translate his thoughts into relatable words and make you believe that what happens in his books could have happened to you. He writes for you rather than to you, and he presents the events in such a way that you don't feel like you're reading someone else's story.
In his fourth solo novel 'The Fault in Our Stars', Green speaks about a young cancer-ridden girl, Hazel Grace Lancaster. Surviving on borrowed time, Hazel's story takes an unexpected turn when she meets Augustus Waters, a handsome young man who fought cancer himself. While cancer is a touchy topic from any angle, Green masterfully uses that to his advantage as he explores the love story of people who literally have to appreciate every moment and the end result is beautiful.
The novel goes through the usual timeline- boy meets girl, boy falls for girl, and then the long inevitable journey in which girl falls for boy. But what distinguishes it from the rest of the pack is that Green doesn't just tell you the story, he makes you believe it. This is his first book in which he writes from a girl's perspective and Hazel isn't just your ordinary girl, she's smart, contemplative and fierce. Green tends to also give subtle hints throughout his novels on the inevitable outcome. For instance in 'The Fault in Our Stars' as with his earlier best seller 'Looking For Alaska', the chapters become smaller towards the end of the novel, indicating that point in the novel where you know that something is definitely about to change.
He takes all the teen angst that is usually seen in novels like this and puts it in perspective. Green helps you understand the characters and tells you, if you were in their place, you'd probably feel the same way too. The book encompasses the hope that even though the fight (life in general) is on most days hard as hell, there is always the will to fight.