Friday, May 16, 2014

Friday Book Review: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

I like to read outside my genre to get ideas, gain a fresh perspective, and learn something new. Young Adult fiction is one of the most popular genres checked out of the library where I work. I decided to venture along that path, and picked up this book.

I loved the strong characterization. I liked Hazel and Augustus very much, two very smart and witty teenagers who both have cancer. Although we all know someone who has suffered from the disease, and most likely we know someone who died from it, the deep POV of Hazel's journey gave me quite an education into the life of a young person living with catastrophic health problems.

Hazel has read a certain book over and over. She puts Augustus on to it and the two of them use Gus's gift, granted by the Make A Wish Foundation, for a trip to Amsterdam to meet the author. They desperately want to find out what happens to the characters after the end of the book. This metaphor for their search for significance is a disappointing venture. 

I acknowledge that this is not a Christian book written for a Christian audience. If it were, I'm sure it would have had a more hopeful message. I read this book with a lump in my throat through every page. Not because of the imminent outcome, not because of the tragic love story, and not because of the pain and suffering. My grief is that these characters live this story without the hope of a future because of Jesus Christ. God is relegated to the less intelligent, or at best, the great unknown. Tears welled up in me as these two grasp for meaning apart from the great Love. I fear that the soon to be released movie based on this story will Hollywood glamorize those principles to a generation looking for answers, and that makes me even more sad. There is a sprinkling of profanity, but as usual, totally unnecessary. For that reason I cannot recommend it.
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