I read John Green's The Fault in our Stars for 3 reasons:
It had a cool cover. It had an intriguing title. It was by John Green (author of Looking for Alaska, which I recently read and loved).
I knew NOTHING about the book, or the rave reviews it was getting, or what it was about. I didn't even read the flap copy, I just dove in. And now that I've finished it, I might just declare it the best book I have ever read.
I'm not kidding.
When you read one of the best books you've ever read, well it is hard to describe it. You find yourself thinking and thinking about it. This book just took my breath away. I laughed out loud, I cried out loud, I mourned the loss of it when I'd finished. I fell in love with characters and places and dilemmas that were not real, except they are.
I'm not the only one who loves this book. To date, it has no less than 4 star reviews on amazon.com. That is amazing.
It is wonderfully well-written. The plot is both heartbreaking and humorous. The characters are flawed and love-able and real and dying, which is partly what the book is about. Hazel Grace has terminal cancer, and yet is not a just a cancer book. It is a book about loving and being alive. Hazel feels guilt for the financial burden she's been to her parents. She mourns that, having spent most of their time and earthly energy fighting a disease, she'll probably never change the world. She'll be remembered only by those who love her. It is the plight of most of us: we are obscure, and yet, we aren't. None of us are.
I could go on and on about this book, but I won't. I'll just tell you to read it and read it now. It will change you. Good fiction can and does.
"The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings."
-- Julius Caesar (I, ii, 140-141)