I have to admit, I did not read this week’s selection...I listened to it! Since I started the audiobook version of John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars, I have been completely converted. It’s so easy to listen to a book! You can do it when you’re on the treadmill, when you’re walking to class (during commercials whilst watching Dr. Phil...), basically any time.
It’s kind of hard to talk about this book without making it sound like inspiration for a Lifetime movie. Narrated by the main character, Hazel Lancaster, is the story about two teenagers with cancer, or “cancer kids,” as Hazel so caustically refers to them.
Before her parents force her to go to a ‘kids with cancer’ support group, Hazel did not get out very much. Once an experimental drug saved her life at age thirteen, her days have been numbered. In one particularly telling passage, Hazel lists her three best friends - her parents and an author. That all changes, though, when she meets Augustus Waters, a cute, one-legged cancer survivor whom she connects with immediately.
Sounds like a complete cheese fest, right? But Green’s skillful characterization of Hazel as a sarcastic, self-aware sixteen-year-old make the novel oddly relatable and extremely moving. Somehow Green puts a typical story of young love alongside some really poignant assertions about life and death, and it completely works.