Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Faith Raider Reads: The Fault in Our Stars

I am more myself when I have a book to read. And there will always be a tiny part of me that has gotten stuck at 17. I love reading, sharing books I've enjoyed and reading books that my friends have enjoyed. I had another book in mind to recommend to you today but that one is going to have to wait because I just finished watching the DVD of "The Fault in Our Stars" again and it has me re-living the experience of reading the book by John Green, so I couldn't help myself but to share it with you. The movie version is about as close as you get when it comes to transforming a book into a movie.

I read it in about two days (because, life) I dried my eyes and handed it to my oldest daughter, Beth who was in 7th grade at the time. She read it in less than 12 hours. We went to go see the movie together a few months later when it came out in theaters.

I have been known to shed a tear or two while I read (especially during my last pregnancy) but with this book I wept. It was so touching and so tragic. 

This is a perfect type book to take on a long car ride. I imagine it might make a good poolside book (I have six kids, I know nothing of luxurious poolside reading, but I do have an imagination, and in my imagination this seems really nice).  I dare you to take more than 24 hours to read it. 

In case you have been living under a rock somewhere for the last couple of years I'll give you a brief synopsis of the story - Hazel Grace has stage four cancer, her treatment is working and for now she's pretty stable but he feels like she is a grenade, about to go off, and that it is her duty to reduce the casualties. However that become difficult when she meets Augustus Waters at cancer patient support group. He believes in living a big life, one to be remembered and he refuses to let Hazel keep him away. 

Their love story is ordinary - text messages about their favorite books and supporting their friend as he looses his eyesight. Their love story is also extraordinary- visiting Amsterdam and touring the Anne Frank house. Their love story is tender and tragic and surprising. It reminded me of what it felt like to be in love when I was 17.

Content: Because offensive content is one of the things I am most worried about when I pick up a book, one of the things I want to do in these reviews is give an honest opinion/rating of the content. I'd call this a solid PG-13 there are f-bombs and other curse words throughout but not used heavily. Considering that these are modern, non-religious teenagers (with cancer!) facing life and death situations I felt like the language was appropriate. Not everyone will agree/appreciate that, so - fair warning. There are also teenagers talking about sexuality, making out, virginity and lack of it, and a scene where the main characters sleep together but the scene is not explicit or graphic. I was comfortable with my girls, who are advanced readers in middle school, reading it. But we talk pretty openly about all of the things that were in the book. Overall I felt like it was a good portrayal of modern teenagers and I really enjoyed the characters & story. Is it a piece of amazing literature? No. Is it a sweet piece of YA fiction? In my opinion, definitely yes. 

At some point this later year or early next I want to start sending a monthly email. I'm not 100% sure what it will be yet - maybe some kind of an online book club type thing? Definitely with book recommendations and helpful/interesting links. If you're interested sign up here. (You can unsubscribe at any time). 

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