'The Fault in Our Stars' is the first John Green book I read. And I am now going to read ALL his books. This book was a revelation. Because, when I picked up the book, I had braced myself for yet another global phenomenon, immensely popular romance now-made-into-a-Hollywood-blockbuster (soon to be re-made in India, I hear), but essentially 'Sympathy Lit' (which I am told is now almost a guaranteed recipe for success in that genre).
And I was SO WRONG! Yes, there are diseases, there is misery, there are moments when I choked up, but Green takes this completely irreverent tone,his characters crack genuinely funny jokes about themselves and their physical challenges, and in general, they have fun! More than a love story with, well an inevitable tragic ending, this is a story of hope, and this is about how life should be lived to the fullest. As I read through the funny vivacious escapades of the couple, one with cancer affecting her lungs, and the other having lost a leg to the disease showing their middle fingers to misery, I kept reminding myself how blessed I am in comparison to these wonderful kids, and still, my life is probably not half as much fun as theirs.
THAT is the takeaway from Green's brilliant book. This is a book about diseases and death, but not once does he try to play the SYMPATHY card to tickle your tear glands and sell copies. DO NOT miss this one. Pretty much everyone has read this gem, I believe, I am the one who's late to the party with this book!