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Thursday, May 3, 2012
*****FINAL RATING: 5.05 STARS*****

CATCHALL
I am perfectly aware that this is not actually a valid rating. I am totally supposed to rate books on a 0-5 stars scale. Unfortunately, I don't care. This book deserves to stand out, to have something special and all its own, and I am giving it that. I connected to this book on a more personal level than perhaps I have ever connected to any book in my life. Ordinarily, I don't like reading sad books, but when I heard the heroine had terminal cancer my defenses crumbled. Fortunately, I do not have terminal cancer, but my boyfriend does, and sometimes, as dramatic as it sounds, it is all I can do to avoid falling into a crumbling despair. I imagine actually having the cancer would be ten times worse, but hopefully I will never know.

THE HEROINE
HAZEL GRACE
Hazel was a gorgeous and heartbreakingly real heroine. She's dying, but all she wants to do is spend the rest of her days really living. Instead of moping around and feeling sorry for herself, she lives. I love how strong she is, and I admire it too. She's definitely one of the best heroines I've ever come across. Never whiny or insipid, she's intelligent and fun. She's absolutely relatable and it was especially easy for me to relate to her during the end of the novel, when she goes through something similar to what I go through. I found a lot of myself in Hazel and truly felt like I made a really deep connection to her, something I hadn't really felt strongly for a while.

THE HERO
AUGUSTUS WATERS
Even though he's more of the love interest than the hero and would ordinarily go in that section, again, I really don't care. He's a hero to me, and I'm going to treat him as such. Again, I completely admired Augustus and felt like I could relate to him too. He's vibrant and beautiful, and it was impossible not to be drawn to his vivacity and charm. He had a wonderful heart and his story absolutely broke my heart in more ways than one. I loved him because he wasn't weak or half-dead. I made an extremely strong connection to him too, and was intensely entwined in his feelings and desires by the end of the novel.

THE FRIEND
ISAAC
I feel that it's important to mention him too, because I think that his character made a significant and positive impact in the novel. He represents a lot of the uglier side of cancer, the side where there are more consequences than death, consequences like losing part of who you are. He suffered like a real person, and not everything was ideal and maybe he never really got completely over it. But sometimes, that's just how it is. He was also a good and loyal friend, and he struck a deep chord within me.

THE PLOT
John Green got everything right.

Everything I say, I mean. (Unless, that is, I'm being sarcastic.) So when I say everything, I really and truly mean everything.

Everything.

Every single detail was exactly right. I really can't complain about anything, because everything was perfect.

He led me along his heartbreaking story, a story I originally didn't even want to read for my own reasons, but a story I was drawn into nonetheless. It became a part of me until I was so involved I could feel my own heart breaking at the end.

And above all, the story was real. Even though it is a work of fiction, it is easy to believe that it honestly could have happened. That's the most perfect thing about it. The story rings perfectly true and is so realistic I almost could have believed it really happened if not for the author's note and the Phalanxifor, which unfortunately doesn't exist.

Easily, easily, so easily, this was one of the best, if not the very best, books I've ever read.

THE ROMANCE
The romance was one of the most beautiful things about this book. Even though there's a side romance that unfortunately doesn't have a happy ending, it was nice to see the reality of that. Augustus and Hazel's romance is downright gorgeous and heartbreaking--everything about it screams true and real. I loved the way they were together, and felt that they really had a strong connection and amazing chemistry. It's sweet and believable, not too instalovey or desperate-feeling. I absolutely adored it in every way.

THE WRITING
The writing was gorgeous and incredible and beautiful. There's just the right amount of humor. The book deals with serious topics, but the humor doesn't overshadow this and it certainly makes it more lighthearted. It's perfect and real and rings absolutely true in every way. It sounds realistic and isn't oversimplified or unnecessarily complicated. It tells things as they are, and yet does it in such a way that it's completely beautiful and more heartbreaking for the way everything is told. Everything about the writing is flawless and fantastic.

THE ENDING
Well, I'm not gonna lie: like most people who read this book, I cried my freaking eyes out. Probably especially because it's something I myself will have to go through far sooner than I would like to. But, you know, it really had to end that way. It couldn't have ended any other way. I really can' complain. Even in the despair and sadness, there was such powerful hope and beauty. The ending was easily a large part of the message of the book and at least for me, most of its emotion. Not to say that the rest of the book didn't have much emotion as well; au contraire. There was simply still more in the last pages.

WRAPUP
It's heavy reading and not for the faint of heart. It took an emotional toll on me. By the time I was done reading it, I was a complete emotional mess and wouldn't talk to anyone for like three hours because I needed to be alone and think. I've never been able to control my emotions, though, and when I feel something I feel it intensely, not halfway. This book left me sobbing and heartbroken. It made me think about things I'd honestly much rather not think about. I cried even just writing this review. Yet I'd still strongly recommend it. It is one of the most amazing books in the world.

FINE.

27 comments:

  1. Oh, Annabelle, I'm sorry for your boyfriend! I'll pray for him! I agree with you. TFIOS deserve more than just a 5! It deserves all the stars in the world. Great review, by the way! :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is currently on my Goodreads "To Read" list, and I have a hold on 1 of the copies coming in to my local library. (With about 10000 people ahead of me in line.) Your review makes me want to read it even more, if that's possible! I don't know why I like reading books that I know will make me cry...Anyway, thank you. I am entering your giveaway, and this is my book of choice.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll cross my fingers for you, though of course I am obligated to do that for everyone. Still, good luck!

      Delete
  3. Great review! This book is beyond amazing. I've always been a John Green fan, but he totally hit it our of the park with TFIOS. Never have I read something so heartrendingly beautiful. It's definitely a book I'll never forget.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I am midway through this book and I love it. I love John Green's writing and his characters especially in TFIOS, I feel like I can connect with each of them, they're strong and amazing and just beautiful. Never had I been drawn to characters or fallen in love so quickly. I should have those tissues ready for that ending, I imagine I'll be sobbing too.

    Reading your review made me develop that painful lump in my throat and I sort of want to cry now. I hope this doesn't sound weird but your review is intimate and beautiful, thank you for writing it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're so welcome, Isa! You have idea how happy it makes me to hear that :) Thank you so much for telling me!

      Delete
  5. Annabelle, first of all, I wanted to say you're really brave to write a review like that, so open and intimate. It even gave me goosebumps.

    I'm really sorry to hear about your boyfriend. I know how hard it is to see someone you love go through all the hardships cancer brings about. I'm 24 years old now, but when I was 17, a friend of mine died of cancer at the age of 19. I will never forget when I got the news. It was one of those "Is this really happening?" moments. I had just arrived at school and I saw my friends all bundled together, teary-eyed and I knew. I immediatly started crying. The funeral was that very same day. I'm not going to lie to you and say it's easy, because it obviously isn't and even more so when you're so young. But I does get better. I know it sounds cheesy, but life does go on. You'll never forget how special that person was and how much you loved them and every single moment you shared, but I think the secret is - with all that in mind - letting go in the best possible way. I realize we don't even know each other, but if you ever need anything, don't hesitate to let me know.

    So, in light of all that, you can understand when I say that I don't even come close to books that have anything even remotely close to cancer on it. I absolutely love John Green, he's one of my favorite authors, but when The Fault in Ours Stars came out I put my foot down and said I was never going to read it no matter how much I loved it's creator. But then... I started reading the reviews and watching John talk about it and finally decided to give it a try. And I don't regret it for one second. I agree with everything you said in this review: this is one of the best books I have ever read. John Green got every single moment right. Every line. Every thought. His writing was beautiful and inspiring and heartbreaking and sweet all at the same time. The relationship between Hazel and Augustus was so genuine and innocent and their story sucked you in, making you laugh and cry along with them. The ending, for me, was perfect. Because it shows that even through the hardest of times, hope is still alive and life is still there, waiting to be lived. This book was perfect. I laughed, I cried like a little baby and by the end of it, I was changed.

    ReplyDelete
  6. This book sounds so cool, great review, definitely moving this up on my goodreads list!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Annabelle,

    First of all, I'm sorry to hear about your boyfriend. I know that these words might seem hollow, but they come from a real place. You know what, it is books like these that deserve more stars than the universe can hold - the kind that we get so invested in, that instead of merely being a reader, or an observer, we find ourselves becoming part of the narrative.

    Thank you for being so open about it, and writing such a meaningful, thoughtful and comprehensive review. I live for books like these - the kind that may make you cry, but they also change their lives. You, and your loved one, will be in my prayers.

    Name: Hira Hasnain
    Email: Enamoredsoul(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi and thank you for the giveaway!

    At first... Hug your boyfriend from me. Really. Long hug plase. I hope it will be okay :)

    I love this kind of books - that breaks your heart a little. I simply love!

    Anyway... Could you make your giveaways a little easier? Like rafflecoopter...

    Disincentive @ (read, watch, listen) - reviews

    ReplyDelete
  9. I loved this book to pieces. Like, truly an amazing book. I was crying like a baby! Your review totally did it justice! And i totally agree that this book deserves more than 5 stars

    ReplyDelete
  10. I don't know why I haven't bought this book yet. It's been in my TBR list for a long time and I always hear great things about it. I'll probably pick it up next time I'm book shopping.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I always hear great things about this book and I have a friend who is obssed with John Green! I'd probably give it a chance!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I'm glad to see that you liked it so much! I can't wait to read this one.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I can't say I understand what you are going through because I don't, but I wish you and your boyfriend strength.

    Thank you for the lovely review. TFIOS sounds like a wonderful and thought provoking book and I hope I will be able to read it someday.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Every time I read a very good book, I can't help but admire/adore/LOVE! the author too! Such talent :))
    I've read good reviews about this book and so I gave it a go, and I'm glad I did! I loved this book, especially Augustus (lovely name:). I hate it that he died but I know he must!
    This book definitely deserves a good 5stars! :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. Annabelle, I'm so sorry to hear about your boyfriend. I'll surely remember him in my prayers.
    Thanks for the great review. I too loved it. And you definitely rated it right!

    ReplyDelete
  16. My heart goes out to both you and your boyfriend. I can't even imagine what it must be like to experience that kind of heartache. My prayers are with you, him, and the lives of those touched.

    TFIOS was such an amazingly incredible book. I'm not the kind of girl who reads an entire book in one day. I never have been. I get sidetracked too easily. However, this book I devoured in one day. John Green's style left me in complete awe. I think you hit the nail on the head by giving this one more than 5 stars. I have been recommending this book to everyone I know.
    Tracy A.J.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I'm sorry to hear about your boyfriend. You and your boyfriend will be in my prayers.

    TFIOS is amazing and so beautifully written. I love John Green's writing and I'm a big fan of his. Although I love all of his books, TFIOS has to be my favourite! I loved everything about the book - everything about it was perfect. I'm still crying from the ending though. :'( I loved reading this review! It was so lovely, although your reviews usually are. And I agree, this book deserves way more stars than 5! :)

    ReplyDelete
  18. I love TFIOS. It's well-written, a page turner, and just an unforgettable book. I love how Green, creatively wrote it. It made an impact on me, made me cry and laugh. I love your review. We have the same reaction on this book. This really deserves more than 5 stars.

    I'm sorry to hear about your boyfriend. :(

    ReplyDelete
  19. I really this a couple of months back and finished it in one sitting. It was such an emotional rollercoaster ride for me! I cried so hard during the last few chapters and it was already around 3am so I had a difficult time trying to go back to sleep. This has got to be one of my faves for 2012:)

    ReplyDelete
  20. LOVE YOUR REVIEW <3 this book truly was just amazing and it really does deserve a more than 5 star rating <3
    Oh god I cried the Nile River whilst reading the last few chapters and it basically left me emotionally destroyed.
    But it was just wow. Definitely one of my most favourite books <3
    P.S I'm sorry to hear about your boyfriend ): really hope he gets better.

    ReplyDelete
  21. More than 5 roses!! It sounds so SAD though I don't think that I can handle it, but suuuch a good rating... It'll probably leave me in a wreck but I'll definitely read this one! Thanks for such a beautiful and personal review and I hope your boyfriend is doing well <3

    ReplyDelete
  22. Wow!!! You gave more than 5 roses for this one? It must be so awesome since I think this is the first time you did that :D

    I have a mixed feeling about this book. I read that so many people praise it but I also read about some reviews with not so stellar opinion about it. So, honestly I just can't make up my mind yet about whether to read or not to read it. And also there's the heavy issue and sad ending. Honestly, I'm a HEA kind of girl but I might actually considering to read it someday.

    ReplyDelete

I love hearing from my readers! All comments are greatly appreciated :) If you're a fellow book blogger, include a link so I can come and visit you! I adore you all so much! <3

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