I’m a fairly well-read woman. Consequently, when it comes to books I can be pretty sparing with my praise. The more I read, the higher the bar is raised. For years my favourite book was Catch-22 by Joseph Heller. That book stands the test of time and is worth reading over and over again (if only because it’s impossible to keep the characters straight the first time around!) It made me laugh and has a perfect ending. But move over, Yossarian, you’ve been replaced. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green is quite possibly the best book in existence.It made me laugh, it made me cry. Multiple times. Upon finishing the book in the bathroom at 6am my boyfriend tenatively opened the door and asked if I was ok – because I was sobbing. I wrapped my arms around him, and in response to his question I managed to explain to him the cause of my apparent distress (punctuated with crying noises): “It’s… just… so… BEAUTIFUL!”
Yes. This book made me bawl my eyes out due to its simple yet deep beauty. Now, maybe I’m not a sensitive soul (doubtful), but I have to tell you that a book has never made me cry before. This is new to me and it has created quite an impression. I have heard about art doing this to people, but I had never before experienced it first hand.
So, if you want to read the kind of book that deserves to be permanently inscribed upon your soul, get ahold of a copy. You won’t be sorry. Despite the heart-rending subject (specifically: teens with cancer), this book shows you how to find hope where there should be none, and peace in a world where too often nothing is allowed to rest and simply be.
John Green, I thank you for your masterpiece. I feel blessed to be living during the time at which you wrote this.
For more top young adult fiction, check out the ALA’s list for 2012.