Book review: The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars, by John GreenTitle: The Fault in Our Stars
Author: John Green
ISBN: 9780143567592
RRP: $19.95
Publisher: Penguin
Publication date: 11/1/2012

The shelf-talker at Readings in Hawthorn persuaded me to buy this book, and I’m so glad I did. It’s not often that you read a book so satisfying, in which you care so much about the characters. I felt such loss when it ended that I wanted to start reading it all over again.

The book’s protagonist is Hazel, a teenager with terminal cancer, depressed about her situation and with no desire to do anything but read and re-read her favourite book, An Imperial Affliction.

One of her few ventures outside, to a cancer support group, leads her to meet Augustus, who has lost his leg to the disease but is now in remission. The two quickly form a strong bond, Augustus persuading Hazel that life is to be lived, no matter how much time you have left.

Although the subject matter is obviously not cheerful, the amazing dialogue and the realistic, likable characters are uplifting (you’d swear Green must have been a teenaged girl in another life to be able to write a character this accurately), and there are many humorous moments. I became completely invested in the futures of these two characters.

Green manages to create a novel that is not soap-opera sad, but a study of the reality of a teenager with a terminal illness, dealing with questions like, ‘Will I be remembered?’ and ‘How will I leave a mark?’ And the ending … well, to me it was perfect.

I can’t recommend this book highly enough. I’ll definitely be searching out more John Green books – I just have to decide which one to read first!

Ampersand Project submissions open soon

Fantastic children’s publisher Hardie Grant Egmont has announced that its Ampersand Project will begin accepting submissions in November for its 2013 collection.

For those unfamiliar with this, the Ampersand Project looks for YA manuscripts set in the real world, written by unpublished authors. I love their commitment to publishing books based on real life, because they’re not so easy to find these days and that’s a shame.

This is a great opportunity for YA authors, so get cracking on those manuscripts because you’ve only got a couple of months!

For more information, go to the Hardie Grant Egmont website.