Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Review: The Fault In Our Stars by John Green, read by Kate Rudd (Audio)

Sad, funny and smart all rolled up into one tiny YA grenade.

"I'm on a roller coaster that only goes up, my friend." - Augustus Waters

Hazel is a sixteen-year-old girl whose cancer has been kept at bay for the last two years, but left her tethered to an oxygen tank willing her lungs to work.  She finished high school early, so between watching America's Next Top Model and reading her favorite book, An Imperial Affliction, she attends a kids' cancer support group, where she meets Augustus Waters.  Gus and Hazel embark on an journey of love, loss, freedom and adventure.

THE FAULT IN OUR STARS caught my eye a while ago, and it nagged me to pick it up.  So, when I was audiobook-less for my commute into the city for BEA, I wanted something fabulous, as is my BEA-commute tradition.  I picked a good one.  No, I picked a GREAT one!

“I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, then all at once.” 

At first, I felt guilty for laughing with this story of sick children with cancer.  But the dialogue is so smart and funny!  Oh my goodness, this is why John Green is JOHN GREEN.  He believes that "smart teenager" is not an oxymoron. The banter, the wit, and the heart come together in such a way that make this story leap off the page (or out of the speakers of your car, as the case may be).

“What a slut time is. She screws everybody.” 

Have you ever loved a book so much, you didn't want to finish it?  I didn't want it to end, but I didn't want to spend 5 minutes without it either. While I was at BEA (Book Expo America) I had the opportunity to meet John Green and received a signed print copy of THE FAULT IN OUR STARS (He was one of the nicest people I met, by the way!  Awesome guy!).  It was around this time that I started both reading and listening to the audio.  There were parts that I wanted to hear again, so instead of rewinding the audio, I would search the passage out in the book so I could see the words.  As you can tell by this review, there were so many great lines throughout the book.  If I weren't so OCD over my books, there would have been pencil marks everywhere.

“You don't get to choose if you get hurt in this world...but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices.” 

Note on the Audio Production: 
Fantastic!  Dare I say, the dialogue was made better by narrator Kate Rudd, who was hand-picked by John Green himself.  She was perfect.  The emotion was there without it becoming hokey, and the pitch of banter between Gus and Hazel was spot-on.

"It would be a privilege to have my heart broken by you.”

And this just about sums up my feelings for THE FAULT IN OUR STARS.  It has been a privilege having my heart strings pulled and broken by this story.  If I had to fall in love with two characters and lose them, whether through creative devices or simply by the ending of a book, best it be two characters like Hazel Grace and Gus.

If you're looking for a thoughtful, funny and well-written Young Adult book to read, I strongly encourage you to read THE FAULT IN OUR STARS.

Book Extras:
John Green website, blog, Facebook, Twitter
Penguin's Book Page
Read an excerpt

About the Book:
THE FAULT IN OUR STARS by John Green; read by Kate Rudd

  • Reading level: Ages 14 and up
  • Audio Production: Brilliance Audio;
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Print Publisher: Dutton Juvenile/Penguin (January 10, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525478817
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525478812

  • About the Author: (from publisher)
    John Green is an award-winning, New York Times-bestselling author whose many accolades include the Printz Medal, a Printz Honor, and the Edgar Award. He has twice been a finalist for the LA Times Book Prize. With his brother, Hank, John is one half of the Vlogbrothers (youtube.com/vlogbrothers), one of the most popular online video projects in the world.

    *Disclosure: I purchased a copy of this audiobook.
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