Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. Grades 8 and up. Dutton, January 2012. 318 pages. Reviewed from purchased copy.

** There are no spoilers in this post, unless you count knowing that the book is amazingly awesome as a spoiler. If you do... um.... sorry.  **

Um. Actually. This isn't really going to be a review. Sorry. 

I have loved John Green since grad school. I read Looking for Alaska back before it won the Printz, back when I let the YALSA-BK listserv tell me what teen books to read (certain friends of mine are chortling at that). I stuck by him with An Abundance of Katherines. I was fairly diligent about watching the Brotherhood 2.0 videos and I was even IN one in 2007: 

(Side note: Can you believe that I was at a John Green reading/signing with less than 30 people? It kinda seems unimaginable now...)

Anyway, this is all to say that I have been a fan of John Green for a long time. And my true confession is that I have always thought I liked him more than I liked his books.

And that all changed with The Fault in Our Stars. This book was freaking amazing. It's smart and witty, but it doesn't feel pretentious. In fact, it pokes fun at pretentiousness. The characters felt so real to me that I truly believe that this was John's homage to his Nerdfighters and the kids he's worked with an spoken with other the years. I honestly feel that this book is a gift from John to his readers.

And part of that gift has been the whole The Fault in Our Stars experience. As you probably know, John decided to autograph all 150,000 copies of the first printing. Preorders for the book piled up so quickly that the publication date was moved up (it was originally slated to publish in the spring - May, I believe). Even though my blog has a label called "my undying love for John Green", I wasn't certain I wanted to buy his book because, as I've said before, I've had mixed feelings about his previous books. But everyone was so excited about it and I wanted to be part of the excitement, so I preordered it.

From getting excited about preordering the book, the cover reveal (which I like more in person... it's so shiny...), the Twitter hashtag, wondering what color signature I would get (green), eagerly tracking my book as it shipped, sympathizing with those unlucky souls who didn't get theirs on the release date... Reading this book has definitely been an experience.

This was the right book for which to create a hoopla. It's my favorite of John Green's books so far and it's plain (to me) that he's poured his soul into writing this book and making it the best book it can be.

I can already tell you that this will be one of the best YA books of 2012.

Thank you, John Green.