Friday, May 18, 2012

The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green - Read-a-likes

Today's guest blog post is from Ben,
a NSCC student on a workterm at HPL.

John Green’s critically acclaimed The Fault in Our Stars (M) is about Hazel, a 17 year old girl with terminal cancer. Hazel’s smart, witty narration is full of irony and insight about life, death and the peculiar ways society treats them both. It’s also a love story with a romance that’s doomed from the start, but perhaps not more than any other. The Fault in Our Stars is funny, tragic and thought-provoking, and Hazel’s complicated-but-loving relationship with her parents is particularly moving.

Here are some other young adult novels with interesting takes on young life, death and love that even not-so-young adults should enjoy:

Emily Horner’s A Love Story Starring My Dead Best Friend (M) takes a very different approach to these themes, but they’re still quite relevant. After Cass Meyer’s best friend Julia is killed in a car crash,Julia’s drama friends go to work on a performance of the play Julia had been working hard at writing for months. Feeling out of place and useless amid all of the play preparations, Cass takes a cross-country trip to bring Julia’s ashes to the ocean she never got to see in life, and learns a lot about herself and the world along the way.

Before I Die (M), written byJenny Downham, is another book about a young girl trying to live her life with cancer. After being told that she has only six months left to live, Tessa devises a list of all the things she wants to do before she dies, including sex, under age drinking, and a host of other activities that her life filled with hospitals and doctors kept her from experiencing. Like Hazel, Jenny finds love in the midst of all this, and the effect her illness has on this relationship and others in her life is explored. She and her father have a very different dynamic from the one Hazel shares with her parents, but the relationship between them is no less powerful.

In Please Ignore Vera Dietz (M), by A.S. King, Charlie Kahn, former best friend of the titular Vera, dies and is accused of a terrible crime. Vera secretly loved Charlie, even though he committed a betrayal that she still hasn’t forgiven him for. And she has information about his death that would clear his name. Vera’s conflicted romantic feelings for her dead friend are a similar theme to ones explored in The Fault in Our Stars, and the complicated relationship she has with her father is also explored.

These aren’t books for someone looking for a light, happy read, but are nonetheless recommended for those who don’t mind shedding a few tears for a fictional character.

No comments:

Post a Comment