“The Fault in Our Stars” to sit among our classics

Jennifer Verzuh

I’m kind of a snob when it comes to literature. I’ve always felt that young adult books were below my level and classics were the only thing worth my time. But I was recently introduced to young adult writer John Green’s work, and my opinion of the genre did a 360˚.

Green’s latest book, “The Fault in Our Stars,” now easily sits among my favorite books in such company as “Les Miserables,” “East of Eden,” and “Wuthering Heights.”

It’s raw and real in a simultaneously beautiful and heartbreaking way. I’ve never read anything quite like it. The perspective is so clear and unique, not to mention the subject matter.

The novel follows Hazel Grace, a 16-year-old terminal cancer patient, but before you get the wrong idea know that this isn’t your typical sappy overly sentimental cancer story. This is real. It’s scary, unsettling, and at times gross, but it’s truthful.

Hazel has lived with her disease for years and keeps mostly to herself with her parents as her best friends, afraid to get close to anyone and subsequently hurt them. But then she meets August Waters, a funny, handsome cancer survivor. Her entire life is changed. Their relationship isn’t a run-of-the-mill teenage love story. It’s life-like in that it can be funny and light one minute and serious and crushing another.

This is definitely a significant novel, and I recommend it to everyone regardless of their age. It’s a haunting, and at times humorous, portrayal of a young woman who’s just beginning to live as she’s dying.