Read by Kate Rudd
Right up front I should mention that I have a hard time listening to audiobooks, at least adult ones. My mind tends to wander and suddenly I realize I have no idea what’s going on or where I am in the book.
That said, I read all the Harry Potter on audio (Jim Dale is simply mesmerizing) and I’ve listened to a few other children’s books and now this, a YA (Young Adult) by John Green.
I had lunch with Green, and about a thousand other librarians, at the Public Library Association conference in Indianapolis in March. And with the arrival of the film version of the book, I was, let’s call it, professionally curious. I almost always prefer the book to the movie, and frankly, I’m in no rush to see the film but I am glad I read the book.
I received the audio version as part of a swag bag at the PLA audio book dinner, so I thought I’d give it a try. Kate Rudd is an excellent reader. She held my attention throughout and sounded authentic to each character.
Speaking of characters, each is richly imagined and realized here. Hazel is a 16-year-old with a terminal cancer diagnosis. She takes her portable oxygen with her to a teen support group, where she meets Augustus Waters. Augustus has been in remission for over a year after losing his leg to cancer. They share a love of reading, and Hazel is obsessed with a book that has no ending, presumably because the narrator dies of cancer. Augustus becomes equally obsessed, and eventually they travel to Amsterdam to meet the author and learn the ending.
Things don’t go as planned but Hazel & Augustus fall in love, lose their virginity and have to deal with the deadly realities of cancer. There is humor, pathos and of course, tearjerking galore in this sweet love story that also happens to be about cancer.
As a parent, I think (I hope!) I bring a different perspective than the millions of teens who adore this book. I didn’t love it but I can definitely see it’s appeal. Green has written an engrossing tale of teen angst that adults may also enjoy.
6/14 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch
THE FAULT IN OUR STARS by John Green. Audible Audio Edition. Brilliance Audio (January 10, 2012). ASIN B006VPAXQY. Listening Length: 7 hours and 14 minutes.