Next week, the highly anticipated movie based on John Green’s 2012 Teens’ Top Ten winning title The Fault In Our Stars will be released. The first post I ever wrote for The Hub offered a list of books that fans of The Fault in Our Stars would enjoy and with the movie coming out so soon, now seems like a good time to add to this list.
Since my last post, I have discovered even more books that will appeal to fans of TFiOS, so whether you are looking for a book to occupy you until you see the movie or a list of books to fill your summer, hopefully you will find what you are looking for here.
Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy: Alternating between points of view and points in time, this story slowly reveals glimpses of Alice’s battle against cancer, but at its heart it is really the story of the relationship between Alice and her best friend Harvey, who she enlists to help her complete her bucket list. This is a book about what happens when you don’t die, and how difficult it can be to decide to grow as a person.
The F-It List by Julie Halpern: Another book about a bucket list, in this case, Alex is left to complete her best friend Becca’s bucket list when Becca is too sick to do most of the activities herself. After months of not talking due to Becca’s inexcusable actions on the day of Alex’s father’s funeral, the list helps to bring the two back together and allows Alex to work through her grief after her father’s death. Halpern creates characters who are real in both their strength and their flaws.
After Ever After by Jordan Sonnenblick: Rather than focusing on the battle against cancer, Sonnenblick opts to look at the aftermath of the disease. Jeffrey had cancer as a young boy, but now that he is in remission, he still has to deal with what happens next, which for him means contending with permanent nerve damage and the after effects of his medication which leave him struggling in school and often losing focus. The book also tackles the impact that his cancer has had on his family members and is a great picture of what happens after â€œgetting better.â€ (2012 Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults)
Never Eighteen by Megan Bostic: Knowing that he will die soon, Austin Parker has decided that he wants to leave his mark on the world. While some of the things he hopes to do are simply experiences he has not yet had, his greater goal is to reach out to those in his life that he sees struggling in an attempt to help them to find a way to improve their own lives. Over the course of one action-packed weekend, Austin attempts to experience everything and save everyone he knows, taking the reader along for the ride.
Somebody Up There Hates You by Hollis Seamon: Set on the hospice floor of a hospital, this is not necessarily a book focused on making cancer an uplifting topic. Instead, Seamon tells the story of real teens who happen to be living the rest of their lives in hospice. She offers an unflinching view of their experience and, at the same time, creates a very believable and funny protagonist. (2014 Best Fiction for Young Adults)
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness: This book is much different from any other book on the list. It includes elements of the paranormal, fables, and illustrations by Jim Kay, all of which contribute to a dark and creepy environment. But at its heart, this story is the very real story of a teen struggling to deal with the fact that his mother has cancer. According to the cover of the book, the concept was â€œinspired by an idea from Siobhan Dowd,â€ an author who herself died of cancer, and it proves to be a powerful approach to a difficult topic, one that enhances the emotion of the story rather than detracting from it. (2012 Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults)
This Star Won’t Go Out by Esther Earl with Lori and Wayne Earl: Fans of TFiOS may recall that it was dedicated to Esther Earl, a teen who died of thyroid cancer in 2010. This book tells her story through her writing, her artwork, pictures of her throughout her life, and passages written by her family and friends. It captures the experience of one girl who had cancer and offers a very personal view of a disease that many readers may not have encountered.
With so many great and very different books available, I hope every TFiOS fan will be able to find something to read on this post or my initial one. Let me know how you feel about these books or any others I may have missed in the comments. And, be sure to watch The Hub for a post on the movie once it is out!
-Carli Spina, currently reading The Nightmare Dilemma by Mindee Arnett