Last January when The Fault in Our Stars by John Green was first published I was one of the first people in line to get a copy. Today I finished it again, this time consuming it in the audiobook format. I loved it just as much the second time as the first, maybe more. Here is my original post in case you want to read more gushing about how much I love this book.
Now for the rants and raves...
This book deserved more love than it got from the YALSA/ALA award committees. If it couldn't win the Printz award, why not at least an honor? I don't get it. This book is not only fabulous in terms of story, plot and characters, the writing is spectacular. There are so many memorable scenes and truly touching moments. There are quotable lines. And it got snubbed by all the award committees except for the Odyssey Award for the best audio book of the year. Thank goodness one of the committees had some sense and picked the clear winner of the year.
TFIOS really deserved the Odyssey award for excellent audio book production. Kate Rudd's narration as Hazel was perfect. I really enjoyed the way she interpreted the text. Case in point, I read a passage in the book that I didn't understand was sarcasm until I heard Ms. Rudd read it and then I recognized my mistake. She also was able to give a distinctive voice to Augustus without doing that creepy voice alteration that some readers do when they are reading for an opposite sex character.
Here is what the selection committee had to say about TFIOS winning the Odyssey this year:
“The Fault in Our Stars” perfectly captures the mercurial characters of Hazel Grace and Augustus, teens whose chance meeting in a cancer support group, surprises them both as they embark on an emotional roller coaster of a journey. Late in the Midwinter of our deliberations, this exquisitely understated performance by Kate Rudd, captured the magic of John Green’s words and our hearts,” said Odyssey Award Committee Chair Teri S. Lesesne.
At the end of the book John Green is interviewed and he says that he often thinks that his audiobooks are better than his print edition versions because this format adds depth. I'm not sure if this one is better but it sure is good. I actually decided to stop listening at the end of disc four, picking up the book to read to the end, for fear that I would crash my car knowing how hard I would be crying. Instead I sat on the couch and wept as I finished it.
Why so many tears? Is it a mother thing? Perhaps, but I think it is really a love thing. The thought of losing the one I love makes me want to weep even when it is just a theoretical thought. The idea that 'some infinities are bigger than other infinities' really struck me this reading. Whenever we love someone, be it spouse, boyfriend/girlfriend, or child and we should be grateful for the days we did have with them. As Hazel said, "You gave me a forever with in the numbered days, and I'm grateful."
John Green, if you are reading this blog, I want you to know that I think the Printz committee blew it this year. But even though TFIOS did not win the big prize officially, it won in my heart and I'm sure that I am not alone in this estimation. Congratulations on winning the Odyssey Award. I hope lots of fans will find thier way to your book through this format. And by the way, I admire your determination to write books for young adults that deal with tough subjects in an ethical (and often humorous) way.