Book: The Fault In Our Stars by John Green, Brilliance Audio, January 2012
Audiobook Info: YA Contemporary, Own audiobook. Audio length: 7 hours 14minutes, read by Kate Rudd. Also available in hardcover & ebook from Dutton Juvenile.
Rating: 5 / 5 Stars
I read The Fault in Our Stars by John Green over a year ago, but was happy to get the opportunity for a re-read (er, listen) with The Armchair Audies. I don’t know what more I can say about the book that hasn’t been said already. It’s the Time magazine book of the year and a mega best seller. For all its acclaim I could go out on a limb right now and predict that this audiobook will win the Audie for best teen audiobook, even though this is the only nominee I’ve listened to so far. Of course I won’t do that, though this audiobook does set the bar high.
The Fault in Our Stars is a story about Hazel Grace Lancaster and Augustus Waters who meet at a Cancer support group. It’s a book with cancer at the center but it’s also about love and life in general. The characters are wonderful, and so smart and funny. John Green gives his readers a lot of credit and doesn’t talk down to them, and I think that’s part of why this book appeals to such a wide audience. I would love to be friends with Augustus, Hazel and Isaac, but at the same time I could absolutely relate to their parents and their struggles.
I’ve noticed that some people who have been affected by cancer, or the death of a loved one avoid reading this book, fearing it will be a grief trigger or just too sad a read. In my own experience, I read the book first early last year and overall found it funny, touching, witty and yes sad at times. This time around I’m experiencing it through the eyes of someone who has experienced a big loss, so I had those same uneasy feelings about picking this book up again. But, I do think a lot of the book is hopeful, romantic and even funny. So to those of you on the fence about reading it, I say give it a shot.
I listened to the official audiobook version read by Kate Rudd. (Did you know John Green also released a limited edition version that he narrates?) This audiobook is a quick listen at just over 7 hours long. Kate Rudd sounds the way I imagined the characters to sound, and expertly handles different ages, genders and accents. Though her interpretation of Hazel and Augustus was spot on, it was also a treat to hear her rendition of Peter Van Houten, and the Dutch accent of his assistant. Rudd puts a lot of emotion and heart into her narration, and the joys as well as the pain were felt even more than in the print edition. The sad parts of the book felt sadder listening to the audiobook, perhaps because I knew what to expect. At the end of the audiobook John Green talks about the book, so that was a nice surprise. I think this is a great starter audiobook for readers that want to try out the audiobook experience, even/especially if you’ve already read the book. I really enjoyed revisiting this book and appreciate it even more.
For more thoughts on the book, check out my review of the print version.
Narrator Kate Rudd talks about the audiobook production of The Fault in Our Stars: