The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

The Fault in Our Stars cover

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love. 

(Synopsis and image via Goodreads)

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I had heard how great John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars was since it initially hit bookstore shelves. I had a stack of books to be read that was ridiculously tall so I kept pushing aside the idea of reading this book. Until a digital edition became available through our library.

I don’t think at the time of checking it out I knew yet that it was young adult fiction, and I don’t think I would have cared had I known. A good book is a good book. And I wasn’t disappointed.

The story of Hazel Grace Lancaster, Augustus Waters, and their friend, Isaac, is brilliantly drawn. Creating sensitive young souls caring strongly for one another is not always easy. John Green has done a masterful job of creating his characters as well as the backdrop for what turns into an amazing love story.

Hazel and Augustus meet at a youth support group for cancer patients. The attraction is instantaneous. Smart enough to understand that cancer always looms over its victims, in remission or not, Hazel and Augustus, with the help of Isaac, strive to make the most of every moment.

Their conversations and dialogue seem overly mature for their chronological ages, but then confronting your immortality likely matures you faster. None of this detracts from the greatness of Green’s writing. His use of language, scene, characterizations, and interaction between his characters is exquisite.

The Fault in Our Stars simultaneously made me laugh, cry, giggle, angry, sad, and overwhelmed by how much feeling Hazel and Augustus put into coping with their illnesses while loving each other immensely. Truly a love story I never expected in a YA novel. Kudos to John Green for showing us how to love one another.

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Recommendation

The Fault in Our Stars is a book for anyone who wants to read it–young adults, middle adults, older adults, parents, grandparents, teachers, pastors, doctors, nurses–everyone can learn something from Hazel and Augustus.

I can’t think of anything that would prevent me from allowing a teenage daughter or son to read this book as long as they are mature enough to cope with the topics of terminal illnesses and death.

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Book Details:
Publisher: Dutton Books

Genre: Fiction / Fiction – Young Adult
Published: January 10, 2012
Format: Kindle edition, 313 pages
ISBN: 0525478817
Source: Library

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Author John GreenJohn Green’s first novel, Looking for Alaska, won the 2006 Michael L. Printz Award presented by the American Library Association. His second novel, An Abundance of Katherines, was a 2007 Michael L. Printz Award Honor Book and a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. His next novel, Paper Towns, is a New York Times bestseller and won the Edgar Allen Poe Award for Best YA Mystery.

In January 2012, his most recent novel, The Fault in Our Stars, was met with wide critical acclaim, unprecedented in Green’s career. The praise included rave reviews in Time Magazine and The New York Times, on NPR, and from award-winning author Markus Zusak. The book also topped the New York Times Children’s Paperback Bestseller list for several weeks. Green has also coauthored a book with David Levithan called Will Grayson, Will Grayson, published in 2010. The film rights for all his books, with the exception of Will Grayson Will Grayson, have been optioned to major Hollywood Studios.

In 2007, John and his brother Hank were the hosts of a popular internet blog, “Brotherhood 2.0,” where they discussed their lives, books and current events every day for a year except for weekends and holidays. They still keep a video blog, now called “The Vlog Brothers,” which can be found on the Nerdfighters website, or a direct link here.

(Bio and image via Goodreads)

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  • http://www.livingawritinglife.blogspot.com Jennine G.

    Students in general love John Green. Most of his books are popular choices when it comes to picking books for assignments and such. This one made me cry when I saw the movie! (Books don’t generally make me cry.)

    • http://puddletownreviews.com Sherrey Meyer

      I have heard that Green is a well-loved author by teens and young adults. I can understand why now that I’ve read his writing. I may even look up other books of his and see what else I enjoy. I didn’t see the movie, but am sure if the book made me cry the movie would too. I’m a movie crier!

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  • http://sveta-randomblog.blogspot.com/ svetasbooks

    I must be the only person who hated that book with a passion of a billion suns. I didn’t hate it because of the cancer or anything like that, but simply because of the writing style, desecration of my heritage, and the frustration when the author couldn’t figure out whether or not his characters will talk like adults or young adults which made it a very awkward read for me.

    • http://sherreymeyer.com Sherrey Meyer

      You make some very good points about this book. However, for me at least, the underlying compassion the two young people had for each other, the love they wished to share despite their illnesses, was enormous in their lives as their lives slipped away. But I do agree with everything you say.