The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Posted June 4, 2014 in Book Review / 7 Comments

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The Fault in Our Stars by John GreenThe Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Published by Dutton Books on January 10th 2012
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 313
Format: Hardcover
Source: Amazon
Goodreads
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five-stars

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.

Main Points
Writing Style:
The writing is pretty fantastic. It’s beautiful. There is MUCH sophisticated language but I appreciated it. It is a book for the sophisticated mind. Well, it’s for anyone, but I feel like sophisticated minds would get more out of it.
Green’s a very good writer. He perfectly blends funny and serious.
Plot:
My thoughts are stars I cannot fathom into constellations. That’s how I felt finishing this book. It just left me with so much to think. Seriously my head was so full of thoughts I wrote this essay about it.
First of all, Hazel. I liked Hazel. I didn’t get extremely attached to any of the characters, so I can’t say I absolutely loved her, but I liked her. She was sort of mild in my opinion. She wasn’t a hero. She was a girl living with cancer. She wasn’t depressed and she wasn’t ecstatic. She was just alive. And dying. But it was really interesting to hear her and Augustus discuss important things. I liked that they didn’t always agree.
Augustus was all right. As Hazel says, he’s not Prince Charming. But he’s wonderful anyway. I love how he’s all about the ‘metaphorical resonances’ of things. I love how he uses cigarettes without smoking. That’s just the sort of statement I might make. I like big statements.
As for his plot twist, it was sort of predictable in my opinion. But it was a big game-changer in how the story would end. I thought it would end on a Hazel note. It ended on an Augustus note. View Spoiler » See my essay on my reaction to the ending. I’ve got more deep thoughts in there.
As for the lovely little Van Houten adventure…for those of you who don’t know, she goes to see her favorite author Peter Van Houten and is a rather unexpected visitor…I thought that was pretty important. It was more than ‘sometimes people don’t live up to your expectations.’ It was more like a huge dose of the truth. That was the side of humans that exists but we don’t often see. I liked it. I liked it even more that Hazel and Augustus moved on fairly quickly and had a lot of good moments in Amsterdam.
Augustus is a riddle. He’s romantic and philosophical and poetical and metaphorical. But at the same time, he’s just a boy. A boy with 1.4 (somewhere around there) legs. I didn’t fall in love with him, but I felt that he was right for Hazel. I didn’t fall in love with Hazel but I felt that they were perfect for each other, and that’s what matters. Despite Hazel’s mildness. It was balanced by Augustus’s passion.
Their friend Isaac’s role was important. Being dumped because he is blind. And then blindly egging her car. The promise of ‘always’ broken. You know what? To me, the promise of ‘okay’ is much better than the promise of ‘always’. Like infinities, some ‘always’ are bigger than others. But truly, I wish he had a happier ending.
I’m going to take a line of my essay to sum this up:
The story itself is utterly unremarkable. But its genius is that it gives one much to consider. What we are made of, and what we live for. Augustus wasn’t perfect and neither was Hazel. It wasn’t a love story and it wasn’t a cancer story. It wasn’t about blindness or even about insanity. It wasn’t about time or oblivion. Or the relative size of infinities. It was about everything and nothing. It made you think, that’s all.
In case you’re wondering, I didn’t cry. I teared up a bit. But I blame it on my overactive teenage hormones. Honestly, I wasn’t attached enough to truly cry. I blame it on Hazel’s mildness, Van Houten’s awfulness, Augustus’s normalness, and the number of deep thoughts in my head. I was too busy thinking to be emotional.
Setting
Very nicely described. I could see everywhere very clearly, from Hazel’s house to Augustus’s house to the park to Amsterdam.
Quotes
I need a whole different page for quotes. See it here. There are so many. Also, the quotes page offers deeper insight into my opinions on the book. It’s worth checking out.
The primary quote being, of course, “My thoughts are stars I cannot fathom into constellations.” That little gem’s from Augustus.
Good vs. Bad
Good:
  • setting
  • plot
  • characters
  • writing
  • quotes
  • tendency to make one think very long and very hard about things
Less than perfect:
  • romance I suppose. Well it wasn’t really about that anyway, was it? No it wasn’t.
Bottom Line
This book is mostly an unremarkable story. But it has genius. This genius is because it makes one think very long and very hard about important things. The characters are mild but intriguing. Their actions serve more to illustrate several points for consideration rather than to come to a conclusion (an ending of either a happy or a sad sort). The writing is elaborate and sophisticated. The metaphorical resonances are astounding. I did not cry. But you might. Would I read more by John Green? Not sure. Would I recommend this book to others? Not sure. Probably.
Movie
The movie is cast well and acted well. I liked that there were a lot of direct quotes from the book. They didn’t leave out many scenes and they captured the mood perfectly. Here’s my essay regarding my thoughts after seeing it.
Click here to go to the movie page.
Click here to go to the movie page.

About John Green

John 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.

Rating
Plot
three-half-stars
Characters
five-stars
Writing
five-stars
Setting
four-stars
Romance
three-half-stars
Cover
two-half-stars
Ending
three-stars
Overall: five-stars
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7 Comments on "The Fault in Our Stars by John Green"

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Katherine @ I Wish I Lived in a Library
Guest

I’ve of course seen the talk about this book but I’ve never managed to read any John Green. I like that you didn’t find it a tear-fest. I’ll have to break down and give this one a try!

Jillian
Guest

Really glad you enjoyed it! I didn’t cry either, but one of the cast in the TFIOS movie said that you WILL cry in the movie. Haha I might want to see that for myself! Lovely review :)

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