Thursday, March 22, 2012

Book Review: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Publication date: January 2012
Pages: 336
Source: Library
For: Fun

Hazel was not expected to live as long as she has - her cancer has been terminal from the start. But when a new boy comes to cancer support group, she finds that she hasn't truly been living. Augustus brings a new meaning and spark to her life - even if it is at the end.

Things I Liked:
What a heart-breaking book!  Knowing in advance that the story is about teens with cancer, you know the book will break your heart.  But still, the journey was worth it.  I really loved this book, though I am not a professed John Green fan (having only read An Abundance of Katherines).  The teens felt very real (well, most of the time - see below) and the story was never sappy or melodramatic.  It was realistic, painful, and beautifully written.  The development of Augustus and Hazel's relationship was slow and imperfect and therefore I appreciated it more.  And oh, the humor!  This is what keeps the book from falling into a deep pit of despairing sorrow.  The characters, while not being the stereotypical happy-in-the-face-of-tragedy teens, manage to find humor and fun in the different and difficult lives they lead.  Not much I can add to the many accolades and ravings of other readers.  Consider me a John Green convert.  Favorites:
"The whole thing where a boy who is not unattractive or unintelligent or seemingly in any way unacceptable stares at me and points out incorrect uses of literality and compares me to actresses and asks me to watch a move at his house.  But of course there is always a hamartia and yours is that oh, my God, even though you HAD FREAKING CANCER you give money to a company in exchange for the chance to acquire YET MORE CANCER." p  19-20
Sometimes you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.  And then there are books like An Imperial Affliction, which you can't tell people about, books so special and rare and yours that advertising your affection feels like a betrayal.  p 33
Things I Didn't Like:
Ok, I'll just say this at the risk of sounding lame: sometimes the characters did not sound like teenagers.  Yes, they were very smart, very well-read, pretty advanced teens, but even so they waxed philosophical a bit too often.  And they used a lot of intellectual words.  I'm not saying these kinds of teens don't exist, I'm just saying sometimes it didn't feel quite as real.  But, considering all that praise above, you can bet it didn't bug me too much.

Reminded me of Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie by Jordan Sonnenblick
Reads like other John Green books - such as An Abundance of Katherines

s-factor: !@# 
regularly occuring, though only 1 f-bomb

mrg-factor: X 
it happens off page mostly, but it happens

v-factor: none 
though none of the effects of cancer and treatment is glossed over

Overall rating: *****

Anybody out there not fall in love with this book?

If you buy through my Amazon linkage, I will get a very small percentage


  1. I fell in love with this book. :)

    1. It is the kind of book that's easy to love isn't i?

  2. I know I can trust you on this one because you're not a huge John Green fan. I really don't think I'd be able to avoid this one whether I wanted to or not, though. ;)

    1. Ah, thanks :) I hope you give it a try and like it - it is very good.

  3. Yup, in love. The Fault in Our Stars absolutely filled me with that "weird, evangelical zeal." I'm not a huge John Green fan either! But I loved Will Grayson, Will Grayson and thought TFiOS was even better.

    1. I haven't picked up WGWG yet, but I think I'm safe in having read Green's best book thus far. It was so good!


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