Review: The Fault In Our Stars

The Fault In Our Stars

The Fault In Our Stars
By John Green
(Dutton Juvenile, Hardcover, 9780525478812, January 2012, 336pp.)

The Short of It:

An amazing, life affirming read. Reading this book is like sitting with your best friend, under a bright blue sky with nothing but love surrounding you.

The Rest of It:

Goodness! This is going to be one of those gushing reviews where not a lot is said about plot, but much will be said about why you should read it. Let me jump right in.

This book is about cancer. Specifically, two teens living with cancer. One teen, Hazel Grace is not doing as well as she probably could be, but she knows, as well as her family, that her days are numbered and that the BIG day will come. Augustus Waters is this beyond beautiful guy that Hazel meets at support group. He’s like no other boy she’s ever met and he sees in her, what no one has seen in her before. Life. Hazel Grace, even in her weakened state, exudes life and this is what makes Augustus (Gus) fall head-over-heels in love with her. The two form a bond that is both heartbreaking and joyous. They know that their relationship cannot go on forever, and yet… they live as if it will.

Sigh.

This is such a lovely book and if you had told me a month ago that I would be gushing over a book about cancer, I would have given you my “You’ve got to be kidding!” look and not given it a second thought but this book is AMAZING in so many ways. Although these characters never hide from their illness, the story itself is incredibly positive and life affirming and while reading it, it felt so good to be alive. Everything seemed more beautiful to me and that is why this book is so amazing. I’d close the book and drive home and even traffic seemed special to me or the bird singing outside my window seemed more important than the day before. It just made me feel good.

The other thing that blew my mind was how much I loved these characters. Hazel and Augustus are these awesome kids that you can’t help but love. They are flawed in that they never realize just how wonderful they are but their love is so pure and so genuine that I shed many a tear while reading the book and I dreaded the end. When I finally turned that last page, I wanted to go right back to the beginning and start all over again just so I could spend more time with them. Such a beautiful story and so well done. I borrowed this copy but now I want a copy of my own.

I know it’s difficult to gather up the courage to read a book about cancer, but seriously, you won’t be sorry. In fact, you’ll be so glad you did, that you’ll come back here and tell me so.

Source: Borrowed
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

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38 Responses

  1. It’s so good to hear about a book that makes a reviewer SO happy. That’s a rare occurance in our analytical lives. But your gushing has enthused me more about the book than any plot summary ever could.

    Do visit!

  2. Aw, thanks Ti for such a great review. I’ve heard great things about John Green and I look forward to reading his work.

  3. I had never read a John Green before reading this book so boy was I impressed! To say the book is about cancer just doesn’t do it justice, does it? There is so much to this book and it keeps flying off the shelves of my school library

  4. love love loved this book! adults who don’t read this author because he is classified as YA don’t know what they are missing!

  5. I am a huge John Green fan because he makes my job easier when i need a book for a reluctant reader. I read this book last month as part of a student book club and just sent it off to a former student of mine who is a year away from becoming a teacher. I cried multiple times and not due to the plot but for some passages that Green writes that became personal to me. Thankfully, I have not been touched by cancer myself, but I have taught kids who survived their battles. The humanity of every character, my favorite is her father as I would be a tear stained parent as well, makes this book so very very wonderful. I’m So glad you gushed; I read all of your critiques (unless I’m reading the book) and was excited to see that you enjoyed this one as much as I did!
    (his web page includes a section stating that he will not respond to any kind of email or snail mail (though he reads every piece) which lends itself to the author in the book!)

    • It really is an amazing book. As you said, parts of it were so lovely and I just loved the characters.

      Because I enjoyed Green so much, I just finished Looking for Alaska. That one is totally different and not as moving, but still enjoyable.

      My son is an reluctant reader (14) and it’s been so difficult getting him to just TRY a book. He reads for school, but to be honest, all the forced reading logs in grade school killed reading for him and it’s doing the same thing for my 8 year old. I wish schools would just keep reading fun!

      • My youngest was a reluctant reader but not because he couldn’t read but because he didn’t know what he liked. The more I pushed the worse it became until I made him read a graphic novel: Bingo!!!
        My job as an English teacher is to find out about the students’ reluctance and then do my absolute best to find that one author or genre to hook them in. One of my dearest students hated to read because he was mildly dyslexic. His passion is fly fishing, so I went to the local bookstore and bought him to A River Runs Through It and Other Stories. He didn’t need another book telling him how to do it; he needed a book with fictional twist to a truth he understands. His appreciation for finally finding something led him to the bookstore to find something in his own. He is now into science fiction and tries to get me to read things he’s read… It is my greatest triumph! (reading logs can be pure torture for all involved!)
        Good luck with your boys… You’re love of reading is a great model for them to see!

        • Thanks for sharing this. I try so hard with my son. He prefers non-fiction so that is what I push his way these days, but it still hasn’t clicked. I keep trying though!!

  6. I gushed in my review of this too! I just couldn’t help it. Green has such a gift for making his readers love his characters.

  7. Terrific review! Wish I had written it! LOL

  8. I feel like a loser right now. I have the book at home and I had to put it down to pick up something else. I just wasn’t feeling it. Apparently I need to go back to it and give it a second chance. It just seemed to drag on especially when they go to that girl’s favorite author’s house. That’s when I put the book down. I will give it another chance in a few weeks.

  9. I’ve read this YA author in the past and enjoyed him. SOunds like a touching story.

  10. I am listening to The Fault In Our Stars on audio, and my heart is breaking. The audio is is spot on. These kids are wise beyond their years. John Green does an excellent job. I was impressed by his characterizations of the parents. They are present but in the background and let the kids feel in control yet treat them as kids.

    • I bet the audio is awesome. The parents are handled well in this one. It’s all about Hazel and Gus, yet you know the parents are there to support them.

  11. Sandy was gushing about the audio version, too. Not sure whether I’ll read or listen, but I WILL experience this book!

  12. Ditto what Jill said! Ha! I so loved this book, and was happy that I conquered my fears of reading a “kids with cancer” book. The attitude was positive, the kids were cool and clever (reminded me of the quippy dialogue in Juno)…even the parents were cool. No doubt this will be at the top of my list at the end of the year.

  13. I usually run far away from books about cancer, but you’ve made this one sound so good!

  14. Not my favorite Green, but still a good read. I just wasn’t as gushy about this one as the rest of you all.

  15. I can’t wait to read this!

  16. I’m a big John Green fan, but I definitely fall into the camp that fears reading books about cancer. Well, more fictional books about cancer as I do want to tackle Emperor of All Maladies soon. I love books that I continue to mull over after putting them down. Plus, any book that can make traffic seem special is one I have to read!

    • Cancer is a tough topic to read about, especially when it involves kids but this one was very hopeful, even though it was also very sad.

  17. I’m still not ready to read anything about cancer, especially if end of life is involved. I was watching The Last Song the other night (sparks novel made into a movie) and couldn’t stop crying the last 20 minutes… oh brother! But they were good tears :)

  18. I never shy away from books for any reason except if it is SCIFI! Reading about cancer doesn’t scare me, instead I take it as an opportunity to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes. You must read his other books…I swear he is a genius and he is the author that really turned my 17 year-old (boy..hint, hint) into a reader!!

  19. Everyone is gaga about this book. I love that it made your life feel more amazing and special just by reading it.

  20. “…and even traffic seemed special” is just about right! I was so surprised and delighted because I didn’t care for Looking for Alaska. (Click my name for my reviews of both)

  21. P.S. There’s a secret Tumblr where John Green answers reader questions. Contains spoilers. http://onlyifyoufinishedtfios.tumblr.com/ (Password: Darnielle)

  22. And to think that I had just about written this one off!

  23. Yes, this book is definitely on my TBR list! I loved “Looking for Alaska” it was one of my favorite books.
    Can’t wait to read this one.

  24. I love your description under “the short of it” – great! This is one I’ll wait out. I know myself well enough to know that with all the hype, I’ll be irritated from the start. I’ll give it six months or so, and I’m sure I’ll enjoy it as much as you did.

  25. There was a lot of raving and gushing about this book during Armchair BEA. Many bloggers chose it as a 2012 favorite. I was definitely intrigued and I already had ot on my tbr. But I knew you were reading it and I was waiting for your review…It’s fantastic! I’m excited that you loved the book so much. I think it’s great that a book about cancer is being so positively reviewed and has such lovable characters. I’m really looking forward to reading this.

  26. [...] Ti’s review where she simply says, “An amazing, life affirming [...]

  27. [...] recently reviewed Green’s latest book, and loved it, so when I saw this one at the library, I immediately snatched it [...]

  28. [...] Liz Moore 4.A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving 5.The Starboard Sea by Amber Dermont 6.The Fault in Our Stars by John Green 7.The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce 8.So L.A. by Bridget Hoida [...]

  29. [...] 27. Last Night at the Lobster by Stewart O’Nan 28. The Starboard Sea by Amber Dermont 29. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green 30. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald 31. The Age of Miracles by Karen [...]

  30. hello everyone.

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