The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

I was so excited to grab a copy of The Fault in Our Stars by John Green because I knew that he signed all of the first print editions. Also, I felt that so many readers all over the world were getting copies once it was released and I wanted to be part of that community of YA readers. When I saw a copy in a local bookstore, I grabbed it and read it as soon as I could. I have to admit that I haven’t read all of his books, even though I already have copies of them, but I promise I’ll get to them sooner or later.

Here’s the summary from Goodreads:

Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 12, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs… for now.

Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault.

Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind.

Based on that premise, I had a feeling that this book will make me cry. I was right. I think I will always have a soft spot for well-written novels that have characters with cancer. I don’t talk about it that much because it’s a very personal thing for me but I’ve mentioned it on the blog before – my father passed away in 2007 because of lung cancer. I know other readers have pointed this out already but The Fault in Our Stars reminded me a bit of A Monster Calls in the sense that it’s a cancer book but it’s not just about the cancer. Both are books that can make you empathize with the characters, they made me feel that I was right there with them. I think John Green did an excellent job of realistically portraying what life must be like for a teenage cancer survivor. Hazel Grace knows she’s lucky she got a reprieve but she’s reclusive because she wants to minimize the hurt that she’ll cause the world when she passes away. She’s very matter-of-fact about her cancer. Here’s a snippet that I liked, fairly early on so it’s not spoilery:

β€œThere will come a time when all of us are dead. All of us. There will come a time when there are no human beings remaining to remember that anyone ever existed or that our species ever did anything. There will be no one left to remember Aristotle or Cleopatra, let alone you. Everything that we did and built and wrote and thought and discovered will be forgotten and all of this will have been for naught. Maybe that time is coming soon and maybe it is millions of years away, but even if we survive the collapse of our sun, we will not survive forever. There was time before organisms experienced consciousness, and there will be time after. And if the inevitability of human oblivion worries you, I encourage you to ignore it. God knows that’s what everyone else does.”

I think Hazel Grace is a quiet sort of person, which is why Augustus’ bright and vibrant personality stood out more for me. In any case, that didn’t keep me from really enjoying the book. I love how the friendship developed between Hazel and Augustus and eventually blossomed into something more. It’s a slow burn relationship between two intelligent characters who bonded over their favorite books, how can I not root for that kind of relationship? And it’s the real deal between these two, even their parents could see that. Which brings me to another aspect of the novel that I liked – the supportive parents. We don’t get enough of those in YA nowadays. It has taken me a while to come up with this review and I’ve seen mixed responses from other readers – some truly loved it while others had problems with it. I’m okay with that, I’m just glad The Fault in Our Stars worked for me. It was the first contemporary YA novel that I finished in 2012 so all the other contemporary YA books that I’ll read within the year have big shoes to feel. John Green’s latest is a beautiful book. Read it if it’s something that you think you’ll enjoy and tell me what you think when you’re done. Okay? Okay.

Other reviews:
Book Harbinger
The Book Smugglers
Random Musings of a Bibliophile
The Allure of Books

33 thoughts on “The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

  1. I haven’t read a JG book before, but after all the raves, I’m definitely reading this one. But it will have to wait until I’m in the mood for a good cry, I think! I’m glad you ended up liking the book and that you got yourself a signed copy. So cool!


    Australian YA author Rebecca shares her favorite romantic book scene at The Midnight Garden!

    • Wendy, this is only my second John Green book. I’ve only read An Abundance of Katherines before this one. I suggest you start with The Fault in Our Stars because it’s a lovely book and I’d like to know what you think of it. Grab a first edition copy while you can so it will be signed. πŸ™‚

  2. Hi Chachic! I’ve read my first John Green this year, it’s Paper Towns and I enjoyed it enough to make me want to read his other works. I like that his works tend to be a bit philosophical and there a lot of lovely lines/quotes in his books just like the snippet you posted. πŸ™‚

    • Tin, I hope you get to read The Fault in Our Stars. There really are a lot of quotable lines in this one. I chose something that was said early in the book to avoid spoilers. Paper Towns will probably be my next John Green read, I’ve heard such good things about that book.

  3. The Fault in Our Stars is the first John Green book I’ve read. It didn’t exactly reach my expectations, maybe because I can’t very much relate to the characters. But overall, I enjoyed it. The book certainly has depth in it which makes you really ponder its philosophical and metaphorical meanings.

    • Rhin, sorry to hear this one didn’t meet your expectations. I understand where you’re coming from though, I usually don’t end up liking a book when I can’t connect with the characters too.

  4. I’m not sure if John Green could’ve pulled off unsupportive parents of cancer kids, so I’m glad he wrote them the way he did. I’m glad you liked this, especially with your personal experience with cancer. I loved both Hazel and Augustus. Definitely the real deal there.

    • Holly, you have a point. It would have sucked if the parents in this book weren’t supportive of their kids. I think that aspect is great because I’ve always been close to my own parents.

  5. I’ve never read Green’s writing but my wife has been a long time fan–so much so that she pre-ordered a signed edition through Amazon months before the book even came out. I know I ought to give him a chance–especially considering the impact the above passage had on me–but every time I finish whatever I’m reading I find a new spec-fic book that grabs my interest.

    Oh, well. I guess I’m just destined to read nothing but geeky space stories. All the same, thanks for the review.

    • I wanted to pre-order the book as well but I would have had to wait several weeks for Book Depository to ship the book so I decided to risk waiting for it to show up in local bookstores. Glad I was able to grab a copy. πŸ™‚ Oh I know what you mean, it feels like you’re never in the right mood for this book, right? I’ve experienced that from time to time but I usually like switching back from fantasy to contemporary to cleanse the reading palate. At least your wife already has a copy, you can read it anytime.

  6. Beautiful review, Chachic! I enjoyed this book a lot, even though I was just a bit uncomfortable with the dialogues… they seemed very unrealistic at times.
    But please read Looking for Alaska next! I liked that one even more.

    • Maja, I do agree with you. Both Hazel and Augustus seemed too mature for their age at times. I’ve seen other reviewers mention that they kept hearing John Green instead of the characters. I noticed that as well, which is why I ended up giving this 4 instead of 5 stars in Goodreads.


    I had to start my comment with shouty caps because TFioS inspires that in me. I’m so glad you enjoyed TFioS! And yeah I’m abbrieviating it because I feel a bit lazy.

    I loved the slow burn and the parents and Hazel and Augustus and pretty much every single thing about TFioS. ❀


      Yes, it does deserves all caps. I’m glad you loved this one too, April. I’ve seen mixed reviews all over Goodreads and the blogosphere so it makes me happy that TFioS worked for me.

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