Sunday, July 21, 2013

Review: The Fault in Our Stars

Title: The Fault in Our Stars
Author: John Green
Format: Hardcover, First Edition, 316 pages
Pub. Date: January 10th 2012
Source: Christi the Teen Librarian blog


Five stars.


I'm going to deviate from my normal review format when reflecting upon this book. I feel that this novel is more deserving of a mess of plus marks and minus signs, of pros and cons. This review will be half of my opinion, and probably more directed towards the fictional characters of the story, and less towards the nonfictional people who read my thoughts on books. For that, I am sorry that I am not sorry.

If teenage Hazel is anything, it is that she is no stranger to thinking about life and death, though namely the latter. She has lungs that do not know how to be lungs, and though a new medicine is lessening her suffering, she has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. It is at her cancer support group that she meets Augustus Waters, a cancer-free survivor with a prosthetic leg and an interesting take on the world around him.

Hazel and Augustus are the most beautiful couple that I have ever read about. Keeping in the theme of the title of this story, it is the faults of these characters that make them so intriguing, relatable, and completely unforgettable.

Every word, from Hazel's internal thoughts to the pair's dialogue and everything in between is smartly and stunningly written. Each word is no doubt strategically placed by one John Green to make this book flow with undertones of love, haunting, and a strange metaphysical feeling that made me personally feel both like the universe is leaps and bounds bigger than myself and that I am nothing more than a speck in an infinity of lives lived.... But at the same time felt a sense of this life is what you make it, and so you must live today all that you can. Who knows if tomorrow will be your Last Good Day?

Augustus is a boy that I would have felt privileged to know. He shares a lot of similarities with other book leads- sweet, funny, likable. But there's something more to that. He had this intellectual wit and view point that made him seem both quirky and wise beyond his seventeen years of life. He was strong, and romantic (even if it wasn't so subtle). And the extent to which that he loved Hazel is awe-inspiring and heartbreaking simultaneously.

And then there is Hazel. Her thoughts seem so rational and sensible to the point that they at times seem cold. I like that her thoughts follow this darkened pattern with bursts of bright optimism and worth. Both characters just loved each other so harshly and so fully, it consumed everyone around them. Strangers, family, friends- everyone could see just how much the pair cared for one another, and it was lovely. I can't help but to think of an Edgar Allan Poe quote to describe them: "But we loved with a love that was more than love."

I am pretty sure that I felt every possible emotion during the course of this novel. I admittedly cried more than once. I got the warm fuzzy "aw" feeling that one sees when two old people are holding hands, or when a puppy and a kitten are curled up together in a box. I felt inexplicably happy and laughed, I grew sad and I mourned. I cheered characters on, cursed others, grew angry, frustrated, and confused with their actions.

Now that I have finished reading, I just have this weird sense of.... Well. I am acutely aware of the fact that I am alive. I can feel my pulse in my neck, I am hypersensitive to the breeze wafting towards me from the vent. I just.... Feel.

I must state here, since this is a review, that I am very blessed and fortunate enough to not know anyone who is suffering with cancer. I do have to specify, using Hazel's words, that this book is a cancer book, not a "cancer book"- there is so much else going on. Because I can not relate to the level of illness and stress in this book, I must say that if you do know someone, this book may be all the more meaningful and heartbreaking to you.

I feel that this is a book that deserves to be read by everyone and anyone who is able to read, and those who cannot should make someone read it to them aloud. Five is the highest number of stars that I can allot, and I assure you that I have found no fault in them.

Thank you to the Christi the Teen Librarian blog for my signed copy of this book.


  1. This review, much like the book (I imagine), is beautiful. Your words are beautiful in describing these characters and this book. I will definitely be getting this book the next chance I get. Simply wonderful, my love.