Book Review: “The Fault In Our Stars”

“The Fault In Our Stars” by John Green

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary Fiction

GoodreadsSource: Library

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Summary from Goodreads:

Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 13, 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.

review

This is my first John Green book! I’m not sure whey I held off on reading this for so long. I was a bit hesitant to read his books because everyone seemed to love them. I didn’t want to be that person who doesn’t like his books. Thankfully I was pleasantly surprised with story. I only had a few annoyances.

The story surprised me a bit because I was expecting it to be a bit more mundane. I thought the story was going to cover Hazel and Augustus’ day-to-day lives. There’s nothing wrong with that though. The “boring” storylines allow the author to develop the characters more. The unexpected part for me was the middle-ish section of the book where they travel to the Netherlands. It was a nice and different touch to the story.

I tried really hard not to fall for Augustus’ charm but I couldn’t do it. I loved that he was a fully rounded character. That’s hard to come by in YA love interests. He’s able to be charismatic and a good friend even when faced with difficult situations. He’s able to let himself be angry and mourn but still continue with life. That’s a lot of strength for someone so young.

I really liked how raw the book was. I’ve never been around anyone with cancer so I don’t fully “get” it. We got to see all angles of cancer in this book. We saw Isaac and how he’ll probably live a decently long life. We saw Hazel and how she’s making the slow decline. And we saw Augustus who went from doing pretty well to his death bed in a matter of months. We even saw glimpses of how things are for the families of cancer patients. Green didn’t sugar coat anything. He showed us the dark, depressing reality of the disease.

Now to my annoyances…I really liked Augustus but I didn’t find him to be realistic. He’s not like any 17 year old boy that I know. He had a great personality but he didn’t talk or act in a way that I could believe (for the most part). I guess there’s nothing wrong with that per se. It was interesting to read and if that type of writing is in Green’s other books, I’ll probably like those books. I know that shouldn’t irk me but it does. I guess it’s because if I’m reading a contemporary fiction book, I want the characters and situations to be something I could believe that would happen.

Somewhat related to that is I had a hard time believing the “big” stuff in Hazel and Augustus’ relationship. Yes, I can believe they became close really quickly. No, I can’t believe that both sets of parents would be okay with sending their kids to a different country when the kids has only known each other for a couple months. (Maybe that’s one of those “cancer perks”?) I won’t touch the love situation because my followers know how I feel about instalove/ love after knowing each other for a few months.

The bottom line? I really, really enjoyed the book.

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21 thoughts on “Book Review: “The Fault In Our Stars”

  1. Haha I couldn’t help but laugh because I’M THAT PERSON who doesn’t like John Green books! This one was just an okay read for me but I’m glad you really liked it! I think I just don’t get John Green somehow and I’m glad people don’t shun me (yet).
    I know what you mean about the realistic thing, though. Sometimes I’m okay with contemporaries being either silly or like a romantic comedy, but if they’re going to be serious books, I basically NEED everything to be really realistic so I can fully absorb the story.
    I liked the uniqueness of the kids going to the Netherlands but I’ll agree that I was thrown off by it just a bit at first!
    Glad you enjoyed it and that you weren’t let down! 🙂

    • Haha! It’s okay Brittany. While I liked this book, I didn’t enjoy the other books I read as much. Now we both can be *those* people. 😀

  2. Oh man, The Fault in Our Stars truly killed me. I was a fifteen year old with Stage IV thyroid cancer several years ago (luckily survived and was not as awful as Hazel’s condition), so too much of what Hazel goes through and feels about cancer resonated so strongly with me. I do agree about Augustus though, he was lovable, but not like many 17 year old boys out there.

  3. I’m glad you read it!! John Green is awesome, you should try Looking for Alaska! The only thing I didn’t like about the book was how it made me think about life too much. I stayed up half the night thinking about how I’m going to die and there will be a day where no one will even remember that I existed. DEPRESSING!! but beautiful at that the same time.

    • I’ll have to add that to my list! I read several John Green books after this but not that one. I know what you mean. That’s horribly depressing to think about!

  4. Glad you enjoyed this one! I liked it…. but… I dunno. Didn’t love it. I did have a really hard time believing the trip to Amsterdam. No way my parents would have let me do that, cancer or no! Anyway… other than that and maybe some tiny other things, I enjoyed this one. But it didn’t leave me wanting more John Green.

    • Hoorary! I’m glad I’m not alone for thinking the travel thing was a bit weird.

      I don’t think you missed too much by not reading his other books. I read a few and I *liked* them. They were okay but certainly no better/worse than other contemporary books out there.

  5. I agree that this book was raw. I was okay with the really quick relationship because thinking you don’t have much of a future kind of excuses the “let’s be rational and move along slowly” stage of a relationship imo. Although it isn’t really realistic, so I get what you mean. This was my first John Green book and this book made me feel so awful about everything that I’m sort of scared to read more by him (maybe in a good way?). Anyway, great review.

    • You should definitely try another book or two by him. I will warn you that I did like this one the best out of the ones I read. The others (An Abundance of Katherines and Paper Towns) were a bit lackluster for me.

  6. I’m glad you liked this book. I liked it too. It’s not a book I will ever want to reread but I’m so glad I was brave enough to read it.

  7. Ah, I totally agree with you on the Netherlands trip and the instalove thing. Otherwise, still a great book!

  8. Hey, on the page 26 Hazel says that she already has GED (what as I understand means she has successfully finished high school, right?) and she is taking classes at MCC. Does that means she is a regular student at the college?
    The thing with GED sounds very weird to me, as a friend of mine had breast cancer without mets. She only had a few radio and 6 chemo rounds and that already was hard. She couldn’t even concentrate herself on reading a aimple book during whole treatment and a while after it. After all it took her almost over 2 years to recover completely and be able to study.

    • Yes, I think that makes her a regular student.

      GED is a test that you can take. It covers everything you learned through out school. Some people know the material pretty well so taking the test and passing it would be easy for them. Overall taking a 2-3 hour test might be easier for some people rather than trying to finish out high school.

      • That’s a good thing. So far I know there is no such test neither in Lithuania nor in Germany.
        But this thing with studying sounds really odd to me, though I don’t know that much people who have survived cancer…

  9. Hey, could you please explain me this “re” thing?
    “I have been waiting to call you on a nearly minutely basis, but I have been waiting until I could form a coherent thought in re An Imperial Affliction” (he said “in re”. He really did. That boy.)

    • “Re” generally means regarding or about. In that example it would be I’ve been waiting until I could form a thought about Imperial Affliction. It’s usually something that shows up in written for like in an email.

  10. “No, I can’t believe that both sets of parents would be okay with sending their kids to a different country when the kids has only known each other for a couple months.”
    I can believe it very well, but maybe because originally I come from East Europe. In my times children were way more independent than in any other country outside SSRS, and they still are, though not that extreme as I have been used to be being 5.
    And I know 17-year-old teenagers who went all alone abroad to attend festivals. So I wasn’t surprised about Gus and Hazel going to Amsterdam, plus Hazel’s mother came with. So their trip didn’t seem to me to be something extra ordinary-
    But I do get your point since you come from a little different reality =))))
    I loved this Amsterdam-Part of the book very much and I am planing to go over next summer. Thank God it is not that far away =)
    I loved Hazel, her sarcasm and honesty about whole cancer-situation.
    At the end I really got annoyed about her parents, when they didn’t want let her go to meet Augustus. They knew Augustus’s story was nearly finished and decided it is on the time to begin bitching that “hey! we barely see you!”. Though, I can understand them, but come on, there are only few days left! Oh well, this never ending parents and their children story…

    • I don’t know for me the idea of spending thousands of dollars to travel across the world with someone you barely know is strange to me. It’s probably one of those “cancer perks.”

      That was really annoying! I understand being upset about not seeing her but she had a very good reason to be gone so much.

      • But they didn’t spent any penny for that travel, so why not?
        And it could be even worse, just like in my case! I have moved to Germany and started to live with a guy after knowing him only 2 months, haha XDD He is my husband now and we are the 6th year together xPPP

        Yup, I would go SO mad, if I were her!

  11. Pingback: Listed: Love is in the Air | The Cheap Reader

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