Book Review: The Fault In Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars
The Fault In Our Stars
By: John Green
Published by Dutton
Release Date: January 10, 2012
Genre: YA contemporary
313 pages
Buy it on Amazon, IndieBound
 or Barnes and Noble
Source: purchased by reviewer

I read this book 6 months ago, and it's still bouncing around in my head. I've read at least 30 books since having read The Fault In Our Stars, and I still can't get it out of my mind. Why didn't I review it before now? Because the best reads are the hardest to put into words. It's difficult to translate such strong feeling into words that are appropriately expressive.

I found this book in the middle of a summer book binge. I'm not even sure why I found it; I'm sure someone was kind enough to recommend it. What I do know is that I picked it up one morning, and had finished it before I headed to bed. I had other things planned for that day, but I couldn't be bothered. The thought of setting this book aside for a few hours made my heart ache. So I just didn't.

Our heroine is Hazel Lancaster, a 16-year-old living with thyroid cancer, a condition that should have killed her a couple of years ago. Hazel's situation requires that she live differently than most teen girls- the most glaring example of this is the oxygen tank which accompanies her at all times. Hazel is
unable to attend school,and unwilling to create attachments, fearing that she will only eventually leave a wake of sorrow when she dies. She is, at the beginning of the book, isolated and resigned.

This changes when Augustus Waters shows up for a cancer kids support group meeting Hazel attends. He is in remission, attending the meeting with a friend- and forms a quick bond with Hazel. He challenges her to live life more fully. He keeps up with her intellectually, and makes her pick up the pace. He is unapologetically honest and affectionate and wholly himself. I completely understand why Hazel falls in love with him; I do, too, every time I pick the book back up.

A word about plot: There are major events, of course. The plot is beautifully crafted, and works in the background doing exactly what it's supposed to do, like clockwork. It's there, but the real star of the show is the impressive characterization.

I have listed above that I've purchased this book. In truth, I originally borrowed it from the public library. I was sad when I had to return it, and eventually purchased my own copy. I wanted to be able to revisit these characters. I wanted to be able to hand it to my children to read. I wanted to show my appreciation to the author, and encourage the publisher to continue printing his work. Mostly because I'll be reading every single thing John Green publishes- both for the entertainment value, and for the gorgeous example of how YA should be written.

Summary from GoodReads:
Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 13, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumors 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 tumors 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.


  1. i have meaning to read this book since it released but was putting it of for later but your review has assured me that i need to get it asap.

    great review

    Le' Grande Codex

  2. I am not a YA fan but if this is how it was written I surely would be. I loved this one also and think it will stand the test of time for sure.

  3. WOW!
    I have heard SO MANY good things about The Fault In Out Stars. All of them are so encouraging.
    Dark contemporary reads are my cup of tea, and I am pretty sure that when I read this book I will be like :Why haven't i read this sooner?
    GREAT review, Paula!
    Your constant reader,

  4. This wasn't my favorite Green novel. In fact, I had a hard time enjoying it. I struggle a bit with this author.

  5. This one made me cry (a lot!) which is rare for me. Very well written and touching!

  6. My best friend is absolutely obsessed with this book, as is half the internet it seems. I have no idea why I haven't borrowed it from her yet. No doubt I'll find it as wonderful as everyone else does :)

  7. I read TFIOS earlier this year and cried my eyes out, was SO happy when I got my own copy for Christmas

  8. I loved this book a lot! I have the print version and the audiobook, which is fantastically narrated. I have enjoyed all of John Green's books, but this one punched me in the feelings in a big way. He does a great job of writing characters that I would genuinely love to know.

  9. LOVED it!! It was such an emotional, real, heartbreaking read. I loved all characters, I loved how each was a teenager and faced teenage issues on top of all the problems they had. I loved how parts were funny!

    Lovely review :)

  10. I have never, ever read something that resounded so much in me Paula! After reading The Fault in Our Stars a few months ago, I wanted to review it, but I avoided it for so long that eventually I forgot what I wanted to say. Not on purpose of course, but because it was so hard to describe what I felt for this story and it's characters. They affected me so much as well and every so often I think about them again and again and that's how I know I loved this world John Green created! I hope I can purchase this book soon just so I can reread the story all over again. It is truly beautiful.

  11. I have read the book twice, and it is beautiful and heartbreaking all at the same time. It doesn't gloss over the ugliness of being sick, but it gives us all hope of finding our own little infinities.

  12. WOW! This would be one of my favorite books. This is just so perfect! TFIOS is my first ever book/ya novel I purchased and read. It's just perfectly written, the characters, the story, and the author, John Green which is very genius! Though, it broke my heart, it's really good! How's your heart after reading it? I hope you're okay :)

  13. I love all the characters in the book - I love how they're individuals and their struggles don't define who they are, they still act like teens. I loved the romance as well!

    Lovely review :)

  14. I've been wanting to read this since it first came out, and haven't. I have no good reason as to why though.
    Sad still, I have the movie in my screening room. (I review for Fox Pictures). I don't really want to watch it unless I read the book.
    I'm torn.
    Great review. Emphasizes why I need to read the book before seeing the movie.


Post a Comment

We love your comments!