Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.
First published: 2012
I knew John Green as one half of the vlogbrothers before I knew him as a novelist, and I thought of him as a somewhat goofy but passionate and really intelligent guy who makes great Youtube videos, both silly and serious.
And then I read The Fault in Our Stars and was completely blown away.
I’d heard and read many wonderful things about this novel and I was really curious to find out what kind of writer this man I knew as a vlogger and self-proclaimed nerd would be, so I ordered the book and I read it. As it turns out, John Green is an extraordinary author.
When reading the blurb on the back of the book I didn’t think this novel had the potential to become my new favourite book, but when I started reading I quickly fell in love. For someone who couldn’t be less like a sixteen-year-old teenage girl suffering from terminal cancer, John (I’m not going to call him “Green”, that just feels weird) does an amazing job writing one. In fact, I don’t think it could have been done better if attempted. Hazel is witty, smart and philosophical. She’s angry at the world for dealing her a crappy hand in life, but she’s also angry because that’s just what being a teenager is like.
The best thing about Hazel, however, and about the entire book, is that the cancer does not define her. Yes, she’s affected by it — she has to walk around with a cannula to help her breathe all the time because her lungs don’t work properly — but it is not who she is. She’s hilarious, and I recognised myself in her so strongly in the following passage, even though, at first glance, it seems entirely cancer related:
“[…]She knelt down next to the bed and unscrewed me from my large, rectangular oxygen concentrator, which I called Philip, because it just kind of looked like a Philip.”
The thing about this book is that it doesn’t have a miraculously original plot, it’s the characters who make this novel so great. I started to care deeply for Hazel and Augustus and I got sucked into the story in a way that doesn’t happen to me that often. The way John writes his story is remarkable — it’s simple and funny but at the same time it’s deep and philosophical, and more sad than anything I’ve ever read.
Because, people, I can tell you this much: This book is either going to make you cry, or it’s going to make you want to cry.
Even though this book is “officially” a Young Adult novel, I’m recommending it to anyone who likes a beautiful story.
Yes, it’s sad, but it’s also really, really wonderful.
10 thoughts on “The Fault in Our Stars by John Green”
My copy of The Fault in Our Stars arrived today. I’m so excited to read it, having read your review, it sounds great! I’ve heard a lot about it and having seen the trailer I wanted to read it before watching the film. Looking forward to it!
Ohh, you’ll love it! I have yet to talk to a person who’s read TFiOS and didn’t love it. 🙂
And another favorite of mine. 😉
You have good taste! 😉