The Fault in Our Stars

by John Green

Hardcover, 2012

Call number

JF GRE

Collection

Publication

Dutton Books (2012), Edition: 1st, 318 pages

Description

Sixteen-year-old Hazel, a stage IV thyroid cancer patient, has accepted her terminal diagnosis until a chance meeting with a boy at cancer support group forces her to reexamine her perspective on love, loss, and life.

Media reviews

2 more
VOYA
Allison Hunter Hill (VOYA, April 2012 (Vol. 35, No. 1)) Hazel Grace is a sixteen-year-old cancer patient, caught up in the effort it takes to live in a body that everyone knows is running out of time. When she reluctantly agrees to return to her local teen cancer support group to satisfy her mother, the last thing she expects is an encounter with destiny. New to the group, Augustus Waters is handsome, bitingly sarcastic, and in remission. He is also immediately taken with Hazel, and what begins as a casual friendship soon escalates into a full romance. Through an impressive exchange of books and words, philosophies and metaphors, Hazel and Augustus tear apart what it means to be both star-crossed lovers and imminently mortal. While Hazel fixates about how her death will eventually hurt her loved ones, Augustus obsesses about how he will be remembered; the two are drawn together by the justified anxiety they feel over endings. grades 10 to Ages 15 to 18.

User reviews

LibraryThing member lauralkeet
Three days after finishing this book, I still can't find words that will do it justice in a review. All I know is this: I don't think I've ever read a book that gave me a lump in my throat from start to finish. Or one that, three days later, still conjures up a sad, pressurized feeling in my chest when I think about it. I've certainly never loved a book that had those effects on me.

Hazel is sixteen and living with terminal cancer. Medication has extended her life, but has not changed her prognosis. She attends a support group for kids with cancer, and there she meets Augustus, who has been cancer free since surgery to remove a leg. He's very good-looking, and the two are instantly attracted to each other. But Hazel initially resists becoming romantically involved, knowing it can't last:
I wanted to know that he would be okay if I died. I wanted to not be a grenade, to not be a malevolent force in the lives of people I loved.

Augustus is persistent, and he eventually wins her over. Their love blossoms through their shared experiences at support group. She shares her favorite book with him (the story of a girl who dies of cancer), and they obsess about the author. They play Augustus' favorite video game, which is a kind of metaphor for their cancer battles. They deal with the ups and downs of teenage life, which are remarkably normal and even funny, considering everything else they have to deal with. And of course, there is a shared adventure which cements their bond:
What else? She is so beautiful. You don’t get tired of looking at her. You never worry if she is smarter than you: You know she is. She is funny without ever being mean. I love her. I am so lucky to love her, Van Houten. You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world, old man, but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices. I hope she likes hers.

I loved Hazel's confidence and attitude, and Augustus' courage and caring. Even though their story has an inevitable conclusion, the ending is unexpected and very, very moving. I can't recommend this book highly enough.
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LibraryThing member jnwelch
"The six or seven or ten of us walked/wheeled in, grazed at a decrepit selection of cookies and lemonade, sat down in the Circle of Trust, and listened to Patrick recount for the thousandth time his depressingly miserable life story - how he had cancer in his balls and they thought he was going to die but he didn't die and now here he is, a full-grown adult in a church basement in the 137th nicest city in America, divorced, addicted to video games, mostly friendless, eking out a meager living by exploiting his cancertastic past, slowly working his way toward a master's degree that will not improve his career prospects, waiting, as we all do, for the sword of Damocles to give him the relief that he escaped lo those many years ago when cancer took both of his nuts but spared what only the most generous soul would call his life.

AND YOU TOO MIGHT BE SO LUCKY!"

Be ready for caustic and cold-blooded wit in this YA novel featuring cancer-plagued (but surviving) 17 year old Hazel. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green currently is #1 on the YA bestseller list, and that seems like cause for real optimism about our younger readers. As you can tell, this story pulls no punches. When Patrick importunes the young cancer-ridden attendees to share their feelings, they barely resist gagging. And yet feelings are repeatedly and honestly shared throughout this ground-breaking book. Honesty may be its most outstanding quality, as the characters (parents, friends, paramours, even a misbehaving author) repeatedly give each other the straight dope, and make fun of their own impairments and each other's.

At my son's bar mitzvah (I'm not Jewish, but my crew is - Reform, which means I can attend), we had packets of tissues on each seat that had a label saying, "I was at Jesse's bar mitzvah". Those that have attended this kind of ceremony know that waterworks are inevitable. You may want to get a packet of "I read The Fault in Our Stars" tissues for this one, because only those with hearts of stone are going to get through it dry.

My wife, who read this first, refused to tell me much about it, and I'm going to have to do the same here. It is too susceptible to spoilers. But, just as she recommended it to me, I recommend it to you. Even though he looks in his photo like a teenager himself, this author knows his way around (he has a legion of fans; I've read his Paper Towns and An Abundance of Katherines, both of which were excellent). The issues addressed here - mortality, suffering, love, meaning, fate - could not be more fundamental or important. Hazel is remarkable, and her relationships with others in the book are funny, sad, gripping, and honest. There's that word again. Her parents, and other parents in the book, come across in real ways, not the concocted ones we too often encounter. This author has tackled a story - stories - which won't let you go. While some of the underpinnings seem fanciful (including the impact of her favorite book), the endings of these stories ring true, and irresistibly engage us at a level we have all reluctantly experienced, or will experience, or joyfully have experienced, or will experience. The amount of joy in this book cannot be overstated, and that is a major part of its message.
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LibraryThing member brenzi
Holey moley! Grab the biggest box of Kleenex you can find before you sit down and open the first page of this book. From the first page, you know it’s about kids with cancer. Is there a more depressing subject? I can’t think of one. Even the end of the earth, where millions of people, yourself included, face certain death, doesn’t blow a hole in your heart the way the subject of innocent children with terminal cancer does. So from the first page, my thought was, “I just want to get this over with, and fast.” And it was a very fast read.

Written for the YA audience, Green uses language that young adults can relate to and sympathize with, while at the same time explaining the horrors of being caught in the cancer cycle that parents, friends and victims themselves must all traverse with trepidation. Being in the eye of the storm is a harrowing experience and yet remission is always an uncertain thing.

At the center of the story are two teenagers, Hazel, who has always, since her original diagnosis, been considered terminal and former basketball star, Augustus Waters, who is in remission. They meet through a support group and fall, head over heels in love. I know what you’re thinking, “This can’t end up well.” But we follow their ups and downs as their relationship solidifies….and their diseases tear through their young bodies.

As disheartening as the subject matter is, there is much to like about this book. Green gloriously, through these two main characters, explains how it is possible to live through a dreadful disease and even thrive within its repulsive borders. They are wise beyond their years, accepting of their situation, and wanting to know only whether they will leave a mark in the world or be remembered in any way. They astutely acknowledge that “the world is not a wish-granting factory.” Hazel bemoans:

”I missed the future…thinking about Lidewij and her boyfriend, I felt robbed. I would probably never again see the ocean from thirty thousand feet above, so far up that you can’t make out the waves or any boats, so that the ocean is a great and endless monolith. I could imagine it. I could remember it. But I couldn’t see it again, and it occurred to me that the voracious ambition of humans is never sated by dreams coming true, because there is always the thought that everything might be done better and again.” (Page 305)

Oh and I almost needed a second box of Kleenex. But I also laughed a lot through this book. Green was very good at creating a balance between light-hearted passages and moments that tore my heart out. Sort of like life. Highly recommended.
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LibraryThing member Whisper1
Cassius:
"The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings."
Julius Caesar (I, ii, 140-141)

What if per chance Shakespeare got it all wrong? What if the stars and fate really are all wrong. What if life, randomly deals a nasty draw of the cards? What if when the spin of the dial occurs, some are left healthy and others are dealt a cruel blow of cancer at an early age?

What if two young teen aged souls meet, bond beyond their pain, reach out in the universe for each other, knowing that life is short for them and every day is precious?

What if life truly isn't fair? What if in knowing that fact, we reach for the stars, venturing forth on a path that is at times dark and yet can be filled with bright moonlight?

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Oh, how I love this book!!! Without over sentimentality, John Green captured the essence of life, of grief, of risking and of the desire to hope for tomorrow while embracing today.

Read this book! You will laugh. You will cry! And, you will savor the pages of wisdom.

Five Stars.
Highly recommended!
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LibraryThing member msf59
"The fault, dear Brutus is not in our stars, / But in ourselves, that we are underlings."
-Julius Caesar

Hazel Grace Lancaster is sixteen and has been living with terminal cancer for three years. Her best friends are her parents and Peter Van Houten, the reclusive author of her favorite book, “An Imperial Affliction”. A man she has never met. Hazel has earned her GED and lives quietly at home.
One day, while attending a kids with cancer support group, she meets Augustus Waters, a good-looking and charming boy, who suffers from bone cancer and the two immediately hit it off. This warm relationship, begins to open many doors for Hazel, doors that she has bolted closed.
Why would you want to read this sad story, about dying children? Well, for several reasons. It’s bright and funny. It gives a revealing look into the minds of these kids, who just want to be treated like everyone else. Their courage and inner-strength is jaw-dropping. I hope this is enough for you to give it a try. It’s a beautiful book and yes you will cry, but the tears will be well-earned.
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LibraryThing member Pejch
You want an honest review?
I'll give you an honest review.
This story ruined my education. My grades were seriously down because of all the time I could read this story, I chose to do it at the end of the year, next to the finals. Yay!
I couldn't put the book down. I read and read and read and it still wasn't enough. I don't want to give any spoilers, but, but...

WHY?!

Why would someone write such an awesome, teary, too perfect to be true story? Why?! I think I spend all my tissues.

But, I don't regret a thing. This story is truly... amazing. No words could describe it. The characters were real, their flaws were real, their love and hate and feeling and everything was real.

A five out of five.
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LibraryThing member Jenners26
Before this book, I’d read another John Green book, Looking for Alaska, that everyone seemed to adore but left me feeling cold. So when I started seeing stellar reviews for this book, I was a bit skeptical that it would entrance me as much as everyone else. Still, way too many bloggers that I trusted absolutely raved about how amazing and uplifting and funny and sad this book was that I felt I had to give it a chance. So I did. (And I stayed up way too late last night finishing it.) As I wiped away my tears and hit the sack, it occurred to me that the perfect way to review this book would be to capture my feelings about it as the five stages of grief. (Very apropos given that the subject of the book is teenagers with cancer.) So before I forget this brilliant, middle of the night inspiration, I’m writing my review the day after finishing the book (which is pretty much unprecedented for me as I still have reviews to write for books I read in APRIL!!!)

Stage 1: Denial (before starting the book): This book can’t possibly be as good as everyone says it is. How can a book about teens with cancer be funny and uplifting yet also heart-breaking? And a YA book that really moves me? Bah humbug. I’m too old for these YA books. They disappoint me more often than not.

Stage 2: Anger (within the first five chapters): Damn it! This book is brilliant! I’m loving Hazel Grace and Augustus Waters and their witty repartee and view of life. Why did I wait so long to read this? Why did I delay? Why didn’t I listen? What if I’d decided to chump out and not read this and MISSED IT? Arggghhh…you stupid fool!

Stage 3: Bargaining (about the middle of the book): I don’t want this book to end. I want to stay with these characters longer. If I slow down my reading pace, I can spread the delight of this book out over a few days. Maybe if I start another book, this book will never end and I’ll get to read it for days and days.

Stage 4: Depression (at about the three-quarter mark until the end): I can barely read through my tears and my smiles. I’m having my heart broken by this author over and over. Such emotion and pain and laughter and feelings of truth and beauty. Each page takes me closer to the end of this amazing gem of a book and I don’t want that to happen.

Stage 5: Acceptance (now): Everyone was right. The Fault In Our Stars is a truly special book that transcends the YA genre and speaks to the human heart. It is fierce and funny and unapologetic and realistic and it broke my heart in the best of ways. A true five-star read and one I’m grateful to have read. Thank you, John Green. I bow before you in your brilliance. You’re no Peter Van Houten!
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LibraryThing member nbmars
This is a book about some teenagers with cancer, but it is not at all a sob story. Since it is one of the best books I’ve ever read, it is difficult for me to do it justice with a review. I looked at other reviews and they have words and phrases I would use too: exquisite; extraordinary; tough; damn near genius; heart-wrenching; brimming with joy; elegantly plotted; touching valentine to the human spirit; beautiful, shining sentences that you just want to underline in every single colour and cut out and put on the wall and glue onto postcards; freaking amazing….

The book is narrated by Hazel, age 16, who has Stage IV thyroid cancer with lung metastases. She makes two friends at a cancer support group: Isaac, who is going blind, and Augustus, who has an amputated leg from osteosarcoma. In spite of Hazel’s attraction to Augustus, she tries to avoid him, because she feels like a grenade. I.e., it won’t be long before she blows up (that is, dies), and when she does, she doesn’t want to take any more casualties with her than necessary. Letting someone love her, she thinks, is an act of violence against him. But eventually she becomes convinced by Augustus that hurt is inevitable, and that even though you can’t prevent it, you can choose who hurts you.

Discussion: There are many issues raised in this book that are important. (And they are raised with a great deal of humor and sarcasm, so that sober points get made in a way that are all the more effective for being so funny.) Some are obvious yet often ignored, such as the way people with cancer would like to be seen as “people” rather than as “cancer victims,” and how much it hurts to be abandoned by so many others who become uncomfortable around them. Another related point is that cancer doesn’t make those who have it into martyrs and saints; they experience depression and anger and crabbiness just like anyone else. Again, they want to be accepted as "people."

But the biggest, most recurring theme is that of the complimentary fears of oblivion and lack of opportunity to experience love and life, and how much it weighs upon these people who are destined by their stars to die young. Augustus in particular is plagued by the notion of oblivion, and Hazel by her desire to find out how things turn out for the people she loves. Together, through an unexpected opportunity, Hazel and Augustus work out their apprehensions, as well as their distress over the “inhuman nihilism of suffering” – not restricted, after all, to those who have cancer.

Generally textuality has limitations, imposing a need to fit ineffable emotional experience inside the reason-heavy framework mandated by conventions of literature. Thus emotion can be disempowered or even neutralized. John Green manages somehow to overcome this barrier. His description of the pain of the loss of a person you love is the best I’ve ever read. You might wonder: why would I want to have such pain made so real? I would answer that if you’ve ever been through it, you’ll appreciate that someone has actually figured out how to articulate it, because the common description of “it was a really bad time” just doesn’t do it!

Evaluation: Everyone who has ever searched for the meaning of life – and in particular, who has queried the significance of his or her own life, should read this eloquent disquisition on the struggle of the human spirit to leave a mark, any mark, that says to the world: I WAS HERE.

Yes, this book demands courage to read it. While there is no facile sentimentality, there is raw sorrow and pain. But even more so, there is a great deal of humor, joy, and love. In a world of books in which you get to choose which ones will hurt you, I would choose this one every time.
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LibraryThing member MickyFine
Hazel was diagnosed with terminal cancer when she was 13 and been trying desperately to be more than just the girl with cancer for the past three years. When she meets Augustus Waters, who after losing his leg to osteosarcoma is now cancer-free, at Support Group, he is the most beautiful boy she has ever seen. As Hazel and Augustus form a bond, they face the challenges that come with knowing your own death is imminent and deal with the utterly unfair fate that has been given to them.

This is not a cancer book. Oh sure, all of the main characters must deal with cancer in some way, but the novel is so much more than that. It is funny, sweet, romantic, and at times, achingly sad. Green deftly weaves through themes of life and death, as would be expected with the subject matter, but he also explores the idea of authorship and the importance that books hold for each individual reader. There are also so many passages in this book where he phrases an idea that just blows me away. Funny and real, this book doesn't pull punches and leaves an impact that emphasizes how every relationship can shape us, no matter what phase of our life we're in.
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LibraryThing member creighley
A poignant and realistic look at teens trying to find a semblence of normality in a world of cancer. Hazel has terminal cancer and meets Augustus at her kids-with-cancer support group. Excellent, sad story of Augustus and Hazel who immediately feel a connection to each other as they struggle to answer the questions, Will I be remembered? Will my life have mattered? Beautifully written .... as one reads one fluctuates between laughter and tears.… (more)
LibraryThing member baswood
After I had breezed through this novel I asked myself "Have I just read a slappy happy story about terminally ill cancer patients or is there something more": after all the cancer background seemed convincing and I thought that the character of Hazel Grace: who tells the story in the first person was well drawn. Well let us be clear about one thing: this is first and foremost a romantic comedy, written in the best Hollywood tradition, nothing gets in the way of the central love story, not even terminal cancer. It is aimed at a youth market, many of whom will know just what to expect from the many films that are aimed to tug at the heart strings, but be witty and entertaining at the same time. Never mind the improbable situations (there are far too many in this book) because we are in fantasy land.

The trick for John Green was to write a novel about star-crossed lovers which still had enough feel good factor to make it a popular read. Teminally ill cancer patients would seem to be quite a challenge, but not really if you are clear from the start that they are going to die, but before they do, they will experience that most wonderful thing "true love". Augustus Waters is the perfect tragic hero, a teenage hunk (ex basket ball player) who always says the right thing and has a confidence and savoir faire far beyond his 17 years of age. He is hot and he thinks Hazel Grace is hot too, so that's alright then. These are white middle class adolescents, with loving parents and enough money to go jaunting off to Europe. They expect to get the best treatment and are not disappointed.

I can't really comment on the levels of erudition in the conversation of the young people, but suspect it is massively over-egged. Green tries to impart some wisdom about living, or in the case of Hazel and Augustus living with a terminal illness and comes up with a couple of nice sounding metaphors that would appeal to the movie crowd. I suppose it's in his favour that he never had me reaching for the sick-bucket and kept me reasonably entertained for the most part, but there is nothing more to this book than what is needed to create a best seller. This book was chosen by my book club and as I suspected, it is a frothy, light and above all safe read. 2.5 stars.
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LibraryThing member stephxsu
16-year-old cancer patient Hazel has been in and out of hospitals for years. The routine of her daily existence, however, is drastically shaken when she meets Augustus Waters, in remission and more fascinating than any one young man should have the right to be. Hazel struggles with whether or not to let Augustus into her tenuous life, and in the process goes on the trip of her life and just might find someone who makes life worth living.

In this day and age, the line between artist and art is a blurred and confused one. Publishers encourage their authors to have an online presence—and no author has been more successful at that than John Green, with his popular YouTube videos and millions of Nerdfighter followers. It is nearly impossible to separate THE FAULT IN OUR STARS from its hype, should you even want to do that. In between or in spite of the cancerkid plotline, TFiOS is distinctly John Green, and that comes with its pros and cons.

Pros: TFiOS is chock-full of John Green-isms. His characters are, in a sense, himself; he is his characters. Theoretically (or technically) this is true for all writers and their characters, but the public John Green himself is already such a character that Hazel, Augustus, and the others just seem like extensions of his online persona. His words in their mouths. They’re far from being bad words, no, but they’re very recognizably his, and readers who perhaps were trying to appreciate the characters and the writings on their own may find it a slightly more difficult job.

Cons: Having grown up reading John Green—that is, having read each of his novels within a few weeks after they were released—it’s interesting observing the development (or lack thereof) of his subsequent novels. That John Green is good at what he does is no secret. He’s funny, he’s insightful, he’s energetic. But he could’ve done more with Hazel, Augustus, and the others. Instead, his characters and stories seem to stall at “witty” and never progress to “profound.” Events could have been expanded into something bigger and more meaningful; instead, things were rushed or felt simply like vehicles for comic relief.

That being said, I still felt that THE FAULT IN OUR STARS was a great read. I always enjoy reading about smart characters, and there were plenty of moments where I nearly jumped up and ran around to find someone to show a particular quote to. We need more YA like this, this combination of humor and intelligence and interesting thoughts. TFiOS being a cancer book, there are certain things that we readers can expect over the course of the story, which dampened the end effect for me somewhat.

The TFiOS reading experience brings up the interesting dilemma of whether or not we readers should consider our relationship with and knowledge of the author when reading his or her book. How you enjoy THE FAULT IN OUR STARS, then, sort of depends on your context. On its own and compared to nothing, it’s a pretty good book with its funny and sad moments. Compared to YA lit as a whole, it’s rather respectable and reason for encouraging more books of its kind. Compared to The John Green Persona, however, it’s a mere middling extension of what he’s already good at, and doesn’t do anything new.

Doesn’t mean, though, that I didn’t enjoy it.
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LibraryThing member Capnrandm
I didn't know what to expect when I picked up this book, I hadn't read a blurb or a review but rather rave after rave that almost casually listed THE FAULT IN OUR STARS amongst their favorite books. A foregone conclusion that required no elaboration.

And so I wasn't prepared when I picked up this book. I didn't know it would be a love story, a dying story, an exploration of impermenance and grieving and survival. I didn't know that the heroine would have the same condition my father once did. Once. Before. I didn't know that Hazel and Augustus would think and quip and break my heart, then sooth the wounds with their own clarity and strength and generosity. In exploring their deaths, this is a book to change lives, to lance wounds, to poke fun. This is a beautiful story.… (more)
LibraryThing member TheMadHatters
Hazel, a sixteen year-old girl suffering from cancer, has already accepted that the rest of her life is going to be short and not particularly exciting. Enter Augustus, a boy in remission that falls in love with Hazel almost at first sight and wiggles his way into her heart with a fierce determination. I loved this book, even though I knew from the beginning that Hazel and Augustus would not have a happily-ever-after. Hazel's wit and frank evaluation of her illness combined with Augustus's humor make an otherwise tragic storyline beautiful, poignant and memorable.… (more)
LibraryThing member jesseeclemens
Yeah, this one pretty much bowled me over, almost from the get-go.

I've read all three of Green's other books, and enjoyed them all in slightly varying degrees, but I can say right up front that this work takes his actual writing, the poetic crafting of his sentences, the unforced gravity and feeling of his ideas, to an entirely different plateau. I have to admit, in the previous three books, it's sometimes been tempting to write off his characters (especially the male narrators) as unrealistic "prodigies," thinly-veiled externalizations of Green's very developed, adult mind into a young adult framework. In this book, however, both Hazel (Green's refreshing first attempt at a female narrator) and Augustus are amazingly developed. Their high-concept banter and well-turned inner thoughts come off as honest, engaging reflections, not impositions on believability; they make you have hope for the ability of today's youth to, as Green wonderfully say it, "imagine people more complexly." This is even more admirable for the fact that every line and event works towards establishing solid themes of death, loss of self, and the need to "matter"/leave a legacy for the living.

Even just from reading the book jacket, we know how all of this is going to end; into this scenario rife with despair and pain, Green throws in love like a time bomb, and we watch how these characters pass it back and forth, keeping it aloft until the very end; and it's both totally expected and totally devastating whose hands it goes off in. The characters resist all cliched tropes about love overcoming death, instead using it to propel the living forward into making greater realizations about themselves and their place in the world. Augustus's letter to van Houten about Hazel at the end of the book is tear-jerking and unmercifully good.

This book also seems like it has a smaller focus of characters than the other books, and that's all to the better. The stuff with Peter van Houten and his assistant is great; I love how Green has no pride in making the only author in the book a slovenly, drunken ass (as if cautioning his fans not to equate love of books with love of their authors). Isaac is a great character, with all the things that his blindness allows us to explore. The trophy-smashing scene, making out in Anne Frank's house...all of it with a sheen of hard-won honesty (through revision, I expect) and efficiency; not a word, or thought, is wasted.

Just a beautiful book, one that I think could transcend its genre into the "classic" realm. Thank you, John Green, and as always...

DFTBA!
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LibraryThing member thenightbookmobile
The Fault In Our Stars took its rightful place as my first (and so far only) five star book of the year. I am actually not a hardcore John Green fan. I read Looking for Alaska and fell in love with it. I count it among my favorite books. I always meant to pick up more of his work but for some reason I never did, until now. With all of the hype surrounding the book I felt caught up in the excitement. It was extremely cool of John to sign so many (150,000!) copies of the book. I was also aware of special copies that had fish or yeti's drawn in them. I went on a spontaneous scavenger hunt for the drawings (no luck though!) and I can assure you that the people at the book store thought I was borderline certifiable. I was the only one in the store at Booksamillion at night, so they were staring at me as I searched through the books on the display and I said "I am just looking for a fish. He drew fish in some of them." which resulted in some side eyes and polite nodding. Personally, book scavenger hunts are the best scavenger hunts. I don't know who wouldn't want to participate.

Now, on to the book. From reading the synopsis I was fairly certain that The Fault In Our Stars was going to be a big downer. There is nothing wrong with that, the subject matter is hard, and important. However, imagine my surprise when the opposite was true! Leave it to John Green to take a book about death and make me laugh out loud and smile all the way through. I was wrong from the start. This book isn't about death. It's about life. Sad, beautiful, ugly, infuriating, fake, wonderful, crazy, spontaneous, short, long... life. Though that isn't to say I didn't cry. I definitely did.

Hazel comes across as a very real teenager. So do her cohorts, Isaac and Augustus. All three suffer from some form of cancer, but they don't become caricatures, they aren't defined by their disease. We all know books that tend to do that. Allow the characters to become the disease. To be defined by it. In fact, people are even guilty of this in real life. I am pleased to say that John Green handles the characters beautifully. It all feels real, and the ugly moments aren't glossed over. Hazel and Augustus would be most pleased with this.

The romance here feels 100% true. It doesn't feel like a necessary addition to the plot added in only for the sake of having a romance. It doesn't conform to any color by numbers chart. It doesn't try to be dramatic just for the sake of the drama. It just feels... honest. What can I say about this book other than the fact that it's honest? That I felt like it contained so many of the thoughts in my head? Or that the characters reminded me of me or the people that I know? John Green gave such life to these characters that it hardly feels like fiction at all. Though, as we know from the front of the book, it most definitely is.

This book is extremely quotable. You know how you lay in bed at night and tons of wonderful ideas and sentences pour into your head and you promise yourself that you will write them down in the morning? John Green makes books out of his. Every word of this book feels like a near dream.

"I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once."
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LibraryThing member breakingdownslowly
I’ve had a few days to digest my thoughts on this book. I finished at three in the morning on Friday, tears still streaking down my face. I told myself to wait to post the review because damn it all, I was in no state to be thinking coherently.

So, in those days of rumination where I’ve only finished one other book and started a reread of an equally devastating book, what have I come up with?

This is not a Cancer Book. This is a book about Hazel Grace and Augustus Waters, two teenagers who deal with cancer on a daily basis in some form or another.

This is a book about two incredibly, almost unbelievably at times, intelligent teenagers who love books and feel passionately. They’re sarcastic and witty and if they were real, I’d want them to be my best friends.

This is a book about love and grief and handling every emotion you could have. It’s a book about how families deal with loss and about how those with seemingly no hope find hope and laughter. It’s a book about survival.

This is not a Cancer Book, this is not a book about death; this is a book about life.

I laughed, I cried through most of the last 50 pages, even making myself stop and clean my cat’s litterbox at one point so I could calm down enough to continue, I thought about life, I whipped out the little yellow bookmarks and used all of them to finish bookmarking this book. I loved and I lost and I became a member of two little families, one biological and one hand chosen.

Though I’ve never been in love personally, I was in love while I read this book. I’ve never battled cancer, but my lungs seemed to limp along like Hazel’s (it didn’t help I had this horrendous cough at the time that physically hurt my lungs). I’ve never been to Amsterdam, but that’s where I was while I read part of this book.

This is not a Cancer Book, it’s an experience. One I wish I could forget and live over and over again.

If you haven’t read this book, you’re missing out. Fantastic, descriptive writing, witty, charming characters, and the story of life, The Fault in Our Stars is everything I could ask for. And honestly? This is the best review I can give you guys.
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LibraryThing member mamzel
I read YA books since I work in a high school library and have enjoyed all of Green's books. I think my Mom-brain was too much in evidence when I read this book since I bawled my way through it. I have waited a couple of days before writing this review and I still can't divorce that part of me and try to try and see this book through a teen's eyes.

Hazel's cancer is on hold since she started a new drug treatment but her body still hasn't come back from the damage suffered, particularly her lungs, so she has to go everywhere with her oxygen tank and occasionally has to return to the hospital to have fluid removed from her lungs. Augustus lost one leg to cancer and walks with a prosthetic but it seems like he is cured. The two teens meet at a cancer support group.

Hovering around the teens are their parents and this is probably where I couldn't help but place myself in the story. I doubt I would handle this situation as well as they did.

Hazel and Augustus become attached and he uses his wish to take Hazel to Amsterdam to meet the author of a book that has great meaning to her. The book ends abruptly and Hazel wants to ask the author what he thinks happened to the characters. It is a mixed experience for the teens who had never flown out of the country before. The author is a real jerk which disappoints them but they love the city and their relationship blooms.

A wonderful book and a real tearjerker!
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LibraryThing member hockeyzc58
I really liked this book, but I think people are blowing it up way too much now. It's a cute love story and all, but it's not the greatest book I've ever read. It was a very predictable book except for a couple of parts that surprised me.
LibraryThing member JessicaReadsThings
Don't read any comments or book jackets telling you what this book is about. Just read it.
LibraryThing member Berly
I thought this was a magnificent book, which brought me to tears and made me laugh out loud. The characters were endearing and tugged at my heartstrings. The basic plot? Two teens battling cancer meet and each brings out the best in the other as they strive to live with death over their shoulder. Despite the sad premise, this book brims with love and life and left me inspired and uplifted. A must read! 5.0… (more)
LibraryThing member HeatherMT
Holy crap! John Green can write like nobody's business! I already knew from reading his other novels that he's an incredibly talented writer, but this one, this just blew me away. I didn't know it was possible to be laughing out loud one line and then, literally by the next line, sobbing. Bravo Mr. Green, bravo! I won't say that his characters are absolutely fully realized or that his prose is perfectly crafted, but in the end he really makes you FEEL and THINK and that's one of the things I like best about him. I always found it fascinating that he could quote fictional people in his novels who have really profound and intelligent things to say. He makes it seem as though they are real and he's only recording what they're saying, when really he is the one who is so profound and intelligent. I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone! I've only just finished it and already I want to read it again. And again.… (more)
LibraryThing member em0451
The Fault in Our Stars was my favorite book read in 2012. It is on the list for my favorite books of all time. I recently read the book again for the second time, and I was curious to see if it was still a favorite upon a second reading. And it is definitely still a favorite!

It is so hard to write a review about a book I loved so much. This is the story of Hazel and Augustus. Both are teenagers; both have cancer. They meet, fall in love, and...well, I won't spoil the ending. It is not the most original concept for a story. But the story is told in such spectacular fashion that it is original in its own sense.

One of my favorite things about John Green's writing is also one of the things that I see is most often critiqued about his writing. His teenage characters always speak with extreme wit and cleverness, and they always have impressive vocabularies. I see many people cite this as a fault in the writing, because it is not a realistic portrayal of teenagers. My response to this is twofold:

1. It seems unfair to assume that teenagers are not witty and do not have large vocabularies. I am sure that there are teenagers who exist who are capable of speaking this way. I have a feeling John Green himself may have been a teenager like that.

2. Even if it is unrealistic, it is SO FUN to read! Maybe these teens don't talk like any teenagers (or adults!) that I know, but reading their dialogue is highly enjoyable and entertaining. Not to mention I almost always learn a few new words along the way.

I think any story that is told about teenagers with cancer is bound to be sad. Yes, there are many sad moments in The Fault in Our Stars. I have heard many people describe it as depressing. But I don't think depressing is a fair term to describe this book. In fact, I think it is far from depressing. There is so much joy and happiness to be found in this story. I felt like the whole purpose of this book was to encourage us to live life fully. A short life can still be a good and worthwhile life.

If you haven't read this book, I highly recommend it. I feel it is one of the few books that truly lives up to all the hype surrounding it!
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LibraryThing member sboyte
It's just unbelievable good. It's smart, funny, romantic, and tragic and I absolutely could not put it down.

I loved that even though this is a book about teenage cancer patients falling in love, the cancer itself is not romanticized. I especially appreciated the exploration of how a terminal cancer patient would feel about the effect of her death on those around her.

It's beautifully written too. John Green is a genius.
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LibraryThing member porch_reader
About two-thirds of the way through The Fault in Our Stars, Hazel, a teenager who is dying of cancer, and her boyfriend Augustus, who she met at a cancer support group, are telling Hazel’s mom a story about something sad that happened to them. Hazel observes, “We made the story funny. You have a choice in this world, I believe, about how to tell sad stories, and we made the funny choice.” But in The Fault in Our Stars, John Green isn’t limited by false dichotomies. The story he tells is sad and funny, hopeful and desperate, painfully sad yet filled with joy. But above all, it is an honest, unflinching story that, despite its subject matter, is much more about life and love than about death. In fact, my favorite quote from the book describes Hazel falling in love with Augustus: “As he read, I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once.”

I’m a huge John Green fan, but this may be his best book. So much of what I liked about Paper Towns and Looking for Alaska is present in this book too – humor, thoughtfulness, beautiful writing. Green continues to write teenagers from inside their heads, not as an adult looking in, in a way that utterly respects the characters that he has created. But in this book, he does all of that while taking on the excruciatingly difficult subject of kids dying of cancer. I cried during each of the last 13 chapters of this book, yet I turned the last page feeling lucky to have known these characters.
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Awards

Pages

318

ISBN

0525478817 / 9780525478812

Lexile

850L
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