Book Review: The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

SUMMARY from GoodReads:

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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.

Hazel is a 16 year old girl with stage IV thyroid cancer, and has been living with an oxygen tank since she was first diagnosed at 12. She realizes she is going to die, but she is on a drug that is keeping the tumors at bay. At a support group meeting she meets hottie Augustus Waters, who is in remission. They immediately hit it off and change each other’s lives drastically.

REVIEW:

****This review contains some SPOILER-ish comments****

I have been trying to read this books from past five months (which took several trips to the bookstore, since it always seemed to be out of stock) and this weekend, I finally took a step forward. When I am reading a good book, it doesn’t take much time for me to finish that book. The Fault in Our Stars, beautifully written, light-read and fast-paced book. This is my second piece of John Green’s writing and I must say that I am still impressed by his style and lightness of the book.

I’ve been putting off writing this review for weeks, not because I hated it, but because I loved it and I am fully aware that this will probably turn into a fangirl-ish rant but, I can’t help it!

The Fault in Our Stars wasn’t the best book ever, but it deserved the massive hype.

The Fault in Our Stars is another beautifully written book by John Green. The title is inspired by a famous quote from Shakespeare’s play, Julius Caesar;  “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, / But in ourselves, that we are underlings.” The book is told through the eyes of Hazel, a diagnosed cancer patient. Life seems black and white until Augustus, a handsome, confident, charismatic 17 year old, comes along and brightens up the clouds. Forced by her parents, she attends support group only one day meet Augustus.

Seventeen year-old Hazel Grace Lancaster has this really caustic, dry sense of humor that I tend to greatly enjoy in characters. However, hers was made all the more interesting because it was exhibited in such a unique and dire situation. She made an otherwise serious and overwhelmingly emotional tale full of surprising laughter and occasional smiles. At least, that was the first two thirds of the book because the last third was a killer.

Augustus Waters deserves his own praise. My favorite aspect of young adult leading men is flaws. I love the flawed ones because they’re real, they’re not these perfect men that are unattainable in reality. They’re doubly perfect because of their flaws. Somewhere in the world, such a person could exist and walk among us. It’s characters like this that make reading worthwhile and, in my opinion, Augustus Waters is one of these characters. He had to get a limb amputated from his cancer. Despite his ability to be highly romantic, the boy in him shines through his love of zombie video games and novels, but this also gives way to his obsession with helping others and going out as a savior instead of a victim. The boy who puts a cigarette between his lips signifying the ability to kill, but refusing to light it to show that he has the heart to beat it. This boy is perfect because of his complexity, uniqueness, faults, and drive. It’s funny to think that when I first met him in the story I couldn’t pinpoint if he was an arrogant character who was all too aware of his good-looks or if he was putting up a front. It was neither, he’s a boy with unbelievable depth who just so happens to be aware of the fact that he is gorgeous (both inside and out. This guy is full of so much love and the romance in this one is real. It’s not a silly little teenage love story–this is one that deserves to have a place in the real world.

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The characters are unique, especially between the drunk yet well written and respected Peter Van Houten, Augustus Waters, Hazel, the newly blind Isaac, the ball-less Peter and all parents in this novel you will discover a cast that is easy to remember for their diversity, message, and perfect characterization.

The plot was simply “ok” for me, never wowing me or keeping me on the edge of my seat. There weren’t many plot twists or “ah ha!” moments because you could tell from the beginning how it would end. You knew from the subject matter that it would be sad, and yet…I did not really cry. I did shed a lonely tear, but it wasn’t for the characters. It was because of the situation they were in. It was because cancer sucks. For the first half of the book, I honestly spent most of it smiling. I loved watching Hazel and Augustus fall in love. It was slow, sweet, and beautiful…and sometimes you just forgot what they were going though. Sometimes, they just seemed like regular happy teens – gorgeously intelligent, fun, flirting teens.

The Fault in Our Stars is the-emphasis on the ‘the’-perfect book to snuggle up with whatever the setting, it is an amazing feeling to sit on the sofa with dim lights and a few candles.

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It’s refreshing to read a book where the teenagers aren’t dumbed down into hormonal, whiny, selfish, depressed characters.  In most young adult books, the focus is either on survival or romance.  In The Fault in Our Stars, the characters already know they’re going to lose the battle against cancer, so all they have to do is wait. I liked the philosophical debates between Hazel and Augustus. Considering that they don’t have any of the normal teenage activities to keep them busy like schoolwork, prom, or sports, it makes sense that they’d spend more time pondering the reason for their existence.

It’s easy to see why John Green has the following he does. There is just something magical in the way he strings his sentences together that I can’t help but admire it. It’s simple, deep and humorous all at the same time. You go into the book knowing the characters are terminal and I didn’t know how I would fare connecting with a character, loving a character, to ultimately have them suffer and die. I’m a really easy crier and I don’t like seeing people (fictional or real) suffer. But somehow John Green manages to take a cancer book and fill it with the sweetest memories.

Green’s amazing writing skill easily allows us to be caught up in Augustus and Hazel’s relationship, their easy banter and worry in the first 2/3 of the book that when things get real, you ALMOST forget that you’re reading a cancer story.

Further, it was almost like Green relied on the severity of the ending and the character’s intelligence to jar emotion from the reader. Clearly, this worked since few days after finishing, it’s depressing  just from thinking about Augustus’ letter to Hazel. But again, this was not for the characters. It wasn’t remotely similar or as powerful of an emotion that I’d felt after I read A Walk to Remember where I cried bucket of tears. I’m talking about complete and utter sorrow for Landon and everyone else. DON’T JUDGE ME.

There is simply one complaint I have about this book. John needs to make his 17 year old characters sound more like 17 year old teens than 35 year old men.Also, he being a male writer, wrote the entire book in female teenager’s point of view. And I feel, he did a good job. Never once, I felt that something was too manly about his female characterization.

The main reason that I completely fell in the love with this book is not that it is highly anticipated or that it has mostly received 5 star reviews, but because the writing was very pure and genuine, it sounds weird, I know, but that is the only way I can describe it. I don’t want to give too much away on the book because that ruins everything for people who haven’t read the book yet. Hazel and Augustus set sail on a roller coaster that only goes up; one filled with sadness, happiness and emotion.

The novel is riddled with lines worth quoting in every day conversations and I highlighted this wonderful quotes. I see them posted everywhere and every time I read one, my heart just squeezes.

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I know you guys have probably all seen the TRAILER to this movie adaptation. But just in case you haven’t watch it below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ItBvH5J6ss

If you’d like to find more about John Green don’t hesitate to click the Links:

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