Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Book Review! The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

The Fault in Our Stars
Author: John Green
Publisher: Dutton Books
Publication Date: January 2012
Pages: 313

Hazel Lancaster is a sixteen year old girl, clinically depressed and a survivor of terminal cancer. So, to help her cope with her depression, her doctor makes her attend to a Cancer Support Group and there, she meets the both equally fascinating and dare-I-say, gorgeous Augustus Waters. While they’re two totally different people at heart, they’re bounded together with their exceptional intelligence and wondering about what lies in the hereafter and easily develop a friendship.
Hazel is obsessed over the cliffhanger ending of Van Houten’s An Imperial Affliction (come on, like you never obsessed over the ending over a book before) and in hope of finally getting the an explained ending to Van Houten’s novel and then some, goes to Amsterdam to find the author... and love along the way.

I’ve been a fan of John Green for a super long time. After hearing soooo many positively upbeat things about his past works, I kind of was half-expecting for Green to follow his old routine of quirky girls being chased after, etcetera and etcetera. But no-- Green’s ‘Faults’ was something unexpectedly different. And seriously, the critics aren’t joking that this book will make you laugh, it will make you cry.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had my moments when I was in the middle of reading this book and I bursted out into a fit of giggles (only to evade the glares of annoyed librarians) and then there are the times when I bawled like a baby. And to tell the truth, at first I was really wary about picking up The Fault in Our Stars because of what I had known about some of the subject matter: cancer. So to add onto what I convinced myself would be expected from ‘Faults’, I thought there was going to be a lot of talk of death and dying; a sob-fest of heartbreak. Don’t let the mentioning of cancer deter you from reading this book, like it did for me at first. I’ve wore down my copy of ‘Faults’ so much since buying it in 2012, because I just enjoyed the story. That. Friggin. Much. Because ‘Faults’ isn’t about death or cancer or any of those sad things. In fact, it’s about living.

I will tell you, it’s just ‘one of those books’; you’ll probably have a ton of questions to ask by the time you finish and just wish there was more story, too. I was now Hazel and I wanted to know what happened to her story this time. The Fault in Our Stars soon became my personal little An Imperial Affliction. And I LOVED IT... and both hated it too for making me cry. And honestly, no book has ever done that to me before. Ever. For serious, I am the most stone-faced person when I read so at that moment when I felt the tears coming and I was this emotional wreck by the time I finished, I knew that Green’s ‘Faults’ was something special.

How both Augustus and Hazel met was quick and brief, and it really didn’t take that long in the book for them to jump into a friendship and the abruptness of it all, well, as much as I hate to admit this almost reminds me of paranormal romance instalove (just minus the super ultra hurried romance). It was incredibly rushed. Though despite this, between Augustus’s metaphorical cigarettes and witty one-liners, I think I was smitten and both captivated by how Augustus and Hazel’s relationship really seemed to blossom throughout the novel. Their questioning between what makes a life worth living and what happens after death I believe is what really makes their relationship tick, and really sets them apart from other couples in YA lit.

With this being a book for young readers, I did think the vocabulary was a tad heavy especially from this being written in the perspective of a sixteen year old girl (and this is coming from the sixteen year old reader...) I was actually becoming convinced that John Green was using big words for the sake of them simply being there, even if they didn’t quite perfectly fit with the context. So in the matters of the perspective, I hate to say this, but I give it low marks. I’m sure I’m going to have a lot of angry Green fans come down my throat (AAAAAH, okay, I’m kidding!) but I just couldn’t find myself getting really into Hazel’s character like I did with the others in this book. 

The conflict in this novel is vacant, because really, there wasn’t a huge conflict to begin with. There wasn’t that climactic moment you’re edging off your seat for, because I felt at moments that TFioS is more of a character-driven plotline than anything else. So don’t expect a World War Z or Ender’s Game plot. But what makes up the conflict, is this beautiful, beautiful love story. There’s Amsterdam, there’s poetry, humor, there’s Van Houten, there’s just... so much wonder and brilliance in TFioS that is just rarely found in modern-day books and exceptional in YA literature that it just stands out all it’s own.

If I had more thumbs up to give this novel I totally would, but sadly I only have two.  If you like adventure, if you like romance, if you like hot boys and metaphors then hell, I absolutely recommend it because ‘Faults’ may just be your cup of tea. I think if you like other things outside those lines then you can (and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that you will) really enjoy it and come to love the characters, too.

What do you think of Shailene Woodley playing Hazel in the The Fault in Our Stars movie (2014)?


  1. Awesome review. I totally know what you mean- this book wrecked me a little. After I was done, I was a little bit furious just because I was so heartbroken. Ultimately, it's a fantastic novel. I probably won't watch the movie because I'm not much of a movie person and I don't want the movie to affect my view of the novel in any way.

    -P.E. @ The Sirenic Codex

    1. Same. :( The ending was so sad and while I love the ending, I just wish I knew what happened to the other charatcers... but I thought it was great too. Thanks for commenting! :)

  2. Great review! I have a hold on this one at the library and I'm hoping it becomes available soon.

    1. It's an amazing read, hopefully you'll enjoy it! Thank you! :D

  3. You wrote a lovely review of a book for which I could never verbalize my love, and for that I commend you. TFiOS does make you feel all the things, which is exactly why I adore it; Green eloquently portrays the toll cancer takes on a person, but he also infuses cynical wit that keeps things from getting too heavy. The plot, as you said, is slightly vacant, but the hilariously sad cancer commentary fills in any holes. Best of all, Hazel and Gus's ability to joke about their problems makes them so much MORE thank teenagers with cancer, which in turn makes their story more than a "Cancer Book." I'm glad you loved this novel despite the vocabulary problems, and I cannot wait to read whatever Green writes next!

    1. I agree; I had a bit of a hard time getting my thoughts in order because I had so many things I loved about this book to sort out into coherent fangirling. Can't wait for Green's next novel too :) Thank you so much for visiting and giving a follow. <3

  4. Hi Brianna,
    I fall in love with this story. I really like the way John Green pictured the emotions without putting to much pathos just the right amount to break your heart. A marvellous love story!
    Hope the movie will be great too if not I will be really dissapointed.

    Your new follower,

    1. hii!
      Same. This is probably the higher latter of his novels, and was just-- such an amazing love story, and I'm glad you think so too. :) Totally agree. The movie will have a hard act to follow from it's source material, but fingers crossed for the best. Thank you for following, Lucie!