The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

The Fault in Our StarsThe Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Published by: Dutton Juvenile on January 1, 2012
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 320
Source: Purchased
Buy on AmazonBook Details
Rating: ★★★★

Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 13, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours 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 tumours 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.

It took me a million and one years to finally pick up The Fault in Our Stars. Honestly, I think I put it off for two main reasons: 1) I thought the cover was boring, and 2) I just wasn’t into cancer books. But after reading and LOVING Maybe One Day (an amazing and heartbreaking cancer book), I knew I had to give The Fault in Our Stars a chance.

I love how such a big part of this book was the characters connecting with a book. It’s like a book inside of a book! Hazel and Augustus really bond over her favourite story and dream about meeting the author. I didn’t quite expect that element and I love how it turned out View Spoiler » . It gave Hazel and Augustus something to enjoy and strive towards together, and that really helped them build their relationship.

Isaac actually ended up being one of my favourite characters. He’s Hazel and Augustus’s friend and he had to get his eyes removed because of his cancer. I just wanted to hug him so many times throughout the book! He’s such a sweet guy and View Spoiler » .

I kind of feel like an idiot for not guessing the ending (because in hindsight I guess it’s obvious), but man, that shit hit me like a freight train. That’s when the tears came! I won’t say I was drowning in tears, because I wasn’t. I’ve cried harder over other books. But a few tears did some and I was laying in bed sniffling somewhat pathetically. I think part of me is a little disappointed that I didn’t cry more (which might be weird), but oh well. Not every book can turn you into an ugly cryer.

I think the one thing things I didn’t love about this book were the characters. Both main characters (Hazel and Augustus) were a bit… pretentious. They’re the kind of people that over analyze everything and meticulously pick apart common slang, phrases, and traditions. It was a bit funny at first, but it got a tiring after a while, and in general, I’m not crazy about people like that. I’ve encountered a few before and they drive me a bit nuts with their, “Oh you poor, naïve mortal, you can’t speak as well as I can” attitude. I found myself skimming a few of the long, pretentious, “let’s analyze the shit out of this” paragraphs.

And, similarly, I never really saw Hazel and Augustus’s relationship as love. Hazel and Augustus had a great, great relationship, but I mostly saw it as friendship. I didn’t see a lot of sexual chemistry there. They were definitely two people of the same mind, and in that sense they fit together wonderfully, but that was kind of it. No sexual tension, no chemistry, no romance. And I would have been totally okay with that, had Hazel and Augustus not constantly called their relationship “true love” and “an epic love story” and things like that. I think I would have clicked with it better had it just been a wonderful friendship, rather than forced into a romance.

“Everybody should have true love, and it should last as long as your life does.”
Page 75

I didn’t completely hate the characters though. I loved how kind and selfless Augustus was. If you remove his pretentious side, he’s really an amazing guy. He goes above and beyond for his friends, and that really shined throughout the book. View Spoiler »

“That’s the thing about pain,” Augustus said, and then glanced back at me. “It demands to be felt.”
Page 63

Also there was one thing that totally had me WTFing. I guess the circumstances surrounding the annoying line are spoilery, so I’ll put the whole thing in spoiler tags.

View Spoiler »
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  1. I am a little surprised this wasn’t a 5 star book for you. It just seemed like your kind of book. But I am happy it was still good. You know I can’t stand sad endings so I am still scared to read it but I will one day, when I grow bigger ladyballs. hehe

    Jennifer Bielman recently posted: Review: Manic by J.A. Huss
  2. I agree with you quite a bit! I didn’t find myself liking this book as much. Something was just keeping me from being fully connected to the story. It might have been the characters, might have been other things, but I did really enjoy it and find myself ALMOST crying at the end. LOL. I’m glad you liked this one! I’m really curious about the movie and all that.

    Lovely review Ashley!
    <33 Inky

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  3. Ahh I’m sorry you didn’t love this one as much as Maybe One Day, I also had some of the similar feelings as you, I remember. I thought the romance totally didn’t work for me, and I read this a while ago. I can definitely see what you’re coming from, the pretentious tone could definitely get in the way of your overall enjoyment.

    Fantastic review, though, Ashley! <33

    Eileen @ Singing and Reading in the Rain recently posted: A Little Update
  4. I just wanted to mention that love doesn’t always have to include a sexual component. It can just be a deep understanding of each other that transcends other relationships. I haven’t read it, still trying to grow “lady balls” as another commenter coined it, but it does sound like true love from everything I’ve heard about it.

    Christina (My Life In Books) recently posted: Channel Update | So Many New Things!
    1. I suppose, but I kind of feel like if there’s not any chemistry between two people, then it’s more like a best friend kind of love, rather than a boyfriend/girlfriend kind of love.

  5. I really enjoyed this book too, I’m thinking a bit more than you. Not many books make me cry, but this one had me balling like a baby. Lol. But, I listened to the audiobook, which could have given me a different experience than if I had read the book, I suppose.

  6. I didn’t write a review on this one, but I did give it a star rating and it got 3 stars for me. After so much hype about this one (even before I was in the blogging community), I was expecting really great, likeable characters and I got…Hazel and Augustus. I think I know way too many pretentious people in real life to give it a pass in fiction.

  7. This book. This freaking book. *sigh* I read it in March and I STILL think about it. I lost two grandparents to cancer, so it touched me on a deep level, but I also really adored Augustus/Hazel both as friends, and as soulmates. Even though they did come across as presented as this “epic lifelong true love” which WAS touching for me, I also at the same time don’t really think they limited themselves in that way. I mean, yes they were a bit too manicpixie at points with their puns and attitudes (even though I really enjoyed seeing teenagers presented as intelligent a bit beyond their years.) But I don’t know, I think it comes back to Hazel’s quote:

    “Some infinities are bigger than other infinities.” That quote makes me tear up to this day, and I am even considering getting a tattoo of it. It just…spoke to me, because leaving room for plural “infinities” means there’s more than one, and that within those infinities, there can be anything, not just romantic love. So while I did think Hazel/Augustus were lovely together, and saw them as romantic, I think they were also best friends and more and less than a couple all at once. IDK. My brain is broken after all that thinking. lol. But seriously, I didn’t think they had much sexual chemistry, but I did think they cared very deeply for one another, and that is what I loved most about them.

    Sorry for the word vomit! You made me think. πŸ˜€ I’m really really glad you did like this one, Ashley. If it moved you to tears well, that’s a really strong reaction! I should have seen what was coming too, but the end hit me SO hard.

  8. I have heard about the ending and I tend to steer clear of books that are going to turn me into a blubbering mess, the subject matter at this time also isn’t for me with cancer affecting someone extremely close to me, it’s still a bit (actually a lot) of a raw topic. I’m sure I’ll get around to this one someday, the praise has been amazing & I’m pleased to see you enjoyed it despite a few issues – I can’t help clicking your spoiler tags just to see if it would be something that would completely turn me off πŸ˜‰

    A wonderful, honest review Ashley! Thanks for sharing.

    Sharon - Obsession with Books recently posted: Blog tour/Guest post - Unchained (Nephilim Rising #1) by J. Lynn

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