Review: The Fault in Our Stars

February 26, 2014 Randomz 8 ★★★★★

Review: The Fault in Our StarsThe Fault in Our Stars Genres: YA
Goodreads
5 Stars

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.

I read this novel cover to cover on a flight to visit my boyfriend, and it made me cry in front of a bunch of strangers. It was real awkward, but thankfully I had the window seat so I could try and discretely regain my composure.

If there was one word I could use to describe this novel it would be: magnificent. I’ve been hearing about The Fault in Our Stars by John Green for over a year and now that I’ve read it, I have no idea why I waited so long to read it. Mr. Green, I apologize in advance, because there is no way I can do your novel justice in my little review. Don’t get me wrong it definitely had its faults (no pun intended) and shortcomings but overall it’s a beautiful story that will make you laugh, cry and thank your lucky stars for all your friends and family. Was that too mushy gushy? Well, it’s the truth.

Meet Hazel Grace Lancaster a sixteen year old cancer survivor/fighter who has been dealing with stage IV thyroid cancer, resulting in a metastasis forming in her lungs, since she was thirteen. Due to the metastasis, Hazel’s lungs don’t work properly, so she’s forced to carry a tank of oxygen and wear a cannula to ensure proper oxygen flow to her lungs. Hazel oftentimes affectionately says, “the contraption was necessary because my lungs sucked at being lungs.” At her mother’s insistence Hazel is forced to go to a cancer Support Group. While there she makes a fiend in Isaac and is introduced to Augustus (Gus) Waters.

You would think a seventeen year old basketball star would be bitter about losing his right leg to osteosarcoma, but Augustus is one of the most uplifting characters I’ve ever encountered. I just love Augustus through and through. He’s such a well developed character, extremely bright and his kindness and compassion are unparalleled. I can’t tell you how many times I caught myself smiling and stifling laughter whenever he was in a scene.

Hazel and Augustus bond over a “An Imperial Affliction” a novel based on a young girl dealing with cancer, who abruptly dies mid-sentence at the end of the novel. Curious and frustrated about the unanswered questions, they reach out to the reclusive writer, Peter van Houten, in the hopes of using their “cancer perks” to learn the truth. What ensues will be an emotional roller coaster, so make sure you have the facial tissues and chocolate ready!

Overall, I absolutely loved the novel, but I do have a few gripes. While I’ve never had someone close to me go through cancer (thank God), I do have a hard time believing teenagers would be reading such advanced literature and speaking so eloquently. But, I can make allowances, because, who knows, if death was literally staring me in the face I might be delving into the meaning of the universe type books as well. As much as I love to read, I’m not sure I would be spending what could be my last days on earth with my nose in a book. It’s not annoying, but just a little unbelievable.

With that said, the dialogue (all of it) is witty, sharp, interesting, and really helps shape each character. Each character has a distinct linguistic style and it really shows in the dialogue. Even the parents have some attitude, which I love!

I’m so glad I finally got around to reading this and I can’t wait to see the film adaptation this summer. If you haven’t read this, I really don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Would I read this again: Absolutely!

5 a character polygamist_lc

8 Responses to “Review: The Fault in Our Stars”

  1. jjames36

    Great review. I love this one as well. It made me cry no less than seven times, including once when I was driving my car on 35E (since you went to advanced screening with Ruth, I assume we live in the same city and I can name the highway), with my two young daughters in the backseat, when I wasn’t even reading. They were very confused how a book I like could make me so sad. :-)

    I will say, as a teacher who often interacts with teenagers, Hazel’s reading habits and speech patterns never bothered me. The books were an escape, a defense mechanism, so she could avoid

    SPOILER

    being a hand grenade to too many more people than necessary.

    END SPOILER

    And her speech patterns reflect her snobbishness, her sense intellectual superiority. I actually thought them a pretty nice touch in developing her character.

    The only part that rang false in terms of teenager behavior, for me anyway, was Augustus’ letter, the one that ends the book. I have never met a seventeen-year-old who writes that well.

    • Ashley

      Haha, I love that you know how many times you cried and even better you admit it! Yes, I’m a local to the TC area as well. :-)

      Have you considered teaching this book or do you think it would be too heavy for teenagers. In some ways I almost found this to be too advanced for the intended age group, but I think that’s what’s so great about Green’s writing. His characters are so lovable they can reach any age group.

      I’ll give you Gus’ writing was a bit advanced for his age but then again these are characters put in extreme situations, so anything can happen.

      I can’t wait to chat about the film!

      • jjames36

        Well. I cried “no less than 7 times.” It actually might have been more than that. :-)

        I might potentially teach this book, but it probably wouldn’t be to an entire class. Why? Though it’s likely only written at a 7th or 8th grade level, its themes, symbolism and emotion are pretty advanced. To get much from this book, readers need to be fairly acute and mature. Unless it is a gifted and talented class (which I’m not certified to teach anyway), it’s unlikely (though not impossible) it’s unlikely this book would be appropriate for all 25+ students.

        Now. Provided my principal supported the idea, I might use this in a tiered reading group situation. (I.E. 5 kids of similar reading levels are in one group, and they are all reading the same book. Another 3 kids with similar levels make up a second group and are reading a second book. Another 4 kids make up a third group with a third book. And so forth). I might give this one to one of the more advanced groups.

Leave a Reply