Mar 21, 2013

Review: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Title: The Fault in Our Stars
Author: John Green
Publisher: Dutton Books
Publishing Date: January 10, 2012
Pages/Format: 313, Hardcover

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.

Initial Reaction of Book in One Word: OKAY

*Note: The majority of this review was written immediately after I was killed and consumed by finished The Fault in Our Stars and then was edited and cleaned up later. But for the most part it's rambly and it's like you're my therapist and I'm telling you everything. Enjoy!

When I say "okay," I don't mean that this book was just okay. (It was definitely okay times a bajillion.) When I say "okay," I mean...well, it's a reference to the book. If you've read it, you hopefully understand. If not, read the book! But seriously, how can I put into words The Fault in Our Stars? I can't. I just can't. This was my first John Green book, and I understand why everyone loves him, becaues MY GOSH. I don't think I've ever stayed up so late reading a book--6:00 a.m.--or read one straight through without any breaks from start to finish. Oh, and let's not forget the contant ugly sobs and tears that started around 4:30 a.m.

The day I read the book I was SUPER emotional. Like, it was hard to go all day without crying (or sobbing). Finished book: cried. Woke up: cried. Showered: cried. All day was just a huge struggle, but eventually The Fault in Our Stars Haze lifted. But this book will never leave me. It has an imprint me, and that imprint will never ever go away: this is book is THAT powerful. And this review is going to be uber spoilery, because I can't NOT say what happened in the book. I just can't. But before I enter the spoiler zone, I will say this: Read this book. I don't care if you're afraid of the cancer or the sadness or all the suffering you've heard this book will put you through (which it will). Read it, damn it. OH MY GOSH, just read it.


John Green, I love you. At first, I had to get a little used to his writing--it's different and in a style that I like, but I wasn't sure if there was something I disliked about it. And then I decided I liked it and I loved it and I wanted some more of it. My only complaints--that really don't matter--is that I didn't get some references, I did NOT like the death of a certain character--mentioned later--and I think that's it. I don't really know what I didn't like and I really don't care.

Hazel: (Or, as I prefer it, Hazel Grace.) I may name my firstborn girl that. Because how could I not? She was a strong character despite her glaring issue in life: she's dying of cancer. When she'll die, we don't know, but she walks around carrying an oxygen tank and has tubes up her nose, so you know it ain't pretty. But reading from her POV didn't really depress me much. I liked it. She had fabulous lines, and was really just awesome. I loved her, and I want to know what's going to happen her. For a kid dying of cancer--and for a book about cancer--it was relatively upbeat and not dark or depressing, THANK GOSH, because that would have killed me even more.

August Waters: "A gorgeous plot twist." Ah, that he is. He's also the main reason why I cried for the last hour and a half of the book, but whatever. When we meet him, we think he's okay: good looking guy with a great attitude who has one leg because of osteosarcoma, but now he's in remission. (Oh, and he always call Hazel "Hazel Grace," which I just LOVE.) And he puts an unlit cigarette in his mouth simply as a metaphor. But then we find out he lit up like a Christmas tree (that holiday's ruined) and everything isn't okay. And that sucks, because AUGUSTUS WATERS I LOVE YOU. And we watch him die. (Side note: I knew he was going to die, unfortunately. I think that, if I wouldn't have known, I would've cried ten times harder.) I WISH he didn't die. I feel like this big gaping hole is missing from my chest because the book is over and Augustus is dead and WHAT DO I DO WITH MY LIFE? I cry.

Here's the thing about this story: it's got romance, but it almost isn't a love story. Sure, Hazel and Augustus meet and like each other, but nothing really happens until what...over halfway through the book? On the way to Amsterdam to meet Peter van Houten, Augustus tells Hazel on the plane that he's in love with her. Not that he loves her--he's in love with her. And I really liked that, because there's a big difference between loving someone and being IN love with someone. Anyway, it's on that trip that everything happens: Augustus confesses his love for Hazel, they kiss, they make love--and then we find out Augustus is a dead man walking. The kissing almost started and stopped in Amsterdam--there's some kissing when they return home, but Augustus' condition quickly presents himself and he weakens and changes. Initially, I didn't understand why Hazel started calling Augustus "Gus" and why it seemed to bother him so much (still don't know why for the latter). I do have a theory for why she called him Gus: Augustus is no longer Augustus. He's quickly becoming the ghost of himself, and his life is leaving him: he's not the Augustus we met at the beginning of the book. And that sucked. So many things killed me with this book. I've never really experienced the death of someone close, so seeing Augustus go from fine Augustus to dying Gus, I think that really, really hit me. I think Augustus' death was so emotional because, even though I knew he was going to die from page one, we know this happy, wonderful guy, and then suddenly he's not that guy anymore, and he's taken from us just like that. I kept saying, "It's not fair, it's so unfair, damn it, why?" But that's life--it isn't fair. We don't know who's going to die or when. We don't know that we'll lose someone with the snap of some fingers. It just happens. And--as much as I hate it--John Green showed that.

The story of Augustus and Hazel Grace--the fault in their stars--was interwoven with so many other things and it was done just splendidly. An Imperial Affliction was fantastic (why wasn't it real?!), as was the douchebag extraordinaire van Houten. And the way the two talked to each other--UGH, I LOVE YOU. And while the book was sad--DUH--it also had me smiling A LOT, and I sometimes kicked my legs. I just...asdfjdsfi;jsafksa. I don't know what to say, except that I must RAVE about it, and this book gave me ALL THE FEELS. And I felt like puking from crying and I just keep crying and I need to not think about it and and and it made me an emotional shipwreck and I want everyone to suffer with me and and and.

What IS the fault in our stars? Is it that fault- and break-line in between the stars, that place that's the vast unknown--you don't know when you'll go there and what will happen there or where there is, but it's there. And someday, you're going to get there. Some sooner than others.

Also, when they made love? So cute. And the diagram? RIP MY HEART OUT WHY DON'T YOU. You know what else? John Green is good with triggers. Like, I'd be reading and come to a part--or turn the page and see what's on the other page before I got there--and instantly start crying because MY EMOTIONS CANNOT HANDLE THE WORDS. (I keep remembering the last words in the book, and that he died eight days after Isaac and Hazel read him their eulogys, and that he lit up like a damn Christmas tree.) Oh, and when Isaac said he didn't want to live in a world without August Waters in it? I agree, Isaac. I agree.

I didn't mention other characters, but they were all great. Isaac was fantastic, and so were the parents. They're just not my focus.

This book is everything: heartbreaking sad epic happy romantic loving perfect evil cruel fuckery beauty just UGH. I was reading it and thought of getting OKAY tattooed on me. Don't know why. I just did. (And still do.) And I'm probably not saying everything I wanted to say but whatever I already just practically wrote a novel. But seriously, just read it. Okay?


(To see my review gif-style, just click here.)

Did I like it? DUH.
Did I love it? YESYESYES.
Would I reread it? Maybe. Not because I didn't like it, but because I'm not sure that I could go through all that pain and emotion again.
Would I purchase it? Already have a signed copy!
Would I recommend it? I've already gotten some family members to check it out. So yes. (Although most people seem to have read it. But still: READ IT.)


  1. I totally got the OKAY reference. lol This was also my first John Green book. I just loved it to pieces . Definitely one of my all time faves. So glad you loved it too!

    ~Sara @ Forever 17 Books

  2. I did not read the spoilers because I keep saying I'm going to read this book but I just haven't gotten around to it yet. Now I know to have some tissue handy. :)

  3. Looking for Alaska and The Fault In Our Stars will forever be two of my favoruite books ever. I quote them in my everyday life.

    Lily @ lilysbookblog

  4. This sounds really good. I've been telling myself that I need to finally read a John Green book. I like the graphics you put in the review. Good luck on your 2013 reading challenge. I also challenged myself to read 100 books.

    grace of San Pedro Self Storage

  5. This book was an amazing yet painful experience! Cried the majority of the way through. Glad you enjoyed it! Also, can't wait to keep reading your blog - I love it! :)


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