Title: The Fault in Our Stars
Author: John Green
Warnings: R for sexual content, bodily fluids, and disturbing imagery.
THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS AND OPINIONS. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.
I knew going into The Fault in Our Stars that this was going to be one of those books that had me completely raw and broken at the end. Even so, I was not prepared for how thoroughly John Green did this—and I loved every second of it.
Hazel Grace Lancaster has been terminal since she was thirteen years old. Whether she would die was never a question; now, with the “miracle drug” Phalanxifor shrinking her tumors and keeping her cancer under control, the question is when she will die. Hazel’s reaction to this is not unreasonable—she sinks into torpor, watches tons of America’s Next Top Model, reads her favorite book and waits.
Then, she meets Augustus Waters, gorgeous Survivor with a capital S, and slowly but surely, she begins to fall in love.
Overall, this story is a beautiful one—life affirming, even, despite the death which hangs over so many of the character’s heads throughout the course of the book. The characters are very real and very raw; they are not the stereotypical “brave” cancer patient that Hazel details at several points in the book. They are brave, for sure, but they are also broken, afraid, lonely, and angry. Not a single character in this book is spared from the harsh reality of the ending—even the non-sufferers are affected, just as is the case in real-life cancer cases. And at the very heart of the story, there is a romance between two doomed children who haven’t really had the chance to experience life, and who are determined to do so one way or another. Mixed in with all this bleakness are sparkling moments rather like the titular stars, the hilarious and heartwarming blended smoothly with the darkness and blood and Hazel Lancaster’s struggling breaths. John Green has definitely crafted a book for the ages here, and there is not a person in this world that would not benefit from reading it.
(NOTE: I usually have a Pros and Cons section to my reviews right about now—however, for the purposes of this book, I have had to retitle these sections Things That Made Me Laugh/Aww and Things That Made Me Cry, since a.) I couldn’t really find any cons and b.) when I tried to they all ended up falling into the latter category. )
Things That Made Me Laugh/Aww
- Hazel’s voice. She’s funny in a dry sort of way, and the way she perceives the world is very interesting.
- Hazel’s obsession with An Imperial Affliction. I think any reader can relate to this sort of love for a book.
- The romance. There are so many wonderful moments between Hazel and Augustus throughout the book, with my very favorites being on the plane to/from and in Amsterdam.
- The Anne Frank House. Best scene ever.
- Hazel’s diagram for Augustus after their “night” together in Amsterdam.
- Van Houten showing up to Augustus’ funeral.
Things That Made Me Cry
- That Hazel blames herself for causing the people around her to suffer.
- Van Houten being a douche.
- Gus’ recurrence. I pretty much cried through the last 70 pages.
- The scene on page 244 with the G-tube, when Hazel has to call 911. At this point I was literally bawling.
- And then again, pg 247 when Hazel is reading him poetry and just starts adding words.
- The ending. So perfect ❤
Star Rating on Goodreads: 5 out of 5.
Final Grade: A+. Will definitely reread at some point.