Books · reviews

Book review: THE FAULT IN OUR STARS by John Green

It’s time. Time for me to finally review one of the biggest books to come into the young adult genre in recent memory. There’s already a movie coming out and, let’s be honest, everyone and their mother has read this book by now. But that’s not going to stop me from getting in my two cents! Not even the fact that TFIOS (as it is so lovingly acronymed) has already been reviewed on my blog by Samantha can stop me. So, here goes.

A review of

The Fault in Our Stars
by John Green

TFiOS

Published by Dutton Books, 2012.

Rating: 8/10

What’s it about?

Teenager Hazel Grace is dying, maybe not right away, but she knows that eventually her crap lungs are going to betray her. She spends all of her time trying to minimize the amount of hurt she inflicts upon the world, but one day, at Cancer Kid Support Group, she meets Augustus Waters and everything changes.

What I liked most about TFIOS:

The narrator, Hazel Grace, and overall tone of the book. Hazel is a funny, thoughtful, honest, and deep narrator. The Fault in Our Stars is emotional at best, and downright devastating at worst, and it’s all told through the voice of Hazel, our teenage cancer survivor narrator. Her insights (and John Green’s) are sometimes startling, and it’s Green’s humorous tone and Hazel’s strong voice that propel us through the story.

Surprisingly, the romance. I’ve written before about how I don’t like cheesy romances; surprisingly I didn’t have a problem with this one. Perhaps it was the fact that there were other problems afoot (how do you solve a problem like van Houten?), but I didn’t think that the romance itself was that annoying. In fact, I liked it. It had just the right amount of emotional depth you would expect, and the relationship seemed to move along at a realistic pace.

The tears! Oh, the tears! I’ll be honest, I love reading books that make me cry. I find there’s something very compelling about a story emotionally involves you to the point of tears (or reckless sobbing). I can honestly say I cried for 104 pages, but do I regret any of it? No. Not one page.

The characters. Each character in The Fault in Our Stars is full and complete, and each offers something completely unique to the story. With the exception of Hazel’s phone-it-in “best friend” (who serves as both an example of someone who doesn’t understand what is going on, as well as a commentary on the way people sometimes distance themselves from the dying), I fell in love with all of the characters, from van Houten, to Hazel’s parents, to Gus, to Isaac, there is never a dull moment in TFIOS.

What I liked least about TFIOS:

This is hard. I actually am having a hard time thinking of something I disliked. I guess, if I had to pick, I would say that . . . [Two days later] I still can’t think of something specific that I disliked about this book. There’s something about it that’s holding me back from giving it more than 8 stars, but I’m not sure what that is (maybe the fact that I don’t think I’ll ever reread it, based on the amount of emotional damage it causes). I’m welcome to suggestions in the comments!

Final thoughts: 

An emotional rollercoaster of a books. I laughed, I cried, and now I’m recommending it to everyone who likes YA books. You got me, John Green, you– and The Fault in Our Stars— win!

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10 thoughts on “Book review: THE FAULT IN OUR STARS by John Green

  1. To be honest, I didn’t enjoy tFioS at all, maybe it was over-hyped but I thought to be honest the plot and characters weren’t great and it was poorly written. I’ve reviewed it on my blog. Everyone seems to love it, but I didn’t cry or anything. (I’m not an iceberg, honestly.)

    1. I’ll have to check out your review later. It’ll be interesting to read one from the POV of someone who didn’t enjoy the book. I’ve heard some people didn’t like it because they felt it deliberately tried to play off emotions.

      I cried a lot while reading this… But I also cried recently while watching Disney’s Mulan, so I doubt I’m a good gauge of sadness-levels in books.

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