September 24, 2012

Book Review: The Fault in Our Stars

Author:  John Green
Length:  313 pages
Publisher:  Dutton Books (an imprint of Penguin Group Inc.)
On-Sale Date:  January 10, 2012
Format:  Hardcover

(Warning:  Language may not be suitable for all ages).

The Fault in Our Stars is about 16 year-old cancer patient, Hazel Grace Lancaster.  A miracle (fictional) drug has halted the spreading of the disease, but she continues to live with cancer everyday.  Hazel Grace meets 17 year-old Augustus Waters, who is in remission.  This is their love story.

Things I was told before I read The Fault in Our Stars:  It’s going to be the best book you’ve ever read.  Don’t read it in public.  You will cry.
I remember thinking that all these people couldn’t have been wrong, could they?  I wasn’t in love with The Fault in Our Stars from the first page, but I was by the end.  And there were so many tears that it is almost embarrassing.

I finished The Fault in Our Stars less than two hours ago*, and all I can tell you is that I’ve carried this book with me.  I don’t want to be separated from it for too long.  I just want to stare at it and reread parts of it and memorize it.
There are only a handful of truly great books, and you know when you’ve found one.  The Fault in Our Stars is a great book.  You know because you can’t stop thinking there’ll never again be a time when you haven’t read it.  Now, there’s a Before-I-Read-The-Fault-In-Our-Stars and an After-I-Read-The-Fault-In-Our-Stars.  Great books, like this, follow you.  All you want to do is continue feeling how this book makes you feel.  Something slides into place, and this book holds a permanent residence in your heart.

I know that in a couple of months or a couple of years I am going to come back to this book.  Even while I was still reading I knew that I’d want to read it again.  But I don’t need to reread it right now, because this story is still with me.  I haven’t forgotten Hazel and Augustus; they follow me everywhere.
The Fault in Our Stars is endless.

This book has an underlying sadness to it, and you will cry so hard, but the characters will fill you with such an incredible happiness.  I’m grateful that Augustus exists.  I know he and Hazel and Isaac are fictional, but I don’t have to believe it.  They’re real where it matters.  John Green created fictional characters that don’t feel fictional.  I’m kicking myself for not going to the bookstore the very day TFiOS came out and for not reading it immediately.

People say The Fault in Our Stars is “magnificent” and “heartbreaking”, and it is those things, but it’s mostly so incredibly powerful that I wish I could invent new words to explain it.  I don’t want to go to sleep, because I don’t want to let this day go.  I know that The Fault in Our Stars will be waiting for me when I get up, (and possibly also in my dreams)**, but that’s not enough.  This story is too hard to let go of, because it could so easily be real, and that is possibly the saddest thing of all.  Gus and Hazel could be my friends if they weren’t written on paper.
But I always have a way back to them, through The Fault in Our Stars.

I could see myself in Hazel Grace.  I share her love of books and I’d rather be hurt myself than see those I love hurting.  She made me think this book was for me, in a way.  She never needed to explain herself to me, because I completely understood her every time.  I desperately wanted her to be happy.  Hazel deserved a love like Augustus.

I wish there was something I could do to say thank you for this book.  The Fault in Our Stars feels like a gift.  Gus and Hazel feel like friends, and I’m not ready to say goodbye to them.  So, I won’t.

At the end I wasn’t thinking it was a cancer book.  I was thinking it was about a girl who loves a boy and a world that isn’t fair (the boy loves her too).   Arguably, cancer is what defines the whole book, but it sure doesn’t feel that way.  I don’t think of cancer when I think of The Fault in Our Stars.  I think of how awe-inspiring Hazel and Augustus are.  I think about how much I love Augustus.  And I think about reading it again.  It feels so important.  There are books that stay with you, and there are stories that you never forget, and this is one of them.

I don’t want to live in a world without Augustus Waters, and he was only in my life for less than a day.  Damn John Green.

I had about 50/60 pages left when I sincerely thought I couldn’t finish.  I completely lost it.  I broke down crying, and one line was all it took.  I knew I needed to see how it ended, but I didn’t want to.  It hurt so much, and I could only imagine what the end would feel like.  (I couldn’t even find tissues.  My God, I had to stop reading to locate some).

I will never forget Augustus Waters.

The Fault in Our Stars has given me something to hold onto, and for that, I say, “Thank you”.

Premise:  5/5
Plot:  5/5
Writing:  5/5
Characters:  5/5
Overall:  5/5

*At the time, I had finished reading it two hours ago, but I wasn’t planning on writing a review for TFiOS so it took some time to get it right.
**I did dream about The Fault in Our Stars the night I read it.

Favourite Quotes:
“What a slut time is.  She screws everybody.” – page 112
"The marks humans leave are too often scars." – page 311
“You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world ... but you do have some say in who hurts you.  I like my choices.” – page 313


  1. Was curious about this book! Thanks for the review - although I skipped to the end to avoid spoilers. Good to see 5/5s all round. Not sure whether to read it when I'm in a good place or bad?? Hmmmm....

    1. Good news! The review is SPOILER FREE after all! I put up a spoiler alert just in case, but a fellow book blogger informed me that this review is indeed spoiler free!
      What do you mean by good / bad place?

  2. The book is amazing! Aggh. My favourite quote is "My thoughts are stars I can't fathom into constellations"