The Fault in Our Stars Review

November 7, 2012

Book Reviews, Reviews

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green is a beautifully written book about sixteen year-old Hazel Grace Lancaster, an in-between name for an in-between girl, who has thyroid IV cancer in her lungs.

It is written by John Green, one half of the Vlogbrothers, a channel that uses video blogging to fight world problems. He became famous by discussing his book in some of these vlogs, and somehow managed to sign 150,000 books. On the day of the release he celebrated by presenting a Question Tuesday.

Most teenagers can’t relate to how Hazel feels in this book, how the struggle of having cancer weighs her down, how she’s always worrying about her parents investing too much time in her, how she just wants to be alone. How she’s just a side effect of dying. Everything is a side effect of dying. Cancer, depression.

John Green makes you feel equal parts sad and happy, his metaphors either completely true or incredibly beautiful. Sometimes both. He makes you think about what he’s said over and over, wanting to repeat that quote or write it on every blank piece of paper you own. And then you read another quote that takes you over, and soon your brain is filled with quotes from a book you read about a girl with cancer.

Some of my favourite quotes from the book include:

“I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, then all at once.”

“My thoughts are stars I cannot fathom into constellations.”

“That’s the thing about pain…it demands to be felt.”

“Whenever you read a cancer booklet or website or whatever, they always list depression among the side effects of cancer. But, in fact, depression is not a side effect of cancer. Depression is a side effect of dying.”

“Books so special and rare and yours that advertising your affection feels like a betrayal.”

“The marks humans leave are too often scars.”

“That’s part of what I like about the book in some ways. It portrays death truthfully. You die in the middle of your life, in the middle of a sentence”

“There are infinite numbers between 0 and 1. There’s .1 and .12 and .112 and an infinite collection of others. Of course, there is a bigger infinite set of numbers between 0 and 2, or between 0 and a million. Some infinities are bigger than other infinities. A writer we used to like taught us that. There are days, many of them, when I resent the size of my unbounded set. I want more numbers than I’m likely to get, and God, I want more numbers for Augustus Waters than he got. But, Gus, my love, I cannot tell you how thankful I am for our little infinity. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. You gave me a forever within the numbered days, and I’m grateful.”

I have many more, but unfortunately I would have to type out the whole book for you to know all of them.

You fall in love with the characters, even the ones that are distasteful and different. You fall in love with them because they are almost real, although still in their fictional bindings. You can relate to how they feel, even if you haven’t been through the experiences they have. You shouldn’t feel that way about fictional characters. But you do.

I know many people and have asked many Nerdfighters who have read this book, all of which have given good reviews about it.

“The characters and the metaphors and the narration and the ideas are all amazing. After you have your heart ripped to shreds by this one, you have 3 other books by him to go read. So really, there’s no reason not to.” -Emily Lauman

“I found the book to be quite a page turner! Its realistic feel and strong message of the fact that miracles really don’t happen are very powerful and humbling. A+ to John Green.” -Kenzie Bain

“It’s not a cancer book. It’s a book that involves cancer and discusses the concept of heroic sacrifice, among other things. One of John Green’s best works, in my opinion” -Nicholas Yee

“Good, but rather soul-destroying.” -Natalie Dee

“As depressing as a book about cancer ridden kids may sound, TFiOS is actually rather inspiring. John Green at his best.” -Gouri Kulkarni

“I loved this book because it was so realistic, but it also made a beautiful situation out of something terrible. I also liked how it talked about infinity, how infinity does not necessarily mean forever, and how just because something is brief does not mean it is meaningless.” -Allison Marilyn

Although there are a few swear words and mature content, if you can read critically and look past the maturity of the situation, you can see the meaning behind it. You can see how the author intended the scene to turn out.

I would suggest reading this book 15+, because it is a sweet book and it’s very heartwarming.

It is a good read and you may cry unless you have a heart of steel. I highly recommend that you pick it up at a library near you. Or even better, so people won’t get mad at the tear-stained pages, you could go out and buy it and support the author.

If you do buy it, or decide to read it, don’t read past Chapter 12  in public. Trust me on this.

Happy Reading everybody!

-Mallory Andres
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