The Fault In Our Stars | John Green | YA | Book Review

The Fault in our Stars

by John Green

313 pages
Kindle edition
Amazon purchase

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love. GOODREADS

I had big hopes for this book, given that the subject matter was so close to home. But as I reached the 5% mark doubts started to creep in as to whether I would get through to the end. My first impressions of, Hazel, the main character, were that she was too sarcastic and dry. These are qualities that I normally find interesting, so I was a bit confused at what it was about her that didn’t gel with me. But I plowed on anyway and grew to like and understand her. It was her way of coping.

As expected, I related to much of her parents’ anxiety and feelings about her health, her future, her wellbeing, and the Cancer Meetings with doctors. Having been through it with my young daughter I felt a link, and there was one quote in particular that struck a chord with me. Every time I read it, it has an almost overwhelming impact.

“…and my father was trying so hard not to sob that when he did, which was regularly, it was an earthquake.”

Childhood/Teen cancer is devastating for the whole family. It’s a journey that is tough and not chosen, but one that must be endured if it is thrust upon you. You simply have no choice but to deal with it.

The underlying story definitely had me, I could relate to it, I could feel it, I could understand it. The only thing that I struggled with was that (in my opinion) the dialogue didn’t match the age group. Would a couple of teens really banter in such an intellectual way? Maybe, maybe not. It was something that I had trouble ignoring.

The grenade. Wow, what a metaphor. It’s brilliant really. Terminal illness is just like a grenade. The illness and the patient are one, and when it goes off, the shrapnel stings everything around it. John Green nailed it.

As I reached the 25% mark I was enjoying the story, but not loving it. Probably because romance isn’t really my favorite thing and there was plenty of it brewing. Even so, there were plenty of other endearing qualities to keep me reading. In all honesty, I was quite surprised when the big twist arrived. I didn’t see it coming.  Throughout the story, I had focussed on Hazel and her illness, and not so much on the other characters, so I was definitely surprised at the turn of events. And then when Peter Van Houten turned up out of the blue, I wasn’t sure whether to be pleased or angry. In the end, I look back on this one as a great read.  Now I need to watch the movie.

This book rekindled things I’ve often felt during my daughter’s Cancer journey. The absolute dread, the sadness, the fear, the helplessness, the waste. And even the guilt that she survived, while others we met along the way weren’t so lucky.

It’s a book with a heavy subject, one that I hope remains just a story to most people, but one that I know is familiar to far too many.

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9 responses to “The Fault In Our Stars | John Green | YA | Book Review”

  1. sharonledwith Avatar

    Heartwarming post about your feelings and experience through this review. Thanks for sharing, Steve. I’m so happy things worked out for you and your family! Cheers!


    1. Thanks, Sharon, we are too. This book’s subject was so relatable to me. Next step is to watch the movie.


  2. I want to watch the movie but at the same time I don’t because I know it’s going to be sad 😔


      1. Still thinking about it haha! Watched the animated movie Home in 3D with my daughter and her friend. If you haven’t seen it, I totally recommend it. It was so funny x

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m glad we agree on the fact that this book is just absolutely FABULOUS! I too thought the the grenade was a really powerful metaphor, because once it goes off, it hurts you AND the people around you. Great job on the review! 🙂


    Liked by 1 person

  4. […] This book rekindled things I’ve often felt during my daughter’s Cancer journey. The absolute dread, the sadness, the fear, the helplessness, the waste. And even the guilt that she survived, while others we met along the way weren’t so lucky. My full April review is HERE. […]


  5. Interesting. I haven’t cracked the cover yet because of experience.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a mixed bag Mark, but I did think it was a good book. Definitely parts that resonated with me. I still haven’t watched the movie.


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