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Book Reviews

Review: “The Fault in our Stars,” John Green

January 22, 2014
Review: “The Fault in our Stars,” John GreenThe Fault in Our Stars (Standalone)
Written by John Green
Published January, 2012 by Dutton
313 pages
Genres: Contemporary, Loss & Grief, Romance
Purchase: The Book DepositoryAdd to Goodreads
three-stars

Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 12, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs… for now.

Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault.

Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at Cancer Kid Support Group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind.

The Fault in our Stars was a very compelling and addictive read, one that I enjoyed and was able to devour in practically one sitting. Although this book had hardly any time to settle into the long, bleak waiting room that is my Kobo E-Reader, I still feel that the story itself was just ‘okay’.

The Fault in our Stars is one of those books everyone raves about – ugly crying, no less – so I knew that one day I would have to face it. I kept putting it off, however, because the horribly named ‘sick lit’ genre is just not my type of thing. My curiosity only grew, however, when promotional material began coming out for the movie – and what can I say? I couldn’t hold back any longer.

Yes, I read this book in a matter of hours and enjoyed it, but I wasn’t absolutely blown away by it. I found myself a tad annoyed at all the long-winded philosophies and such that were spewed out by our characters at every turn (at times I even felt like skimming those paragraphs or skipping them all together). I wanted more story. While I realise that probably isn’t the best thing to wish for in this genre, and that I should have been expecting flowery reflections on life and the human condition, I came to a conclusion that I pretty much already expected… and that was that this little niche in the contemporary just wasn’t (and isn’t) ever going to be my thing.

Putting aside those qualms with the novel, I really enjoyed the relationship between Hazel and Augustus. I was not expecting the ‘plot twist’ (ahem, the ending) when I first began reading about them, although I did have my suspicions as I got deeper and deeper into the novel. I just didn’t expect John Green to turn the story down that avenue at all.

While the whole ‘Peter van Houten’ side plot was at least a little interesting, I became bored of it and felt like I was reading something I already knew the ending to. I guessed that van Houten would be this weird, eccentric man and Hazel wouldn’t get the ending she wanted. I knew he’d be a disappointment. The only thing I liked about his inclusion within the story was the way in which it affected Hazel and Gus’s relationship.

Augustus Waters is truly a fantastic creation of a character. He was probably my favourite part of the book and I can’t wait to see him portrayed on screen.

All in all, The Fault in our Stars was an enjoyable read, but it didn’t ‘blow me away’ as promised by legions of fans. I did consider for a time giving it 4 stars, but the more I thought about it the more ‘faults’ (hah, a joke?) I found with it.

Recommended to: No doubt you’ve been recommended this book. If so, you will have to read it if only to make up your own mind about it. This book is perfect for readers wanting something quick and breezy before bedtime and not having to invest in a series.

About John Green

John Green is an American author of young adult fiction and a YouTube vlogger. Green grew up in Orlando, Florida, and graduated from Kenyon College in 2000 with a double major in English and Religious Studies. Green currently resides in Indianapolis, Indiana with his wife, Sarah, his son Henry, and his dog, a West Highland Terrier, named Willy (full name Fireball Wilson Roberts).

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