The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

 
The Fault in Our Stars
The Fault in Our Stars
The Fault in Our Stars

 
Overview
 

Genre: ,
 
Author:
 
Publisher:
 
Format:
 
Publication Date:
 
Number of Pages: 336
 
ISBN: ISBN-10: 0141345659, ISBN-13: 978-0141345659
 
Synopsis: Two teenagers meet at a cancer support group and build a relationship full of love, hope, and heartbreak.
 
Availability: This book is available from online retailers and in all major bookstores in hardback, paperback, and ebook format.
 
Originality
9.0


 
Storytelling
9.0


 
Characters
8.0


 
Total Score
8.7


User Rating
2 total ratings

 

Positives


This book is a highly entertaining and emotional read.

Negatives


Teenagers can be annoying, and at times Green captures this a little too well.


Bottom Line

This book avoids cliché and is genuinely moving. It’s a great read for anyone, teenagers or adults.

0
Posted June 13, 2014 by

 
Full Review & Best Prices
 
 

Click here to Read the Full Review

The Fault in Our Stars

John Green, author of Looking for Alaska and An Abundance of Katherines, scored a critical and commercial smash hit with his fifth novel, The Fault in Our Stars.

The Fault in Our Stars is narrated by Hazel, a sixteen-year-old girl whose “lungs suck at being lungs” due to a long battle with thyroid and lung cancer. A wonder drug has shrunk the tumours in her lungs, but she needs oxygen to breathe and her future is uncertain. While at a support group for teenagers coping with cancer, Hazel meets Augustus. After losing a leg to osteosarcoma, Augustus is cynical, charming, and acutely aware of the value of life. He falls head over heels in love with Hazel, who struggles to allow herself to enter a relationship because she fears her uncertain (and most likely short) lifespan makes her a “grenade”, destined only to cause pain to those who care about her. As their relationship tentatively progresses, they make a journey to Amsterdam to meet Hazel’s favourite author. The book continues to explore their relationship alongside the themes of love, death, life, and happiness.

The characters in this book are brilliantly drawn, and the relationships have an authenticity that may surprise you. As a counterpart to Hazel and Augustus, the book presents their friend Isaac and his girlfriend Monica. Their relationship provides a dose of painful reality in contrast to the almost idyllic connection between the two protagonists. The book breaks the fourth wall a little in discussing the tendency of films and literature about “cancer kids” to turn them into paragons of virtue, instead of the annoying, funny, varied people they actually are. Hazel and Augustus’ cynicism about the way the world views them and their condition is both hilarious and tragic.

Many novels aimed at teenagers portray parents and adults in general as somewhat one-dimensional or emotionless. The Fault in Our Stars has a unique opportunity to avoid that: Hazel has, by necessity, spent a lot of time with her parents and as a result her narrative conveys a full picture of who they are. This insight also comes in handy when discussing other significant figures as the book goes on.

When it comes to dialogue, Green has a great ear for the way teenagers interact. Unfortunately this can result in the protagonists, especially Augustus, coming off as somewhat pretentious. Yes, teenagers are often pretentious, but it is a little alienating to the reader. Some of the references are also specific enough to seriously date the book in a few years’ time, but that shouldn’t affect anyone’s enjoyment.

In terms of structure, this book has its priorities in line. We know enough about Hazel and Gus to like them when the plot really gets into gear, and it is still fun to learn more about them as the book goes on. Green dwells on the trip to Amsterdam just long enough to really convey all of its significance to the characters without getting dull. It builds wonderfully to the end, making you feel as if you are going on a journey with the characters at a pace that gives you time to take it all in.

The Fault in Our Stars is an excellent book. Going in, it is easy to be sceptical about a young adult novel tacking such emotive issues as cancer and death. However, as we have learned from legends like Judy Blume and Jacqueline Wilson, the young adult genre is more than up to the task and John Green does it very well. This book does not disappoint, and will leave you moved, uplifted, and heartbroken all at once.

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Mary D

 
Mary D


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