The Fault in Our Stars, John Green: Book Review

the fault in our stars john green book review
The Fault in Our Stars Book Cover The Fault in Our Stars
John Green
Young Adult
Dutton Books
January 10, 2012
Hardcover
313

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

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.

'Electric . . . Filled with staccato bursts of humor and tragedy'
- Jodi Picoult

'A novel of life and death and the people caught in between, The Fault in Our Stars is John Green at his best. You laugh, you cry, and then you come back for more'
- Markus Zusak, author of The Book Thief

This was my first John Green read, and I’d have to say this was pretty reentry to Young Adult fiction. After high school, I decided I’d grown out of reading about teenagers and their teenage angsty ways, but after reading The Fault in Our Stars I’ve realized just how close these stories hit home with me.

The Fault in Our Stars was no exception. This book was amusing, heartfelt, and if it makes any offing sense, beautifully confusing in so many ways… Green writes in a very witty form that’s at first really appealing until you realize something’s missing — something important. And then I realized what it was: Hazel and August.

I know, I know, I know… “What do you mean?” Well, I’m getting to that. As much as I enjoyed reading Hazel and Augustus’ love story play out, it didn’t seem real at all. This was a very fictive pair of teenagers that could not honestly have existed outside this book. If anything, they are imposter teenagers. Am I still not making any sense?

Okay, so here’s what I’m getting at: I don’t know about you but when I look to my younger cousins, who are the same age as Hazel and Augustus, I don’t see the same pair of kids. I see the latter as two adults inhabiting the bodies and minds of two teenagers — what teens do you know speak in long, drawn out monologues like these two? That’s bullshit.

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And look, I’m not trying to undermine teenagers today but this isn’t really conceivable for even the brainiacs of the world. Hazel is way too pretentious for her age, more than is actually comfortable; Augustus, on the other hand, is incredibly wise, which isn’t so unbelievable but he’s a bit too complex for the average teenager. But then again, I forget “average” is a bad way of living…BUT SERIOUSLY WHAT TEENS TALK LIKE THIS?!

Aside from these unrealistic teenage lovers Green has crafted, I have very few faults with this book. He does a great job at cultivating all the elements of what it means to be a teenager, misunderstood; he’s able to capture the complexity of young love in just under a couple hundred pages and I especially enjoyed the fact that this was optioned for film.

Although this was only my first Green read, it most certainly will not be my last.


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Written by Paris Close

Paris Close

Editor-in-chief at Paperback Paris. Saving myself for Andy Cohen. Give me Gillian Flynn, or give me death.