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The Fault in Our Stars

John Green

Average Review Rating Average Rating 10/10 (2 Reviews)
Book Details

Publisher : Dutton

Published : 2012

Copyright : John Green 2012

ISBN-10 : HB 0-525-47881-7
ISBN-13 : HB 978-052-5478812

Publisher's Write-Up

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.

About the Author:
John Green is a bestselling and award-winning author of young-adult fiction titles. An Abundance of Katherines (Dutton, 2006) was a finalist in the Michael L. Printz Book Award and Paper Towns (Bloomsbury, 2010) won the Edgar Award for Best Young Adult Novel. He currently lives in Indianapolis with his wife, Sarah.

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Reader Reviews

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Review by Matt Brown (310712) Rating (10/10)
Review by Kat (310112) Rating (9/10)

Review by Matt Brown
Rating 10/10
Apparently four out of ten people will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lifetime, and yet until The Fault in Our Stars I don't think I've ever read a single book in which the lead, point-of-view character is inflicted with the disease.

The reason, as I'm sure narrator Hazel would agree, is perhaps because cancer is not only ugly but also rather mundane. For all the talk of 'fighting' cancer, life very much just goes on – until eventually it doesn't. So despite the huge role cancer will invariably play in all our lives, when it comes to fiction, it tends to be something that happens to other people.

And so we are introduced to Hazel Grace Lancaster, a sixteen-year-old girl with stage four lung cancer. A new drug has the cancer at a temporary stalemate, but years with the disease has left Hazel relying on the constant presence of an oxygen tank and with very few illusions of her future.

More or less resigned to her fate, Hazel spends much of her time watching reality TV with her doting parents and reading and rereading An Imperial Affliction, her favourite book. The novel-within-the-novel also concerns a cancer-ridden girl, and maddeningly ends in mid-sentence, prompting years of unrequited letters from Hazel to the reclusive author.

Her sedentary life abruptly changes when she meets Augustus Waters at a cancer support group she is forced to attend. Startlingly handsome, charming, kind, and endearingly goofy, Augustus swiftly resolves himself as the one true love Hazel never expected to find in her sadly shortened life.
As ever with his work, John Green creates characters that are so well rounded and realistic it's often easy to forget they amount to mere ink on a page. He also once again demonstrates the rare gift of writing teenagers that actually sound like teenagers, and the often irreverent, sarcasm-shot banter is one the many highlights.

Augustus is himself a member of the cancer club, having narrowly staved off osteosarcoma at the cost of a leg. Between the two of them it would be easy to categorise The Fault in Our Stars as yet another addition to the 'cancer story' genre that Hazel and Augustus so disdain.

It's certainly true that the big C is as inescapable a part of the narrative as Hazel's own oxygen tank, and the effects of cancer on the life of an individual and everyone they know are earnestly and unflinchingly explored as the novel progresses.

A huge amount of research has clearly been put into a realistic portrayal of cancer, and Green's words are lent extra emotional heft by the book's dedication to Esther Earl, a 'Nerdfighter' (Green's cadre of fans) who sadly lost her own battle with the disease.

And yet The Fault in Our Stars is so much more than another entry into the cancer lexicon. The burgeoning relationship between two young lovers would also make the book an easy option for the teen romance shelf, but there is little of the romantic chase and drama normally reserved for such titles.

What the book is really about is life. Green's narrative deftly flits between laugh-out-loud comedy and heart-breaking tragedy at any given moment, and the emotional rollercoaster the book presents is as true to life as any you'll find.

The Fault in Our Stars will certainly make you laugh, may well make you cry, and above all else it will stay with you long after you finish the final page. And you can't ask much more of a book than that.
Matt Brown (31st July 2012)

Review by Kat
Rating 9/10
When looking at The Fault in Our Stars (or TFiOS as Green and fans fondly refer to it), it's important to look at the history of this book and it's author. Firstly this book was highly anticipated by Green's many fans in both the literature world and online in the Youtube community where he and his brother Hank have racked up over 630,000 viewers through video blogging. He pushed himself to sign all 150,000 copies of the first printing requiring the help of an occupational therapist and I suppose that already being a New York Times best seller and winner of the Printz Award... .Green had a lot to live up to. To rate this book, is to compare it to the masses of hype, the pre-orders that topped both the Amazon and Barnes & Noble charts in just a couple of days after being available for pre-order. And then there's the question of is it really worth all that hype?

Yes. This book exceeds the hype (and please believe there was a LOT of it). Hazel Grace Lancaster is a 16 year old stage four terminal lung cancer patient. Together her and her friend Augustus Waters embark on a journey to come to terms with the fact that inevitably "all of this will end in oblivion". Connected by their love of a single book they attempt to deal with death and its many "side effects".

Firstly, Green doesn't conform to a cookie cutter cancer-kid book. Hazel Grace and Augustus don't discover any special secret of life or start a charity or change the world. However, what Green provides us with is an honest account of teen cancer. He gives the reader intelligence, witty dialogue, an abundance of charming metaphors, an un-smoked pack of cigarettes, and a story that really hits home. If you read books for general enjoyment, this book will make you both laugh and cry. If you like to read your literature critically, well, you're going to laugh and cry harder.

The passion for life and the dialogue between Hazel Grace and Augustus is both truly heart warming and heart breaking. If there is anything of this book to criticize, it's that these two teens are almost too intelligent, too likeable and too easy to become emotionally invested in as you progress through this book.

On the back of this true masterpiece of fiction, E. Lockhart is quoted on Green saying "He is one of the best writers alive and I am seething with envy at his talent." After this book, it's hard to argue with her.
Kat (31st January 2012)

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