The Fault In Our Stars

17 Apr


Hazel has terminal cancer and has to wheel around an oxygen tank. Gus lost a leg to cancer, and appears to be in remission. They meet at a cancer support group which, prior to Gus showing up, consisted of Hazel sharing eye rolls with a boy named Isaac and ticking off the frequent deaths of the group members. Gus is clever and beautiful, and Hazel is determined not to let him love her, as she doesn’t want to cause any more pain in the world than necessary.

A love story between two teenagers with cancer is not exactly a promising topic. Unless one enjoys melodrama, and the Jodi Picoult quote on the cover does little to dispel this notion, reading about cancer and dying can be, well, unappealing. However, the humor and realism John Green injects into his characters makes the book funnier and much more interesting and complicated than one would think.

Gus, Hazel, and Hazel’s parents are well-imagined, complicated, and filled with humor and truth. Hazel’s friendship with Isaac rings true, and is exactly the type of friendship that forms out of a common sense of humor about something ridiculous and tragic (in this case cancer). The only issue I had with the book was the framing device of a book written by a grumpy man from Amsterdam. Hazel loves the book, and Gus is determined to use his “wish” (referring to a make-a-wish type organization – Hazel wasted hers on Disneyland) to get her to meet the author. I found this part a bit boring, and wanted to get back to the relationship between the characters.

Overall this is a great read, and is as good as all of Green’s other books. Sometimes I wonder if I would have been ready as a teenager to see how real and accurate he is with regards to the young adult experience, or if having some distance from my youth has helped me see things more clearly. Green is one of the best YA voices out there, and adults really need to read his work.

Nora’s rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Author: John Green
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile (January 2012)

2 Responses to “The Fault In Our Stars”

  1. VeganYANerds 17. Apr, 2012 at 5:45 pm #

    Lovely review, Nora! I wonder about what my reactions to books would have been as a teen compared to myself now, I’m sure being able to look back at our own teenage years helps us to understand more of what authors are giving us.

    I have had this book on my shelf for a while now, I keep putting it off because I’ve read that so many people cried a lot!

  2. Lori 20. Apr, 2012 at 6:56 am #

    I have so much love for this book. It just blew me away. I wanted to reread it again after I finished it. 🙂 Great review!

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