The Fault in Our Stars


This is a redesigned book cover for the book. I put my favorite quote from the book in the background, and just reformatted the lettering.

I’ve always wondered what the hype was about this John Green guy. I’m a regular on tumblr a blogging website. The links and ravings about his books and the author himself were just flooding my dashboard a mile a minute. This wasn’t the first time something had blown up on the website like this, especially something about books. Of course with the majority of Tumblr being avid readers, there was bound to be one or more book reviews. But this was alarming, the amount of praise this guy got. The book I saw the most buzz about was The Fault in Our Stars. So of course when it came time to pick a choice book, I had something to look forward to.

The Fault in Our Stars, or TFIOS for short, is about the life of a girl who has lung cancer. She can’t attend school because of her sickness so her friends soon become obsolete. She has to attend this meeting/group with other kids who have cancer. There she meets a boy who had his leg amputated because of bone cancer. Soon they become friends and then fall in love, the standard plot for a young adult novel. But the way the author went about it was captivating and completely different from what I have ever read before.

With most reviews I read about The Fault in Our Stars, a lot of people mentioned that this wasn’t John Green’s story to write. It would of made more sense for a cancer survivor to be talking about being a teenager and dealing with the harsh realities of cancer. But I did some research and found that he actually worked in a hospital for sick children. This inspired him to become an author, and those experiences formed the The Fault in Our Stars. This made me have so much more of a love for this book since it was unbiased and came from actual experiences, seeing how these kids lived with one foot in the grave.

Overall the book was beautifully written, keeping me interested through the ups and downs of the plot. It’s hard for a book to keep me interested for so long; that’s why I don’t tend to read things unless it’s a short story or a news article. But this book surprised me completely, with it’s complex characters and realities that aren’t saccharine. What really kept me reading was the limited amount of description. I tend to doze off when I read three chunky paragraphs about how the wind affects the trees. The outside description was kept minimal and focused more on human interaction and inner monologues, which I tend to appreciate more.

I especially loved the characters in this book. For teenagers, they were complex and interesting, their personalities and quirks not seen in most teenagers. Usually young adult novels about teenagers depict them as hormonal, unintelligent beings that live off of drama and the media, influenced by absolutely anything. To be honest, it’s not that far from the truth, but only a small population of teenagers are actually like that. Most of us are actually smart and have a lot more common sense than what we’re credited with. But here, the teenagers were actually decently intelligent and acted like mature people. As a fellow teenager, I really appreciated this and felt like we as a whole were being respected as human beings. However, they only thing that threw me off was the amount of complex and poetic conversation that was going on. We may be intelligent, but we don’t use poetic and novel references. Let’s be honest here: none of us talk like that at all. Yes, we have serious conversations that might dwell into some bigger issues and actually come out with an epiphany about the human race and society. But that doesn’t happen during every single conversation, especially to other teenagers. However, the romance that blossomed between the two main characters felt pretty realistic. Most teenage romance is full of awkward glances and awkward times together. But these two had a special connection: they both had cancer. I’m sure that connection made their romance a bit different, but strong than the standard teen romance.

What really made me love this book was that the reality of cancer was real. I’ve personally never knew anyone with cancer. It’s always been diabetes and heart problems for me, since both run in my family quite frequently. The deaths feel the same, since the death of anyone no matter the way the went feels horrible. But what I find different with cancer (or what I’ve heard about it) is that you can just see the person deteriorating from the inside out. They look absolutely fine one day, but then they get deathly sick the next, their cancer coming back to haunt them once more. In this novel, the threat of dying was always felt and was completely real. Most novels about sickness and disease tend to downplay this, focusing on how strong and happy the characters are, like their lives wouldn’t end at any moment. The characters in this book however always recognize that their lives can end at any moment, and live accordingly. They don’t ever talk about hope, in fact they’ve stated that they are hopeless and always expect to die at some point. They weren’t strong, they were real.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes young adult novels with a  twist, especially a grim one. I think this book would suit teenagers and adults alike. For teenagers it would be a relief to see that someone actually treats us with respect and depicts us somewhat realistically. For adults it would be nice to show that kids can be intelligent human beings with complex emotions that have meaning behind them. The twist and turns will keep anyone interested for a long enough time to finish the book and crave more. Similarly, Green’s Looking for Alaska is amazing as well, with the same complexity revisited. Honestly all of Green’s novels are amazing, and great for anyone to read.

Title: The Fault in Our Stars

Author : John Green

Publisher: Dutton Books

Publication : 10 January 2012

# of pages : 313

Genre : Young Adult