The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green

The Fault in Our StarsOh, this book. I’ve had it since January, when I drove out to the beach to retrieve my J-scribbled pre-order, but I put off the actual reading part forever because a) once I read it it was going to have been read, and b) I needed to find a time to read it in which I would be willing to cry all the tears.

Spoiler: I cried all the tears.

Scott asked me what this book is about, and I was like, um, cancer? Kids with cancer? Kids dying of cancer and omg it’s so depressing and can you get me some tissues? It’s a hard book to summarize, because, well, there are kids with cancer in it and the cancer part sort of drives the story but it’s not really about kids with cancer so much as it is about kids who are trying to figure out life and failing as all humans do. There’s a lot about cancer and dying and how everything, including life, is just a side effect of dying, which, depressing, but there’s also friendship, waning friendship, young love, appreciation of literature and a whimsical journey to Amsterdam (where I will be in a month woo!).

And goodness, I loved the whole thing. There were a few things that were sort of obviously going to happen from the start, but the path to those things happening was not at all predictable and I was completely moved and engrossed. The characters, as John Green’s characters are wont to be, are fantastic and totally real, and totally how I remember existing as a teenager — overly self-aware and almost embarrassingly (to current me) pretentious. The story is real, too, even in the midst of the whimsical journey — the circumstances surrounding that journey require a bit of suspension of disbelief, but the interactions that occur make sense and it is nice to have a bit of a humorous reprieve from the cancer, which I think is the point.

I want to say so many more things about this book, but I don’t want to spoil it for you — not because there are any crucial twists or plot points that would be ruined if I told you about them, but because I spent every minute away from this book wanting to grab it and find out what happened next. If I had been anticipating this thing or that thing happening, I think I would have missed out on a lot of what happens in between. (If you’ve already read the book, let’s go have a party in the comments!)

Recommendation: For lovers of John Green and literature, and owners of many tissues.

Rating: 9.5/10

13 thoughts on “The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green

  1. Laura Ansley says:

    Party in the comments! I also really enjoyed it – it had common cancer tropes that I wasn’t shocked by, but like you I still enjoyed how we got there. I also kind of want an Augustus for myself. But without all the sad.

    • Alison says:

      Augustus is pretty fine. Relatedly, I definitely had Hazel and August on my lists of Names for Hypothetical Children, and now I’m not sure if I can leave them on there. Too tragic!

      • Laura Ansley says:

        Yeah, they are great names. Hazel especially, I don’t really like the nickname Gus too much.

        • Alison says:

          No, Gus is weird, I was going to go with Augie. 🙂

          Also, as regards the weather down here in Florida, I can say with certainty that Hazel is wrong that you can appreciate nice weather just fine without gross weather… I forgot how wonderful Florida “winter” is until it was 90 degrees and muggy in April! Uggh.

    • Alison says:

      Oh, but you should! I think they’re all pretty fantastic in their own ways, but I especially still like Looking for Alaska and Will Grayson, Will Grayson, which I guess is technically only half Green’s but whatever, still hilarious.

  2. caridubiel says:

    Ohhh, I cried all the tears too. And I also sat on it till I was ready for it, although I did have to return it to the library, so I couldn’t for too long. I just love him.

    • Alison says:

      Meeee too! Another librarian friend said that there were a bunch of people on her listserv hating on TFiOS and also not liking John Green, and I was like, I’m not clear how that’s possible.

        • Alison says:

          You never cry any of the tears, but I think you might be more like an unfeeling… something that’s one step down from a monster. Ogre? I got nothing.

          • Laura Ansley says:

            I guess as an ogre at least I get layers, if not emotions. And that’s not true – I’ve cried some of the tears…just rarely.

            • Alison says:

              Well, then, you’re just saving them up for important things, whereas I’m just giving mine away! At least I’m not like Kristen Bell with that sloth…

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