Review: The Fault in Our Stars


 — 5 out of 5 Stars

“My thoughts are stars I can’t fathom into constellations.” — from The Fault in Our Stars

The plot of the book is quite simple: Hazel is a girl with terminal cancer. She has been terminal for years, living with cancer-damaged lungs courtesy a miracle drug that has extended her life into her sixteenth year. In the “Literal Heart of Jesus,” a church basement where her teen support group meets, she encounters Augustus, a boy who will change the course of her life.

“The Fault” is a book about living with cancer, dying from cancer, hating cancer. It is a story that others have tackled, but none so well. It is poignant without being maudlin. It is sad, in places, with no artificial hand-wringing or attempts to wrestle gulping tears from its readers. But neither is it cold or distant, having been told in the likable first-person voice of its central character, Hazel.

She and Gus struggle, trying to find bits of normalcy, amidst the unfairness, the strangers’ stares, and the Cancer Perks. I rooted for them, was moved by them, but more importantly, believed them. The beauty of the book is John Green’s ability to write real characters. Hazel is a real girl, Gus is a real, though charismatic, boy, and I cared about them. There was a point in the book where it slowed, but not to the point of boredom, rather to the point of reality. Others call it a comedy, but it’s funny in the way that life is funny — not through situations, but via people who make it worthwhile.

If you’re looking for something to weep over, there are other books for that. Both Hazel and Gus would roll their eyes at you if you did. But if you want to understand what it’s like to try and live — and fall in love — while your body is insistent on betraying you, try this one.

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  1. cecilia says:

    Excellent, I shall put this on my list even tho as you know cancer has never been my friend, I actually do prefer not to think about it at all, I won’t even donate to cancer charities, though I am not sure that if you have heaps of staff being paid large amounts to run a charity it can actually be called a charity. but i am a cynic. A good book is a gem, i shall find it and read it too.. c

    1. The Cancer Institute is near my job. They have a huge new office complex that looks as if they earn a commission on cases of cancer.

      I am almost certain they do not.

      It is a good book, but one I probably should not have started when I was having random, mysterious pains. Off to the next book, Railsea.

      1. cecilia says:

        Looking forward to that review too! have a warm weekend! c

  2. Mary Quallo says:

    If you liked it, I’m sure I will. It is now on my list. BTW still reading The Juice and other stories and thanks to one of the stories I WILL be buying and reading you The Stream series. I already know I will love it. Keep writing Bill, I’m still reading. Mary

    1. “Keep writing Bill, I’m still reading.” I’m having that put on my tombstone.

      1. Mary Quallo says:

        LOL I think that would be great. Keep writing Bill, I’m still reading. Mary

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