Title: The Fault In Our Stars
Author: John Green
Published by: Penguin Group
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary, Romance
In-Series/Stand Alone: Stand Alone
Intro: Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.
My Review: John Green is widely known as an author who writes books for young adults. However, his voice, through his books, is so compulsively readable that it defies categorization. He doesn’t just write FOR youth, he writes TO them. I’ll be honest, I started this book knowing deep down that it would probably make me sad, because it’s a book about kids with cancer (but it isn’t. I’ll get to that in a minute). I understood Hazel, the protagonist, in a way I’ve never really understood any other fictional character. It was as if I was reading her diary and she was sitting right next to me so I could glance up at her occasionally and tell her how much and how well I got her. This book opened my eyes not just to cancer, but to the life of a person suffering with cancer. Hazel suffered, but in truth, she wasn’t made up of cancer. Sometimes people look at a sick person and all they see is their sickness. They don’t bother to dig deeper and acknowledge the person’s interests, their likes and dislikes, their opinions, their thoughts. That’s what really touched me about this book. Augustus, or Gus as many like to call him, taught Hazel to live her life and enjoy it while she still could. Hazel taught him something as well — you don’t need to “leave a mark upon the world”, or be remembered and widely known. The important thing in life is to notice life itself, to live in the moment and live for the now. The relationship between Gus and Hazel is so clear, and so remarkably real, which is hard to find in most YA books today. It’s far more romantic than any cheesy romance novel that ends with unicorns and rainbows — it’s real. It’s the cold hard and beautiful truth, and that’s what makes this book so special — it stays with you forever. TFIOS will always have a special place in my heart. It’ll be one of those books that I’ll keep going back to and re-reading until the words on the pages start to fade. Take my word for it — you’ll be thankful for the little infinity you spend inside this book.
“That’s the thing about pain. It demands to be felt.”
“I cannot tell you how thankful I am for our little infinity. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. You gave me a forever within the numbered days, and I’m grateful.”
“You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world, but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices.”
“It would be a privilege to have my heart broken by you.”
“Some infinities are bigger than other infinities.”
“Sometimes people don’t understand the promises they’re making when they make them,” I said. Isaac shot me a look. “Right, of course. But you keep the promise anyway. That’s what love is. Love is keeping the promise anyway.”
“My thoughts are stars I can’t fathom into constellations.”
*Note: Here’s a little trivia for you — The book’s title, The Fault in Our Stars, comes from a line in Shakespeare’s play in Julius Caesar where Cassius says, “The fault, dear Brutus is not in our stars, / But in ourselves, that we are underlings.” Cassius seems to be saying that it’s not fate that dooms men, but instead their own failings. John Green doesn’t quite agree with Cassius, and neither do I, to be honest. The title itself seems to argue that sometimes it isn’t our fault, sometimes we can’t help what happens to us because it just happens. It’s just the way things were meant to be. Hazel and Gus sure didn’t ask for their cancer, but they got it anyway and it couldn’t be avoided or changed. I think the beauty of the title, the message it was trying to convey, is that despite the inevitable fate they both knew was coming, they were still able to live life to its fullest and fall in love and do everything just as everyone else would. I would love to hear your thoughts on this — what do you think the title means?
*Watch the movie trailer here:
*DISCLAIMER* If you have not read this book yet, I’d really recommend not going through the comments section in case there’s a spoiler. You can always come back here later to discuss after you’ve read the book! (Or contact me if you want to talk about it beforehand)