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The Fault in Our Stars (2012)

by John Green

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
18,6871375160 (4.27)691
Sixteen-year-old Hazel, a stage IV thyroid cancer patient, has accepted her terminal diagnosis until a chance meeting with a boy at cancer support group forces her to reexamine her perspective on love, loss, and life.
  1. 170
    Looking for Alaska by John Green (kaledrina)
  2. 101
    Every Day by David Levithan (brnoze)
    brnoze: This is a wonderful story with a great premise. A young adult who wakes up as a different person every 24 hours. The author drops into the lives of many different characters and we get to learn through the eyes of the main character A. This is a love story. a coming of age story and a fantasy of a very different kind. I really enjoyed it.… (more)
  3. 50
    Love Story by Erich Segal (cransell)
  4. 61
    The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon (Anonymous user)
  5. 40
    Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell (StefanieGeeks)
    StefanieGeeks: Both stories have witty teenagers who fall in love as they go through tough times together and contain excellent character development.
  6. 40
    Paper Towns by John Green (StephReads, chwiggy)
  7. 40
    Before I Die by Jenny Downham (kaledrina)
  8. 30
    This Star Won't Go Out: The Life and Words of Esther Grace Earl by Esther Earl (TomWaitsTables)
    TomWaitsTables: Don't forget to be awesome.
  9. 41
    Going Bovine by Libba Bray (fyrefly98)
    fyrefly98: Both are about teenagers with a terminal disease, but both books manage to be incredibly funny, even when they're making you cry.
  10. 30
    Every You, Every Me by David Levithan (kaledrina)
  11. 20
    The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky (tandah)
  12. 20
    Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews (chazzard)
  13. 10
    Never Eighteen by Megan Bostic (kaledrina)
  14. 10
    Accidents of Nature by Harriet McBryde Johnson (SylviaC)
    SylviaC: Both books have the same dark humour, and contain strong messages about humanity and disability.
  15. 22
    Me Before You by Jojo Moyes (bpompon)
  16. 00
    Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz (Anonymous user)
  17. 00
    Turtles All the Way Down by John Green (chwiggy)
  18. 22
    Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green (sduff222)
  19. 11
    Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt (LottaBerling)
  20. 00
    Love Ya Like a Sister: A Story of Friendship by Julie Johnston (Cecilturtle)

(see all 22 recommendations)

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Showing 1-5 of 1320 (next | show all)
I went into this book wanting to like it. That probably sounds redundant if the alternative is starting a book and hoping that you don't like it. But that's applying binary logic where it doesn't belong; the logic here should be fuzzy, like my face is, not binary, like my face isn't. I mean: I normally go into books hoping that they're simply themselves. If the book turns out to be good then hurrah, I read a good book. If it turns out terrible then I can write a cathartic review here on Goodreads and move on with my life. At worst the book is mediocre but then at least we all stayed true to ourselves. But, maybe because I recently discovered John Green's (and his brother Hank's) delightful Youtube channel, or maybe because of this novel's outrageously high ratings, I hoped the book would be good.

So it was with some horror that I utterly failed to warm to the novel at first. Part one of my problem was with the narrator, Hazel Grace, who oftentimes sounds like her favourite bedtime story is the thesaurus (although she does later meet her match in this regard). Having a sixteen year old logophile is not a book-breaker, after all they do exist, but part two of my problem was with the other protagonist—Augustus Waters. Augustus is best described by one of the other characters who opines: “that kid never took a piss without pondering the abundant metaphorical resonances of human waste production.” The incongruousness of these two teenagers having such erudite philosophical discussions about everything so thoroughly jarred me out of the story that I had to put the book down for a while.

Then this morning I was reading a blog about how science fiction always gets passed over for serious literary awards, no matter how good it is. As I read, I realised that I'll happily accept faster than light travel through extra dimensions, and time travel, and pretty much anything else that the science fiction genre can toss my way, but I was struggling with a couple of characters in a YA novel being smart. After realising what a dolt I was, I apologised to the book and read on.

The Fault in Our Stars is a book about love and death, a necromance if you will. It's a cancer book and it knows it, in the same way that Scream knew it was a horror movie. All the tropes of the genre are here and lampshades are hung everywhere. Yet the result isn't cheesy or awkward, it's wonderful. Thoughts are provoked, as are laughs and tears, but none of them cheaply. It's a wonderfully honest little book, and it was honestly wonderful.

That said, I shall dock an infinitesimal amount of a star because John Green rightly pointed out there are different sizes of infinity, then ruined it by claiming that the infinity of number betwixt zero and one is smaller than the infinity of numbers betwixt zero and two, which any McDonald's employee with a maths degree will tell you is simply not the case. And would you like fries with that? ( )
  imlee | Jul 7, 2020 |
I went into this book wanting to like it. That probably sounds redundant if the alternative is starting a book and hoping that you don't like it. But that's applying binary logic where it doesn't belong; the logic here should be fuzzy, like my face is, not binary, like my face isn't. I mean: I normally go into books hoping that they're simply themselves. If the book turns out to be good then hurrah, I read a good book. If it turns out terrible then I can write a cathartic review here on Goodreads and move on with my life. At worst the book is mediocre but then at least we all stayed true to ourselves. But, maybe because I recently discovered John Green's (and his brother Hank's) delightful Youtube channel, or maybe because of this novel's outrageously high ratings, I hoped the book would be good.

So it was with some horror that I utterly failed to warm to the novel at first. Part one of my problem was with the narrator, Hazel Grace, who oftentimes sounds like her favourite bedtime story is the thesaurus (although she does later meet her match in this regard). Having a sixteen year old logophile is not a book-breaker, after all they do exist, but part two of my problem was with the other protagonist—Augustus Waters. Augustus is best described by one of the other characters who opines: “that kid never took a piss without pondering the abundant metaphorical resonances of human waste production.” The incongruousness of these two teenagers having such erudite philosophical discussions about everything so thoroughly jarred me out of the story that I had to put the book down for a while.

Then this morning I was reading a blog about how science fiction always gets passed over for serious literary awards, no matter how good it is. As I read, I realised that I'll happily accept faster than light travel through extra dimensions, and time travel, and pretty much anything else that the science fiction genre can toss my way, but I was struggling with a couple of characters in a YA novel being smart. After realising what a dolt I was, I apologised to the book and read on.

The Fault in Our Stars is a book about love and death, a necromance if you will. It's a cancer book and it knows it, in the same way that Scream knew it was a horror movie. All the tropes of the genre are here and lampshades are hung everywhere. Yet the result isn't cheesy or awkward, it's wonderful. Thoughts are provoked, as are laughs and tears, but none of them cheaply. It's a wonderfully honest little book, and it was honestly wonderful.

That said, I shall dock an infinitesimal amount of a star because John Green rightly pointed out there are different sizes of infinity, then ruined it by claiming that the infinity of number betwixt zero and one is smaller than the infinity of numbers betwixt zero and two, which any McDonald's employee with a maths degree will tell you is simply not the case. And would you like fries with that? ( )
  leezeebee | Jul 6, 2020 |
There are so many things about this book that just exhausted me from beginning to end which is why I gave it half a star. At first, I gave it one star because I thought that Green's description of Amsterdam was fantastic. However, that in the end was not enough to pull this book up when I thought about the lack of in depth characters, the horribleness of two of the characters, the absurdity and also totally telegraphed plot and ending. I honestly am going to be baffled forever on why this book rated so high on the 100 books you must read list.

I compare this book to Dawson's Creek for many reasons. The main one really is though is that for a while there this show was super popular with many in my age group. I mean watching Joey be secretly in love with Dawson while Dawson was dating Jen had all of my friends and I in fits for at least two years. I mean who cared that the teens on the show acted/spoke at least 10 years past their age group. Who cared that towards the end the entire cast except for the character of Jack I think had all hooked up/kissed one another.


I loved that show, until I didn't. This show came on when I was 18, full of hormones and though that everything it was showcasing was so romantic and wonderful. By the time it went off the air in 2003 I had started to skip tons of episodes and when watching just fast forwarding past boring dialogue/characters. I had outgrown Dawson's Creek. Something that I thought was absolutely fantastic at the age of 18 was boring and repetitive and just plain dumb at times when I was 23. I think that many teens may look back at this book similarly when they are adults and have that whole what was I thinking thought along with at least I have outgrown stuff like this.

Told in the first person, we begin this story with sixteen year old Hazel Lancaster clumsily introducing herself as a Cancer kid. Hazel has thyroid cancer which has spread to her lungs and though she is on some medication that has seemed to stop the progress of the cancer/tumors she knows that she is dealing with a situation in the end that she won't win. Hazel's mother makes her go to a support group and there she ends up meeting seventeen year old Augustus (Gus) Waters. Gus had osteosarcoma that ended up causing him to lose one leg and is now an amputee. Hazel is drawn to Gus since he is the hottest boy she has ever seen and the two develop a friendship.

I feel like I could write a thesis paper about Hazel. Hazel at first glance and honestly throughout this book was sarcastic, nasty, and just plain rude depending on the circumstances.

For example, Hazel is nasty towards her parents, even after she acknowledges that her parents are broke or at least not doing well financially because of her medications, hospital visits, surgeries, etc. Then a chapter later is dismissing any thoughts of their concerns with her disparagingly saying they are just parents. Another case was dealing with Gus's friend from group, Issac. Hazel rudely refers to him as blind to herself and brings up Isaac's now ex girlfriend Monica whenever she enters a room by saying, I am not your ex girlfriend Monica.

Hazel is clumsily set up as a very smart intelligent teenager that loves to read. However, you quickly find out that she is obsessed with one particular novel called "An Imperial Affliction" and has written the author, Peter Van Houten at least a dozen times prior to the beginning of the book. Frankly I see Hazel's obsession with this story as the main problem with her character. Green shows time and time again that Hazel is focused on just herself and her needs that she comes across as selfish most of the time. Do I think that it's good that Green didn't portray a cancer stricken teenagers as some font of wisdom with goodness shining through and through? Yes.

Cancer hits everyone from every socio-economic class. And cancer does not automatically make you a "good" person. However, I am going to say that I think he swung too hard the other way by not making Hazel a really balanced person.

With the aggravation of Hazel's character we have the added character of Gus as well. Gus is just as bad as Hazel. He, just like, sees that his parents are just these "tools" that are there to be humored for the most part. More than anything, once Gus is introduced all I could keep thinking is oh my goodness this guy could beat Dawson Leery in most annoying teen guy ever.

Gus and his words aged him up past the point of believabilty for a teenage boy. He didn't speak like a typical teen and every time this character opened his mouth he completely took me out of the story. I was too busy laughing to myself that he sounded like Dawson to really pay him any mind.

That said, even the secondary characters don't hold up that well. I imagine though it may be because we have Hazel giving her thought about people along with painfully written dialogue. You don't get much of a sense of Hazel's parents besides them being saints for putting up with her and the way she talks to them sometimes. Gus's parents are portrayed as being religious and unsophisticated.

Probably one of the characters that I hated reading about was Issac though. You would think I would feel sympathetic to him due to what happens to him. But I thought he was selfish and immature just like Hazel and Gus. Isaac is another person that I feel like I could write a paper about.

Mild spoiler alert:
Isaac is already blind in one eye, but has to have a surgery that will render him blind in both eyes. His girlfriend Monica breaks up with him. Is it nice that she did this? No. But she, just like him is a teenager, and I am sure realizes that she doesn't have the coping mechanism to deal with something like this at her age. What really gets me is that Gus was in a relationship with a girl who he wanted to break up with, but stayed with because she had cancer. So in the end what is the lesson here? Stay with people even when you no longer want to? That them having cancer means you're own needs come second/third? The whole scene where this trio eggs Monica's car was outrageous.
End mild spoiler.

The character of Peter Van Houten was a hot mess of a joke. I refuse to even get into that here because I want this review to be done already.

Leaving behind the plot/characters we can go to the writing and flow which were not great. I already mention that the way that Green wrote the voices of Hazel and Gus were not realistic teen voices. And the way the played into each other back and forth was not cute in my eyes, just them reinforcing their overall jerkiness about how they were both somehow superior to everyone around them. The dialogue with certain other characters was just as awful too.

The flow was really bad to the point of distraction. The book stopped and started in fits and it was a struggle in the end to just finish the book.

The setting of Indianapolis was not utilized very well at all. You can excuse that by saying that Hazel is ill so of course she does not get to see the city for all that it is, but her character often dismisses the entire town. When the story moves to Amsterdam it finally in my eyes came alive. You have Hazel and Gus's fascination with the city and the description of the place by Green was wonderfully done.

The ending was not a surprise and when it came I was glad to be done. I would not recommend this book unless you have it on a reading list like I did. ( )
  ObsidianBlue | Jul 1, 2020 |
A book that initially is more about life than imminent death, but which succumbs to many of the usual tropes by the end. ( )
  Tara_Calaby | Jun 29, 2020 |
I wanted to read this book for ages, but couldn't easily find it anywhere here. When I finally did find it I was excited. I read the book almost in one read. I love this book. I want to read more John Green books. ( )
  prettygoodyear | Jun 29, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 1320 (next | show all)
added by melmore | editThe Guardian, Milo (Aug 5, 2014)
 
Allison Hunter Hill (VOYA, April 2012 (Vol. 35, No. 1))
Hazel Grace is a sixteen-year-old cancer patient, caught up in the effort it takes to live in a body that everyone knows is running out of time. When she reluctantly agrees to return to her local teen cancer support group to satisfy her mother, the last thing she expects is an encounter with destiny. New to the group, Augustus Waters is handsome, bitingly sarcastic, and in remission. He is also immediately taken with Hazel, and what begins as a casual friendship soon escalates into a full romance. Through an impressive exchange of books and words, philosophies and metaphors, Hazel and Augustus tear apart what it means to be both star-crossed lovers and imminently mortal. While Hazel fixates about how her death will eventually hurt her loved ones, Augustus obsesses about how he will be remembered; the two are drawn together by the justified anxiety they feel over endings. grades 10 to Ages 15 to 18.

added by kthomp25 | editVOYA, Allison Hunter Hill
 

» Add other authors (39 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
John Greenprimary authorall editionscalculated
Corral, RodrigoCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rudd, KateNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zeitz, SophieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
As the tide washed in, the Dutch Tulip Man faced the ocean:
"Conjoiner rejoinder poisoner concealer revelator. Look at it,
rising up and rising down, taking everything with it."

"What's that?" I asked.

"Water," the Dutchman said. "Well, and time."

-PETER VAN HOUTEN, An Imperial Affliction
Dedication
To Esther Earl
First words
Late in the winter of my seventeenth year, my mother decided I was depressed.
Quotations
My favorite book, by a wide margin, was An Imperial Affliction, but I didn't like to tell people about it. Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book. And then there are books like An Imperial Affliction, which you can't tell people about, books so special and rare and yours that advertising your affection feels like a betrayal.

It wasn't even that the book was so good or anything; it was just that the author, Peter Van Houten, seemed to understand me in weird and impossible ways. An Imperial Affliction was my book, in the way my body was my body and my thoughts were my thoughts.
There was time before organisms experienced consciousness, and there will be time after. And if the inevitability of human oblivion worries you, I encourage you to ignore it. Got knows that's what everyone else does.
You are buying into the cross-stitched sentiments of your parents' throw pillows. You're arguing that the fragile, rare thing is beautiful simply because it is fragile and rare. But that's a lie, and you know it.
What am I at war with? My cancer. And what is my cancer? My cancer is me. The tumors are made of me. They're made of me as surely as my brain and my heart are made of me. It is a civil war, Hazel Grace, with a predetermined winner.
There is no honor in dying of.
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Haiku summary
Cancer teens in love --

You might want to have a box

of tissues on hand.

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An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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