The Fault In Our Stars – John Green | Book review

Spoiler free! 

Description from Goodreads: 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.’ 

The Fault In Our Stars has been on my TBR list for well over a year. With the movie being released this month I finally manned up and read it and guess what? I didn’t cry. 

I picked this book up around 10PM one night and stayed up until nearly 2AM trying to finish it. When I was about two thirds of the way through I intended to put it down and get some sleep, but I couldn’t – I was hooked. I think the last time I finished a book in one sitting was Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone when I was about nine. 

If you’ve read anything by John Green you’ll know he’s a pretty darn good writer and the quality is the same in The Fault In Our Stars. If you haven’t read anything by Green, do it, do it, do it! What I enjoy most about his writing is that he creates characters that stick with you. 

I couldn’t get this story out of my head for days; I found myself sat at work thinking about Hazel and Gus. Now that ladies and gents, is the sign of a good author. 

Hazel and Augustus/Gus, were well built characters and not nearly as pretentious as some reviews had made them out to be. No they don’t really talk like normal teenagers but that’s because they aren’t ‘normal’.

They speak about death and ‘oblivion’ because it’s a reality to them and I didn’t find it overly-pretentious at all. The only thing I found pretentious was Gus and his ‘metaphor’, I won’t say more because of spoilers but if you’ve read the book you know what I mean.

Another thing I wanted to address was the humour, because that’s something I’ve seen some bad reviews about. Yes, the characters make light of their situation but they’re teenagers, that’s what they’re going to do, it’s a way of coping for them. I personally didn’t find any of it offensive and it’s not as if all of the humour in the book is about cancer, because it’s not.

The flirting made me laugh and my favourite line from the book is perhaps “I bet you say that to all the boys who pay for your international travel.” It was awkward, funny and reminded me of being a teenager again.

The Fault In Our Stars was sad in parts, how could it not be? To my surprise though I didn’t bawl my eyes out but it did make me think about thinks like my own mortality and living every day to its fullest – though I do spend a fair bit of time pondering that already.

The biggest problem I had with the book, and I can’t knock anything off the rating for this because it isn’t the books fault, is that I’ve seen so many trailers and images from the film, so the characters were the actors to me. 

Hazel was Shailene Woodley and Augustus was Ansel Elgort (who btw play brother and sister in Divergent), which ruined it a bit because I couldn’t make up my own mind about what they looked like.

After reading it, I can now understand the hype and there are some wonderful quotes in it.

There isn’t really much more I can say; looking at the Goodreads reviews people seem to either love it or hate it, there doesn’t appear to be much in between. I belong to the former camp and it’s a story that will stay with me for years.

Reading the book wasn’t nearly as scary as I thought, watching the film is a scary prospect – it’s basically going to be a bunch of strangers crying in a room. 

In short: A beautifully written and gripping story that you should give a go if you haven’t already. 

Price: £3.85 paperback or £2.49 Kindle – price correct on 05/06/14

Would I recommend it: Yes!

5 out of 5 
Have you read The Fault In Our Stars?