The Fault in Our Stars by John Green – 4 stars (out of 5)

The Fault in Our Stars

Synopsis from Good Reads:

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.

So every review I have ever read about this book is how it will make you bawl your eyes out. And I thought to myself, challenge accepted. I do not, as a general rule, cry at entertainment. I’m not saying it’s never happened, but it’s a very rare occurrence. Of the 122 books I have read so far this year, there has been exactly one that made me cry. A little. And then I read The Fault in Our Stars.

The tone is almost immediately set as irreverent and funny and I thought it would be easy to make it through this book if this is how it is written. And it retains that tone throughout the book, though it’s quieter in the last third or so of the story.

My biggest complaint is that the characters were all a bit pretentious. I’m not saying they haven’t earned the right to be (even as I write that, all I think is “Cancer Perk”), but it was a little over the top sometimes. Especially the author of their favorite book, who I understand is supposed to be insufferable, but was almost too insufferable to read at times. Even so, I loved both Hazel and Augustus. I liked how their relationship started out as friendship. I liked how sarcastic they were, but that they also had moments of intense seriousness. I also really liked their newly dumped and blinded friend, Isaac.

I don’t have personal experience with people who have cancer. My grandfather had cancer, but he was only in the hospital for a week before he passed and we didn’t even get a diagnosis until the night before he did. So I don’t know if this story is a realistic portrayal, but I feel like it could be. It seemed honest and relatable and real. And it was heartbreaking.

Overall, I really liked this book. Even though it made me ugly cry in the last few chapters.  The characters were likable (despite their bouts of pretentiousness) and the writing was superb. I would recommend this book to just about anyone. Just make sure to read it at home and not at work on your lunch break. People will worry.

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9 thoughts on “The Fault in Our Stars by John Green – 4 stars (out of 5)

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