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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Book, Bad Amazon
Although middle-aged, I have been a fan of John Green's work since my teenage daughter suggested I read Looking For Alaska. He injects an honesty and youthful vibrancy into his characters that should resonate with readers of any age. I don't think his books to be 'must-reads' but they are well-worth the time and effort.

However, Amazon is not so worthy as...
Published on Jan. 22 2012 by Holden

versus
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Strength of characterization carries the book
What to say about this book. It's probably more of a 3.5 than a three, first of all.

First I will be completely honest: I resisted reading this book. When the internet started going nuts about it and I got the gist of what it was about, I kind of wrinkled my nose and had no interest in reading it.

I guess it was partly the summary, and my lack of...
Published 9 months ago by Kerri


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Book, Bad Amazon, Jan. 22 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Fault in Our Stars (Hardcover)
Although middle-aged, I have been a fan of John Green's work since my teenage daughter suggested I read Looking For Alaska. He injects an honesty and youthful vibrancy into his characters that should resonate with readers of any age. I don't think his books to be 'must-reads' but they are well-worth the time and effort.

However, Amazon is not so worthy as praise as it did not deliver a signed copy even though my daughter had me pre-order the book months ago. As well, it was delivered later than other suppliers, even though all indicators point to Mr. Green having signed more than enough copies. The fault, it seems, lies with Amazon.ca. I understand that problems arise, but Amazon should take ownership of their mistake and offer even a slight recompense to the customers they have wronged.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding. Touching, amazing characters, funny .... Loved it!, June 24 2013
By 
This review is from: The Fault in Our Stars (Hardcover)
** This review, as well as many more, can also be found on my blog, The Baking Bookworm (www.thebakingbookworm.blogspot.ca) **

My Thoughts: This is a book that I noticed months ago while perusing the aisles at my local Chapters and it was put on my 'TBR (To Be Read) List' immediately. It's gotten a lot of hype (which may or may not be the kiss of death for a book). In this case the hype is warranted.

This was a touching read. Even though you know it's going to be a sad book (it deals with teenagers with cancer-ravaged bodies) and will, most likely, deal with death it doesn't detract from enjoying this book. You'd think that a book that focuses on a group of teens with cancer would be a huge tear fest from beginning to end but for the most part this book was funny and, in a strange way, uplifting and oh so very touching. Yes, it's a veritable roller coaster of emotions. But it works.

For me, what makes this book stand out are the characters. Not only are Hazel and Augustus well-rounded and completely engaging characters but the secondary characters, including Isaac and the sets of parents, are all complete and give believable voices to the book. It's these characters and their relationships with each other that truly shine in this book.

Let's get back to Hazel and Augustus. I loved Hazel from the first line of the book. Her dry wit,
sarcasm and humour. Loved her. Augustus held his own too and I adored their hilarious banter. He had some amazing lines in the book that I immediately wrote down because they were just 'that good'. Here's some of my favs ...

"Oh, I wouldn't mind, Hazel Grace. It would be a
privilege to have my heart broken by you."

"But, while not all stories have happy endings,
it doesn't make their journey any less beautiful."

"That's the thing about pain... It demands to be felt."

"Some infinities are bigger than other infinities"

"I love you present tense"

Some would argue that 'normal teenagers' don't speak like Hazel and Augustus. I know that I didn't sound quite so cool at that age but, man, would I loved to have been! I will admit that they had a certain "Dawson's Creek/more mature than their years" way of speaking. But, I loved their sarcasm and just their voices in general. {I'm actually a little surprised and impressed at how well John Green got into the head of a teenage girl.}

Hazel, Augustus (and even Isaac) were believable even if how they said what they said was a little mature for them. Plus, these aren't normal teens. These are kids who have dealt with cancer and the threat of death for YEARS. Honestly, I found Hazel and Augustus to have a more quirky feel to them than being too unbelievably mature for their age. These teens, after years of treatments, losing friends to the disease that they themselves have, trying to stay strong for their families and friends ... have accepted their fates. They have cancer. Cancer SUCKS but their cancers don't define or limit who they are. They still have life to live. That's empowering and uplifting.

One of the things that I liked was getting an inside view into the life of a teen with cancer. Hazel was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer at the age of 13. Since then she knows that death is hovering over her but with the help of a miracle drug she has been able to lead a pretty normal life (even though she has to lug an oxygen tank around with her for when her lungs suck at being lungs). Hazel knows she's living on borrowed time and she hates feeling like an emotional grenade so she tries as hard as possible to minimize the emotional shrapnel that she'll cause her friends and family when she finally dies. Hazel is hunkering down for the inevitable ... until she meets Augustus.

The one and only thing that I felt detracted from me giving this a full on "5 star review" was the addition of the book storyline (a book that Hazel and Augustus are infatuated with). It broke away from their relationship and, I feel, bogged down the storyline too. It may also stem from the fact that I just didn't 'get' the book.

This is a book about the strength of the human spirit, the bravery and resilience of a bunch of teens who were dealt a really tough lot in life. It shows the nastiness of cancer and the strength we gain from connecting with others. It reminds us that we can still make a huge impact on the lives of our loved ones even if we may not be around long enough to make an impact on the world at large.

Here's a quote from the book that sums up how I feel about this book:

"I fell in love the way you fall asleep. Slowly. Then all at once."

Oh yes. This book got to me slowly and totally captivated me before I knew what was coming.

Highly recommended.

My Rating: 4.5/5 stars
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars this book is magic, Jan. 24 2012
This review is from: The Fault in Our Stars (Hardcover)
Someone said the cry to laugh ratio is 1:1. Indeed, and I FELT ALL THE FEELINGS ;)
This book deserves all the raving reviews and more. I'm in awe of it's existence.
I want the entire universe to read this book.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Strength of characterization carries the book, Oct. 14 2013
This review is from: The Fault in Our Stars (Hardcover)
What to say about this book. It's probably more of a 3.5 than a three, first of all.

First I will be completely honest: I resisted reading this book. When the internet started going nuts about it and I got the gist of what it was about, I kind of wrinkled my nose and had no interest in reading it.

I guess it was partly the summary, and my lack of desire for depressing books at the time - I mean, when you read a book about kids with cancer you have to know what you're getting into, right? There are only so many places a plot like that can go.

Reading this, I feel surprisingly neutral about it. The writing in terms of characterization is good, there's no doubting that. In particular Augustus charmed me just as fast as he charmed Hazel. That's what happens when I read a book that's first person, I find - although I'm in someone's head, I feel more connected to who *they* feel connected to than to the main character themselves.

There's a lyrical sense to some parts of the book, which I quite enjoyed. The problem is that for everything I read that was lyrical and moving, there were other bits that struck me as pretentious and... Well, I'm going to go with hipster, for lack of a better description. At times the kids didn't not sound like any teenagers I can imagine, and I have taken into account the fact that they have cancer.

I won't deny that my eyes welled up a couple of times during this book. So why am I dissatisfied? I guess I am just left with a vague feeling of having read a book that is slightly manipulative, and falls into the tropes that are quite common when dealing with stories (whether in movies or books) about people who have cancer. It's one of those things where I wonder whether the charm of Augustus' character and the nature of the story arc are what carry the book in spite of the slightly unbelievable prose and pretentious flair.

At any rate, at least now I can say that I've read it, lest anyone try to tell me I can't criticize it without reading!
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, but unsigned..., Jan. 17 2012
This review is from: The Fault in Our Stars (Hardcover)
I gave the book 5 stars because it is worth it!

I give to Amazon.ca: -10 stars. Why didn't you order enough copies of the signed book.. you had the pre-order numbers already! I am very disappointed that the signed first printing book I ordered back in August, was in fact an unsigned second, thrid, fourth, fifth, printing...
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book, recommended, June 26 2013
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This review is from: The Fault in Our Stars (Hardcover)
John Green is well-spoken and intelligent, and that comes across quite clearly in this book. It is well written, edited, paced, and easy to read. Its plot is articulated without being being overly detailed. It hits everything that "teen fiction" should be right on the head, making it quite palatable to adult readers, and I imagine it wouldn't be too confusing for younger readers (by that I mean those who are "pre-teens" or younger).

So, yeah, I liked it. What criticisms I have are mostly due to taste in literature and my own disposition and perspective, so take the the rest of this with a grain of salt.

I found the plot progression predictable, having guessed the ending very early on and the vast majority of plot turns. I felt that the father character was a lot more interesting than the book explicated, but then again the book was not about the father. I found some metaphors and scenes "hammy," or perhaps melodramatic and a little annoying, which I won't list for the sake of spoilers, but they obviously didn't harm the book to any great extent (seeing as I'm giving it four stars).

I'd recommend reading it, especially to teens and relatively mature pre-teens. It's a good read and doesn't overstay it's welcome. It's not pretentious and doesn't get boring.
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5.0 out of 5 stars All the feels., July 18 2014
By 
Maria Casacalenda (Toronto, Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Fault in Our Stars (Hardcover)
This is one of the saddest, yet one of the most "feel-good" books I have ever read. It makes you really sad and really happy all at once. Definitely be prepared to have your emotions played with.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An impressive read, July 24 2013
The Fault in Our Stars.....this is a wonderful book. I happened upon it accidently while randomly searching for something to read. I did not even realize that this a Young Adult book and that John Green is a YA author until I mentioned the book to my daughter, also an avid reader. She told me that it was one of her favourite books.

I can see why. Although the subject is a sad one, this is not a sad story. On the contrary, I found it uplifting, funny, thought provoking... bittersweet, but never pitiful.

The Fault in Our Stars is told from the point of view of teenagers suffering from cancer. And frankly, I think the author nails it. He captures their feelings, thoughts, worries and those of the people around them perfectly. He shows the flaws of the adults in their lives. In fact, one of the central plot lines of the story revolves around a highly flawed adult and is a great example of "Be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it".

Ultimately the greatest strength of this book is its characters and their stories. I sympathized with them, I cheered for them, I cried for them.

If this book has a flaw, it is that, for an adult anyway, some of the plot lines are predictable. But that it no way diminished my enjoyment of this novel.

A great book and one I highly recommend.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the most beautifully tragic thing I have ever read in my entire life., July 15 2013
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This book has made me laugh, and made me bawl my eyes out. I will look at life differently after this book and appreciate everything so much more. Thank you John green.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Work of Fiction, Jan. 22 2012
This review is from: The Fault in Our Stars (Hardcover)
What a beautiful book. Green has found the truth, deep sadness and lots of humour in the story of teenagers living with cancer. His prose is delicious, literate, poetic and but with a forward momentum that makes it impossible to put the book down. This a book with big ideas and is ultimately life affirming.

It was an equally great read for my teenage nerd-fighting daughter and for me. I highly recommend it.

I hate to sully my review for this wonderful book by mentioning the massive failure of Amazon.ca to deliver on the promise of signed copies but there is no place else to mention it. Epic fail. It will make me think twice about ordering from Amazon ever again. But I am a fan for life of John Green.
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The Fault in Our Stars
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (Hardcover - Jan. 10 2012)
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