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4.6 out of 5 stars310
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on August 31, 2015
I was so drawn in just by the style of writing and the characters. It was beautiful and showed how much the character were struggling but managed to stay happy. You'll experience times of happiness, sadness, laughter and anger. Sometimes you wish you could throw down the book and stomp on it because you feel so much emotion that you can't control. You will love John Green, but also dislike him at the same time! ;) He's an awesome writer and if you're looking for a cute sad romance with uncontrollable laughter, this is the book for you!
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** 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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on January 22, 2012
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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on September 19, 2014
Packaging was awesome....a bit disturbing for me that it was in large print version...doesn't feel like the original one. But the content is so awesome that the large print thing didn't really matter after all :) One of the best romance novels I've read :))
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on February 12, 2016
John Green’s approach to the ultimate existential problem (time) is rather brilliant. He has demonstrated with gut-wrenching accuracy, what it is like to feel like a ticking time-bomb, and what makes this love story exceptionally thought-provoking, is that it actually IS thought-provoking. Not simply because of its premise, but the way in which it is dealt with; seemingly mundane, and in every way imaginable, extraordinary.

For children to be grappling with life-crises most adults postpone until old age is heart-breaking as it is, but also unfathomably eye-opening. And the questions raised, while paint an ugly picture of the cruel reality of being ill, help extricate nuances (by definition, small and seemingly insignificant) which are surprisingly powerful in changing one’s mindset about why we are here, why it is transient, and whether or not that’s ok.

I was shook to the core by this narrative, and though it was becoming painful to sob uncontrollably every few pages or so, it was also incredibly cathartic because every single word confirmed a reality I know exists, but which I would never want to experience for myself.

The Fault in our Stars is unprecedented. It is raw, ugly, spellbinding, beautiful, infuriating, heart-breaking, and most importantly, it forces you to feel.

It has dawned on me that all things—whether in or out of existence—pertain to the ultimate existential crisis. Not simply as relevant to us as human begins, but as fundamental as what it means to be a rock. To be a collection of molecules devoid of what we as humans deem as ‘awareness’.

It would take a lifetime to decipher the enigma of what life is, and at best it seems, the most satisfactory conclusion is: that we simply do not know. And it can seem disheartening, not knowing what it is about life we cling onto so desperately, and why we fear its loss the most, even though there are losses far more excruciating within the realm of our experience: loss of hope, loss of freedom, loss of self, of dignity, of time.

And there it is: time. The one commodity we falsely assume we have enough of. And once you have managed to grapple with its uncompromising nature, once you think you have planned your life well enough to do all that matters to you with the time you've been given, you only wind up with more questions than answers; and not the kind of answers you find, but the kind of answers you concoct. And we do so, because not knowing what lurks in the dark is infinitely more terrifying than the death sentence itself.

So what it is about, this 'life'? Is it about living it as comfortably as you can manage? Is it about self-actualization? About leaving something behind? Is it ultimately about deciphering it? And most importantly, is this 'meaning of life' universal, or is it as personal as it can possibly get?

The most comfort I have found in questioning virtually everything there is to question has been this: That most certainly, the only thing certain thing about life and death is uncertainty. And I’ve found that acknowledging this fact has in many ways relinquished my responsibility of a life-long pursuit for answers I will never get. In some ways, that is the simultaneous beauty and pitfall of philosophy: raising more unanswerable questions, but broadening horizons in the process.

So what do you prefer? Do you prefer never loving, never laughing, never experiencing neither the peaks nor the valleys of life, so that once death comes, you can easily part with this ‘life’ you have not lived? Or do you want experience every beautiful and ugly facet of life alike, so that when it comes to part with it, you simply cannot?

It seems to me that if parting with my life is not the most tragic, frightening, and unbearable thing imaginable, then my dreams have not been big enough; that I have not been living a full enough life. And the last thing I'd want on my death-bed (or within the last seconds of still retaining my consciousness) is feeling like: 'I cannot believe I could, and I didn't.'

I believe not having anything to lose is the most tragic thing about loss.
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on February 11, 2016
****careful. A few ending spoilers****

Oh my where to start...?
Ive had friends reading this book for so long and it never interested me. I learned it is a book about cancer and I immediately thought it was some boring philosophical book with zero romance. (I'm a romance sucker.) Because I never actually read the pitch.

It's actually thanks to Breeze of Life by Kristy Dallas that I looked twice at this book. I recently read Breeze of Life, loved it and was reminded by this book because the protagonist there has cancer as well, and is on a limited life span. So I looked it up, read the summery and was immediately blown away. The only thing that could have hooked me more was the pitch--too short, too little info.

Well today I spent the day in bed and read every last word.
The romance was a little quick and happened fast, but it was beautiful and so sweet. Another thing that could have been better is for the author not to rush through it so much. The plot seemed rushed at times and I wish I had more of a chance to be with the characters. (Or maybe not because then I would have cried more.)

But it was overall very good. I'm giving it five stars for all the emotions it made me have.

The ending blew me away a bit. Well, not the ending, but when she learns he is dying :( :( Throughout the novel I kept feeling like she'd die, but that was a saddening surprise.

The ending itself was iffy for me. In plot and sentimental reasons, it was beautiful. Asking Peter to write to her for him..awwww.
But I found it didn't end the book up enough. I'm left with a pound of questions. Does she die?? Or better yet, when does she? What's the rest of Isaac's life like?
And you know what...? Even as I write this I just understood the ending. John Green made it so TFiOS ends just like Peter's book; no definite ending.clever but upsetting.

I heard there is a movie coming out so I watched the trailer. Despite knowing that I'll bawl like crazy, I want to see it. Judging from the trailer this movie will be bang-on to the book. Every scene and piece of dialogue was exactly like the book ^__^

And to sum it up, do you have any idea how difficult it is to sob at that book while already having a cold??? I couldn't breathe!!!
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on September 17, 2014
There has been so much buzz about John Green’s The Fault in our Stars, even before the movie was set to come out. Green apparently has a HUGE following, the kind of following you see at comicon really, so the buzz extends far beyond the book. I’m actually surprised this is the first I’m really hearing about all of this, and the first book of Green’s I’ve read, but curiosity has killed my natural response to avoid all things popular and I’ve decided to see what all this noise is about.

I definitely fell into the witty banter right away. I love books that move quickly like this with whip-smart dialogue and sarcastic interaction. It mimics conversations I have with friends and makes me really open to these new characters. I mean, I’m meeting them for the first time, after all, and this makes a great first impression.

Hazel, Isaac and Augustus have a beautiful chemistry together. And like anyone else who has been exposed to his charms, I couldn’t help but be swept up in Augustus’s crooked smile and whimsical existence. If I was only to meet one other person in life, he is the kind of person I’d want them to be. And the way he sees Hazel, doesn’t everyone want someone to see them like that?

It probably isn’t hard to see her like that, though. Hazel is awesome. And I don’t mean because of how she handles her sickness or how strong she is (though both are admirable), she’s great because of how real she is. She treads lightly, she has her expectations in check, she doesn’t ever seem to take anything for granted or expect anything different just because she was dealt a poor hand. A lot of people could learn a lot from her.

There isn’t anything overly extraordinary about this story; it’s about teens who deal with real issues. People do that all the time, doesn’t mean you always need to write a book about it. But Green weaves a hopeful dreaminess throughout the story that changes this into something much more extraordinary than it seems on paper. And while some of the content is bleak, I love how the characters embrace the bleakness and how bluntly death and their personal doom are spoken about. It’s a very honest approach, there’s no sugar coating, but there’s hope hiding in all that honesty.

It’s so easy to make other literary pieces a star in your book, but it takes some imagination and additional work to make up a whole other fictional piece for your own piece of fiction. Green has not only created An Imperial Affliction, a book which serves as Hazel’s bible, and whose author is a large component of the story as well, but Green also created a series of books based on a video game (the fictional game based on Counterstrike) that he came up with just for this book. I love when authors pour that much of themselves into their work, going beyond what they could have gotten away with.

Be warned: if you haven’t read this book yet, don’t go onto the internet until you’re done. The internet is full of spoilers. Not even half way through the book, I managed to spoil some major plot points for myself all because I jumped on the bandwagon a little too late. That usually takes the fun out of books for me, but there was just too much charm in this to give up on it so soon.

The Fault in our Stars is a short and bittersweet story of two teens coming of age, uncertain whether they will ever actually see themselves come of age. I can see what all the hype is about and why people are falling in love with this everywhere. It brought me to tears and I kick myself for not picking it up sooner. I can’t wait to see the movie, where I will likely bawl some more. (originally posted on citygirlscapes.com)
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on July 28, 2014
Since the film is now out in theaters, I thought it was about time I read the book that had everyone so excited. And so, another book was added to my already too-full bookshelf.

The Fault In Our Stars by John Green is a contemporary YA following our main character, Hazel as she tries to live her life as a normal teen despite having cancer. During one of her many painfully dull trips at the cancer support group, a gorgeous boy catches her eye. She doesn't know it yet, but Augustus Waters will change her life.

What I am going to say next will probably earn me an inbox full of hate mail but here goes: This book disappointed me.

Not to say that it wasn’t good. I actually quite enjoyed it but hearing about it and seeing the numerous TFIOS decorated tissue boxes everyone was putting together to go see the film, I thought I was going to read something that would change my life.

In my opinion, I would have enjoyed the novel much more if the premiss would have been less about the book they read, An Imperial Affliction. AIA had its place in TFIOS. I understand it was a big part of Hazel and it was a book she felt she could relate to but I felt as though the story focused a bit too much on it.

Though it wasn’t life-changing read I thought it would be, I can’t deny that John Green is an amazing writer. I loved how he portrayed his characters. They both main characters were fun, quirky, witty, and normal teens. Too often do I read cancer-related novels where the characters are defined by their illness. This wasn’t one of them. Obviously, cancer affects pretty much every aspect of their lives but Green has done a great job in making sure his characters also had a personality of their own and were ones I could relate to.

I also loved the relationships between the characters. Whether it was Hazel and her parents, Gus and Hazel with their friend Isaac, or Hazel and Augustus, they all felt genuine and natural to me. I’m also happy to say that there was no insta-love (which is something that is very recurrent in YA).

Despite TFIOS not living up to its hype in my eyes, I felt as though it was a great read. However, I believe I would have enjoyed it even more had I not expected so much from it and I do think it’s a wonderful book to add to your collection. Okay? Okay.
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on June 27, 2014
The Fault in Our Stars is the story of Hazel Grace Lancaster, an empathetic 16-year-old girl with thyroid cancer. She has been battling the illness since the age of 12, and a new drug seems to have stopped the cancer’s progress. She needs to be hooked to an oxygen tank though to help her breathe, and she totes the device wherever she goes. However, illness has isolated her, and she spends most of her time at home with her parents. So her mother asks her to go to a support group for young cancer survivors, hoping she will make new friends there. That’s where Hazel meets Augustus, a handsome boy with grand ambitions. Their friendship grows into love as they spend more and more time together. They become obsessed with a book, An Imperial Affair by Peter Van Houten, and they wish they could meet the author in Amsterdam to clarify questions about the ending. Most of the time, they try to live like normal teenagers, but cancer cannot exactly be ignored…

Hazel’s character is based on Esther Earl, an American girl who had thyroid cancer and passed away at the age of 16 in 2010. John Green met her at a Harry Potter convention, and they became friends. However, the author had already started working on a book about cancer before he even knew Esther. In fact, it took him 10 years to write The Fault in Our Stars. The idea came to him when he worked as a children’s chaplain in a hospital. In this capacity, he saw first-hand the ravages of cancer, and he wanted to write about it. The title of the book comes from a line in the Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar: “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars but in ourselves.” John Green disagreed with this statement, as he believed the world to be a very unjust place. The suffering and death of children in particular made the author angry. So he decided to address these feelings in his book.

While The Fault in Our Stars is undeniably sad, it is also beautiful and very heartfelt. In addition, the fact that the story is told from Hazel’s point of view makes it all the more real to the reader. Unfortunately, Esther Earl never got to read the book, but I’m sure she would have loved it.

Please go to my blog, Cecile Sune - Bookobsessed, if you would like to read more reviews or discover fun facts about books and authors.
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on June 11, 2014
Let me just say, anyone who reads this book should expect to cry. I did, but it should not deter you from reading. In fact, this is a book I pestered my friends and family to read for a long time, for a simple reason. It is heartbreaking and completely beautiful for it.

I think that every now and then a reader needs to come across a story that changes their perspective, something that really helps them examine their own character, choices, and living.
Hazel is a young woman who has effectively been told to not expect much more of a life, but rather functionally live through the last moments she has left. She has somewhat resigned herself to this reality, accepting things like attending school can't happen (though she takes university courses through distance learning), while still being forced to attend a support group for cancer kids.

I felt sympathy for Hazel at the beginning of the book, which I expect is the point, but what I really was waiting for was something to push her, out of her comfort zone just a little bit, where she can begin to experience happiness and excitement. Things that regular teenage girls experience.

Which is where Augustus Walters steps in. I really enjoyed his character for multiple reasons. On the surface, there is an unusual and 'cool' guy, who does things like pretend to smoke cigarettes for the irony, and wants to make Hazel smile. On the other hand, there is a complete vulnerability to him- in the relationship he has with his friends and Hazel, how he hides his worsening condition, how he refuses to let his sickness define him until the end.

I liked the complexities of both characters.

I appreciated the literary story line and what it revealed about Hazel and Gus along the way. Hazel, in her somewhat symbolic determination to find out the end of her favourite story. Gus, in his ability to help this come to life, and how he recognises Hazel's need for closure, a resolved ending in at least one reality.

John Green is an exceptional writer. Shortly after finishing this book, I went out and bought a lot of his other work. He works very well with dialogue (creating realistic 'teen' characters, but not making them irritating, or overusing colloquialisms), as well as his imagery and symbolism. There are some well-crafted lines, below being my favourite:

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

Five stars.
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