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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 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 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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on June 8, 2014
The Fault in Our Stars was an amazing book. The story was very well put together and the characters were fun to discover, despite the sentiment the book is meant to give. It definitely ended the complete opposite way that I thought it would, and that's what made it 10 times more enjoyable.

I loved learning about the characters, more specifically Hazel Grace Lancaster and Augustus Waters, the main characters, as well as Isaac. I found it was genius to have a completely different love story than any other, especially with the different personalities going around. Regardless of it being a sad book, it was nice and refreshing to see characters with different approaches on life.

The way John Green formulated the story was nice and made the book an easy read. I think my favourite thing about it was that it ended a bit like An Imperial Affliction, an imaginary book in the story. It basically ends in the middle of a sentence. What happens to Hazel? To Isaac? We will never know.

That being said, I have to give this book 5 out of 5 stars, not because it made me emotional, not because it was a beautifully written cancer story, but because John was able to create something original all on its own, something different other than the fact that it was a different kind of love story. The Fault in Our Stars was fresh, new, and definitely worth my time.

I look forward to reading the rest of John's books.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon December 17, 2013
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

Somber or uplifting, either can be applied to that quote from the Bible. Some feel it talks to the futility of trying to escape nihilism, while others reckon it embraces the inevitable rebirth the universe always enjoys.

These same thoughts can be equally applied to the stellar novel The Fault In Our Stars by John Green. A story that grapples with these concepts, and the resulting emotional damage that continues long after you perceive the arguements settled.

A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

Our story starts with Hazel, a teenage girl living for years under the shadow of cancer. She almost passed away three years previously, but a miracle drug actually brought a miracle, and now she lives an existence of life with uncertainty. Because the drug might give out, now or next week or some untold future time, and couple that with lungs that do not like functioning properly making her oxygen tank a constant companion, Hazel is not an overly pleasant person to be around. Basically a homebody, her parents push for her to go to a cancer support group meeting, which she very reluctantly agrees to.

A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

And this is where she meets Augustus. And quotes her favourite book to him. And goes to see V for Vendetta at his house, all because according to him she looks like Natalia Portman. And so on and so on…

A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

Augustus’s different attitude, his refreshing take on life and grief and loss, his potential career ending due to his leg being claimed by cancer, his video games, and most importantly, his taste in genre literature, makes him a subject of fascination for Hazel.

A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

Slowly, irrevocably, they bond and clumsily begin dating. Strengthening the relationship is when Augustus finishes reading Hazel’s absolute favourite book ever, made by the greatest writer in existence who is now a recluse. This volume, a fictional book inside of a fictional book, is called An Imperial Affliction, and features a cancer storyline and mysterious conclusion, all of which captivates the two.

A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

Their love, the cancer, the obsession over the book, and dealing with relatives and friends, becomes the driving force behind The Fault In Our Stars. Add in the continued discussion slash heated debate over the existence of God, an afterlife and fate, which becomes one of the underlying themes here whether spoken aloud or permeating the background, and you have a potent mixture where differences in attitude and philosophy could be the dividing line between the two, not the cancer or looming death. All of this with cancer being a very silent, but loud, supporting character.

A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

Partway through The Fault In Our Stars, the story takes an abrupt turn, followed by another abrupt turn, both of which I saw coming far in advance. My premonition of these events did not ruin my enjoyment in the slightest, but instead enhanced them since it showed John Green’s willingness to take the story into some dark places. Neither of these twists are illogical or random, but rather powerful moving forces for not only the characters themselves, but also transformative of their philosophies. Green caps all this emotional tumult with even more pleasure and pain, giving Hazel and Augustus a love story that will hit you with a sledgehammer of tears.

A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

By the time you reach the concluding chapters, you witness a very different Hazel from the beginning, who even through she is still dying by bits and pieces day after day, she has now learned how to live and breathe and survive. One particular conversation towards the end, which takes place in a car ferrying Hazel and her parents, is fiercely enlightening and is a thunder strike for the reader.

The Fault In Our Stars takes you places in thought and feeling that makes the facing of what comes after and how you deal with it to a different level. We cannot imagine the grief Hazel, Augustus, and company live with, but we can slowly appreciate their views on the coming darkness that will envelop us all someday.

Whether you believe in the ethics of nihilism or the outlook of rebirth, The Fault In Our Stars dwells on these questions and seeks to maybe provide some answers.

And maybe some answers are exactly what Hazel needs.
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on September 20, 2013
Books do not often bring tears to my eyes. I have only ever shed tears for one other book in my reading career, and there weren't many tears. The Fault in Our Stars caused me to cry like a freakin' baby in parts. This book emitted such emotion through its wonderfully scripted words. I listened to the audiobook version and am very torn as to whether this was a good decision or not. I loved the audio track. I thought that the narrator, Kate Rudd, did a fantastic job with bringing the story to life. I do not regret listening to the audiobook whatsoever, but a part of me really wants to pick up the actual written word of the book and actually read it. It was that good that I feel like I need to actually see and read the beautiful words. I will read it someday. How can I not? It makes me sad that I will not have "A Peek Inside" for this book (because it's just too hard with audiobooks to get an exact quote), because there are so many beautiful and wonderfully crafted quotes from this book. I guess you'll just have to trust me (and everyone else) and just read it and find the quotes for yourself.

The Fault in Our Stars is about a sixteen-year-old girl, Hazel Grace, who has cancer. Terminal cancer. She will die. The reader is taken on part of her journey as she develops relationships with other kids with cancer, struggles with the emotional and physical side effects of cancer, and just tries to live every day life as best she can under the circumstances. This boy she meets and ultimately falls in love with, Augustus Waters, is a fantastic character. I love him and I love Hazel. They are both amazing, as with all of the characters in this novel.

I cannot even begin to describe what a great book this is, with its beautiful writing, which includes a lot of sarcasm and humour along the way. This is my first experience with a John Green novel and he has made me a huge fan. All it took was this one book. I cannot wait to read more of his books and I highly recommend that you give his words a try as well. You won't regret it.
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on March 13, 2013
I am an avid reader. And, I'm a school librarian. So, believe me when I say that I have read a great variety of books. None has touched me like The Fault in Our Stars has. In fact, this is the first time a book has moved me enough to motivate me to write a review. I had read very little in terms of reviews prior to purchasing this book. I had only read that it was very good; I had no great expectations really. I was merely familiarizing myself with a library book so that I could make recommendations to my students. Something I had done many times before, with many different books. But, this time was different. The Fault in Our Stars touched me like no other book ever has before. I fell in love with Hazel and Augustus, both individually, and as a couple. We can all learn something from the way in which they handled their difficult situations. They are truly an inspiration, and their love story was one not rivaled in many novels. I loved this book beyond belief, and it is now my personal mission to get everyone I know to read it. The world needs to know Hazel and Augustus. If we could all be a bit more like them, the world would be a better place. In the words of John Green, the world is not a wish granting factory. If it were, I would wish for more books like this.
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