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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
** This review, as well as many more, can also be found on my blog, The Baking Bookworm ( **

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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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
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 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 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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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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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on January 24, 2012
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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on September 30, 2014
I was initially introduced to this book by friend who had highly recommended it. I then heard a movie had been released based on the novel, so I figured it was worth a try. Needless to say, it's one of the best book I've ever read. John Green was able bring the relationship between Hazel and Gus to life, and he did it in a very genuine way. As I sometimes have difficulty understanding the full extend of all messages in a book, I also downloaded the reference guide as added help.
I saw a couple out there on amazon, and this one helped me get a much better understanding of the story. You can add me to John Green's fan list. 5/5 stars.
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on June 5, 2014
I'm not sure where to start for this beautiful book. It has left me speechless and unable to write anything because I know anything I'd write about this soulful book would not do justice to the story. It's beautifully crafted with the story of Hazel Grace who has cancer and meets a guy Augustus Waters (another cancer patient) and they both fall in love. Although I knew the book would have a tragic end, still, the conversation between Hazel and Augustus kept me smiling all the time. It was heart-wrenching to know that they won't last but I still hoped of some miracle. I simple loved this book and would recommend everyone to read it--no matter if you read romance or not...just read it. It will make you cry and laugh at the same time.
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on June 22, 2014
This is a beautiful story, a hilarious story, and an unflinchingly honest story; a comedy, a tragedy, and an elegy because life is all of these all at once. And death even more so.

It's a book about too-short lives, unredeemed by their too-great suffering. Not ennobled by pain, but disabled by it. Diminished by it. Demeaned by it.

About the unheroic act of simply dying. Not dying well, or dying tragically. (Tragedy is for the living.) Just dying.

Most importantly it’s a book about humanity; about two people. About Hazel and Augustus.

And small, unlikely infinities cradled within the crushing context of time.
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