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 :))
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)
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.
I have heard the most spectacular reviews on this book. People have RAVED about it. How many times have I read people post on Facebook, or Amazon: "I cried so hard! All the feels!"? Probably like 50. Maybe 100. Yeah, 100.
The Fault In Our Stars is a poignant story about 16-year-old Hazel Grace Lancaster and 17-year-old Augustus Waters. They meet in a cancer support group, and Augustus is immediately smitten with Hazel. For a while, she holds back, because she is a "grenade." She doesn't want to hurt him. But who can resist Augustus Waters? No one. This is a very powerful story about cancer. Is it realistic? No. Terminally ill people, especially underage teenagers, can not travel abroad so easily. My dad has leukemia and is not even a quarter of a quarter of a quarter as sick as Hazel, but even his doctor says no leaving the country until your white blood cell count is at an acceptable level. Or something like that. And he's a grown, retired man. This story is part realism, part fantasy. Augustus and Hazel - especially Augustus - do not talk like teenagers, or even adults. I have met many cancer survivors, young and old, and surviving cancer does not make them talk like characters from a Victorian love story, but whatever. I really enjoyed this book.
The characters are powerful, memorable, and Hazel really starts to feel like a friend. I love that they go to Amsterdam, even though it's unrealistic, because travel just isn't very common in YA novels and it really should be!! Something like 30% of Americans have passports. Anyways, now I have a strong desire to go to Amsterdam. You will too. Did this book make me cry? No, it did not. I wasn't even misty-eyed. I am NOT evil. The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas made me cry in public...in Germany. Dumbledore's death made me miserable for a week. But my lack of tears did not take away from The Fault In Our Stars. It will forever be a classic YA novel of the 21st century.
I can see why so many people love this book. I think it should be read in schools because it is important to understand not just cancer, but cancer patients. They are human like the rest of us - they feel love and happiness and joy too. This book shows that. It humanizes cancer patients and forces us to view them as normal people, not people who are dying or almost died. John Green is an incredibly talented author. This is the second book of his that I have read, and I will definitely continue to read his stories. I look forward to reading what he comes up with next.
on December 22, 2013
The Fault in Our Stars is a heartbreakingly beautiful story.
It is a YA novel about two teenagers who both have been diagnosed with fatal illnesses. This is a love story, a story of survival, and a story of pursuing moments that make life worth it.
I was reminded of Jodi Piccoult's heart-wrenching My Sister's Keeper in the way that we see the world-altering importance of having people who love us stick by us no matter what.
It's not a happy read, as books about kids with cancer cannot be, but it is enlightening. Everyone knows someone who has been diagnosed with cancer, but unless you've had the illness, you can never REALLY understand. Having cancer and knowing someone with cancer is very different. Green allows us a glimpse into that experience. The sympathy, the hopelessness, the struggle, and the disdain for the world and the unfairness of it all is very moving. It was nice to understand just a little bit better and be able to better appreciate what people go through.
The book ends all too abruptly for me, but I have no other complaints. John Green is an amazing writer and he's written a sweet, but tragic tale with room for smiles, for tears, and for catharsis in seeing these brave teens rise above something awful and unstoppable. This is a novel that all young people should read. It's a wonderful piece of fiction and soon to be yet another YA page to screen adaption.
After reading this book, I DESPISE the tagline for the cover, but that's just my opinion. Here's to hoping the movie doesn't destroy the power of the book, as My Sister's Keeper did.
4 stars. A YA must-read.
on December 21, 2013
This book is one of the most enjoyable novels I have read in some time. I admit that there are aspects that I deeply identified with, having spent much time in hospitals as a child. In that sense, the book was vividly real for me (and thus, should be credited to the author). John Green has written something that many, many people will hold dear for a long time.
Like any book, it isn't for everyone and no book is without fault or failing. That said, given the common fare of young adult literature these days, this book is something I would happily have my own children read (and encourage their schools to include in their libraries and curriculum). The characters are flawed and human, refusing to be simplified or boxed in. The story is in parts fun, interesting, necessarily mundane and unquestionably moving.
I give this book 4 stars instead of 5 only in the hope that my endorsement won't be dismissed as fan-love. This is a book few people will regret buying (and given the negative reviews I have seen, that's only about 1% of reviewers, and probably far fewer readers).
on June 26, 2013
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.
on August 23, 2014
This story is told by Hazel, a sixteen year old with cancer who is profoundly effected and somewhat obsessed, if only to distract from her illness, by her favourite novel, the novelist and the boy who brings them all together. There is a bit of pretense in the teenagers, but I don't think it's out of character. It's hard to tell sometimes if it's regardless of their illnesses or not, but I guess that's the point. There are charming and insightful scenes around the fear of leaving this world as a youth, being taken away by disease. Read and enjoy it without trying to analyze it too much (like it tries to analyze itself.)
on July 29, 2014
"The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings"
I finished this book in one day, thanks to the addictive storyline. I thought this novel was moving, entertaining and thought provoking. I fell in love with the characters and I was sympathetic to what they were going through (cried continuously through a few chapters). The only thing that bothered me was the unrealistic teenage dialogue, as it was a bit pretentious. Other than that, I thought it was beautifully written. I can't wait until it comes out in DVD!!
on February 10, 2014
Admittedly, a book for youth, but I still absolutely enjoyed reading it. It's the sort of book teenagers should be reading. It's honest, beautiful, funny, and tells a story most people might not go out of their way to hear. Green's sometimes over-the-top dialogue fits in perfectly with this story. I can't say enough good things about it! I wish it was required reading in high school.
If you're an adult, you'll probably find it a little contrived, but still enjoyable.