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Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
The Fault in Our Stars
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on April 9, 2013
I am not quite finished with the book, but so far, I think it is very well written. It covers a topic that is difficult to talk about and is often avoided. It has been challenging for me to get through; however, I feel like I should add my perspective. I was diagnosed with cancer at 10. I am now 15 years old and a teen-age cancer survivor. I am a volunteer and advocate for pediatric cancer awareness.

This book has gotten negative reviews based on several points:
1) This is from another reviewer: "The characters are not believable. They do not speak like teenagers. They do not even handle situations like teenagers do. So many interactions between Gus and Hazel are interactions which, plain and simple, just would not happen between real, emotional, scared, awkward, virgin teenagers, let alone ones with cancer who have been socially cut off for much of their lives."

*My point-of-view: Have you spent time with any of us? They are believable as teen-age cancer patients/survivors. We may look like teen-agers, but in our heads, we are not. We have had to face our own mortality and make choices we should never have to make. It makes us grow up...quickly. Most of us do not act or speak like teen-agers because that is no longer how we think. After treatment, many of us find the things most teens (and sometimes adults) are worried about are trivial. Society cuts us off, but we are not cut off from each other. These types of interactions do happen. And, it is emotional and scary, but we learn to tell it like it is, without the normal fluff and awkwardness. We find 'normal' where we can and try to live every single day we have because we know that time is an illusion.

2) The parents are not real, not deep characters, and they do not have their own identities.

*My point-of-view: I have seen my own parents (and siblings) and the parents of other friends struggle with this. Many times, they do not have their own identities anymore. Every single minute is spent trying to make it to the next! They try to keep the family together and functioning, in spite of the effects of treatment, fevers and midnight trips to the emergency room, 3 weeks of the month spent in isolation, jobs in jeopardy, birthdays and holidays interrupted, not to mention talks that parents never want to have with their child. I've talked to my mom about this. This becomes their identity. My mom said their jobs become about doing whatever it takes, travelling all over the country (which is very common), researching new studies, and new medicines, all to help us survive and thrive with grace and dignity. It is also their job to prepare, if treatments don't work, to help us die with just as much grace and dignity.

I hope everyone can read this with an open mind and an open heart. Then, reach out to the patients and survivors in your communities. They are wise beyond their years, funny, brave and inspiring.
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on September 5, 2016
I'm not usually one for young adult fiction, but this book absolutely fantastic. It reaches deep inside of me. It’s a story of a quiet tragedy, love, and an undeniable reality. Hazel and Augustus face mortality and so many of the meaningless details of life. It forces them to face who they really truly are. How would they carry on... Terminal disease gives you fear, for yourself, for your loved ones. It causes pain that you are the reason to make your family feel worried and cry at night. Green wrote this sad, tragic, yet beautiful story, it brings tears to my eyes.
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on April 2, 2015
The Fault in our Stars is a young-adult fiction, romance novel written by John Green. The female protagonist in the book, Hazel Grace Lancaster who has had cancer in her lungs for 4 years is trying to live a normal life. Hazel has many thing in her life that prevent her from living normal, one being a support group she must go to every week in order to “help” her with her depression. The first support group meeting they have in the book Hazel runs into a kid name Augustus Waters. Later into her support group she ends up seeing Gus staring at her, the whole time. When Hazel walks into the parking lot Gus is there running after her waiting to say hello. The relationship of these two beings develops into something bigger, Hazel does not want it to on the other hand because she feels that she is a ticking time bomb that could explode and hurt anyone in her way. With a few bumps in the road these two lovebirds had almost made it.
The Fault in our Stars is an incredible book that can be inspiring to many people to show them that it will pay off to live life in the moment and to not live life in the past nor the future. Most of the time people think about the future or worrying about what happened the days before, but in the book The Fault in our Stars John Green shows through his characters Hazel and Augustus that it is only the present that counts. An example of this is when Hazel did not really think about the effects that could happen from her having cancer and going on an airplane but she instead chose to feel happy about doing something that her heart would follow. In this book John Green also shows how when one's unhappiness and not living life in the moment can affect them and people around them. One example of this is when Hazel was scared to let anyone into her life because she felt she was a ticking time bomb ready to explode. The author used this metaphor to show how when one day she passes she’s going to end up “destroying” the people who love her, which means she is thinking and living on what’s happening in the future.
The Fault in our Stars is overall a great book and I would recommend it to anyone who is looking for a funny, thrilling, and a tragic reality of being alive and in love novel.
The Fault in our Stars is an amazingly crafted novel and could teach you the true meanings in life.
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on February 2, 2017
I'll start off by saying, I loved this novel. The characters are well rounded and thought out wonderfully. I love the honest look at what it's like living with cancer. Emotional to get through in some points, but that is also because I have lost someone very close to me due to cancer. But I'll tell you this funny but about my experience reading the novel. It was a page turner for me, I couldn't put it down. But about 3 weeks prior to getting this book, I was in a motorcycle accident. I needed knee surgery and I was pretty much laid up in bed for those weeks. I read a lot. I got this the day before my surgery and immediately could not put it down. I was terrified of surgery (since it was my first, at 27 years old) and I was having serious anxiety over being put to sleep. But I remember about 3 o'clock that morning (surgery scheduled for 7am) thinking to myself, "I've got to finish this book! I have to! I can't go into surgery and possibly die and not know what happens to Augustus!!" So, up I stayed. And I finished the novel. I went into surgery that morning at peace, knowing what happened to our dear Augustus.
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on October 14, 2016
First off, this is a good book. Expect to shed many tears, even though you kind of know from the onset what is going to happen (and no, I hadn't watched the movie and didn't know). The voices and dialogue of the main characters are usually charming. However, there are some cliche scenes that should have been edited out. They didn't make it into the movie (I watched it afterwards), which shows the director had some sense. Sometimes people overact, which can get annoying. And sometimes the main teenagers' dialogue isn't consistent. They jump from using higher end vocabulary and concepts to typical "um, uh," language at times. Other than these minor annoyances, though, the story is interesting and fun.

The basic plot is as follows: Sick girl meets sick boy. They start to fall for one another. They go on an exciting trip to Amsterdam. One of them gets sicker. Not giving away the ending, but you can see where this is going.

I liked the themes and tropes running through the text. It would make a good book for a classroom, besides a personal read. As for its appropriateness for young readers, well, use your discretion. There is a sex scene. Not explicit, but it's there. I thought the author handled it tastefully and believably.
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on June 29, 2014
A nice story, but The Fault in Our Stars, which I read twice, was definitely geared to the young adult reader. At first I couldn't put my finger on what I didn't like, but for me, I found Hazel's language differed from speaking to thinking. What she said out loud was much more believable than the more sophisticated thoughts. I am from Indianapolis, and recognized everyplace John Green mentioned since they are near my home. Unlikely Gus would have been buried on the hill in Crown Hill Cemetery as alluded to, since that is where the likes of James Whitcomb Riley are buried. Possible, but not likely. All of that aside, the book did deliver a message as to what a young terminal cancer patient might experience. The appeal of the book, in my humble opinion, was the tragic love story of Hazel and Gus.
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on May 4, 2017
Hazel Grace never wants to see anybody, and she just sits around, watches her favorite TV show, and reads the book "An Imperial Affliction" over and over. When her mom makes her go to Support Group, she meets others like her and makes new friends that will maybe make her life worthwhile.
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on June 4, 2014
Ah, John Green, the things you do to me. If you aren’t prepared for heartbreak, continue scrolling - this is not the book for you. If you are ready to have your heart torn to shreds and ask for more, you will definitely be interested.

Hazel Grace is terminal. She is currently being treated with a miracle drug that has granted her a few extra years, but there is no doubt about it, cancer will end her life too soon. What do you do when your child is dying? How can you possibly help her cope? For Hazel’s parents, cancer support group seems like a good idea. For Hazel, not so much. However, when she meets Augustus Waters at said support group, things seem to take a new turn.

This book follows Hazel and Augustus through the harsh reality of cancer. You are forced to face the reality of kids dying too young, families at a loss of how to cope, and the unbelievably awful reality of life with cancer. Sounds terrible, right? Why would anyone read this depressing fiction? Well, tied in there, you also get to explore the amazingness of first love, the bonds of friendship, and the love of family. That’s where he gets you. If the whole book was depressing, you could walk away. Instead these characters are so beautiful you can’t help but read on. Green has taken a topic so tragic and found immense beauty within. As I read, I laughed out loud, swooned, and cried. I’m not talking a soft tear trickling down my cheek, we are talking full on ugly cry. I absolutely love this book.

Green’s writing is always top notch. This story is no different. It is well developed, beautifully paced, and has the perfect twists and turns that keep you on the edge of your seat. The main characters feel like your best friends you know them so well. And let’s not forget the secondary characters. They are well developed and thoughtfully included to reflect their own personalities and their roles within the lives of the main characters.

I cannot find one flaw in this book. 5+ rating isn’t nearly enough. Seriously, if you haven’t purchased this yet I’m not sure what you are waiting for.

This book was also made into a movie. While the movie was beautifully done, don’t skip the book. It will be well worth your time to enjoy both.
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on January 29, 2012
I have named this review as I have as a nod to the characters' struggle to overcome the obstacles that cancer places in the way of their relationship with each other, with their families, and with themselves. It could also be a description of John Green's success in overcoming self-inflicted wounds in the course of describing the relationship of Hazel and Augustus, 17 year old cancer survivors as we meet them. The practical knee-knocker is the ability of the kids to embark on international travel to pursue a plot point thanks to the most well-funded, least curious, "Make a Wish"-type organization known to man. Augustus calls them "the genies" and as they provide the assistance of a "machina ex dues" perhaps this is a good name.

However the biggest obstacle to the suspension of disbelief is the ability of these kids to speak in flowing, existential monologues and dialogues that sound as though they had been crafted, practiced, and examined for days. No teen - not even preturnaturally bright, only-child, cancer warriors, can talk like this.

So why 5 stars? Because I fell in love with Augustus and Hazel and cared about them. Whether or not what they said was authentic for their age, it was authentic for humans in that situation. They spoke not just of fear and pain and unknowing, but also of questions that we all ask about our purpose and direction and destination. The characters were in love and so the readers love them too. Not a technically masterful book but a wonderful read.

April 27, 2012. I have read the book twice more since this review was initially posted. I am very far past "young adult" but the characters inhabited my heart again just as they did the first time i read it. What I said above about the language not being authentic for teens is still correct but what i have decided is that the dialogue is how teens - or at least these teens - should talk.
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on May 3, 2014
When I began reading this novel, my first quick impressions were that it was clearly well written but the knowledge that the lead character was a 16 year old girl with stage 4 cancer was a bit worrisome, because well, the end most certainly is inevitable and would be hurtful so did I want to put myself through that? I am generally not a Nicholas Sparks kind of gal when it comes to stories, not my thing. I continued to read, to spite that feeling.

Now that I've finished, I am so utterly happy to have made the journey and I'll say, maybe even lucky to have done so. What I got from this wonderful story was such incredible thankfulness for life and friends and family and my simple, but life-fulfilling love of books and my own unique view of the world.

What runs through this book as a thread, a beating, thriving heart - is love. The love we feel as human beings for children, parents, lovers, friends, the world in our eyes and stories. It is woven so skillfully, so thoughtfully. I read so many books and they make me feel many emotions, but most internally. This book on the other hand made me smile so many times, made me laugh out loud and yes, cry out loud, but not for the reasons I assumed when I first began reading.

I am an instant fan of John Green. He doesn't play with words, he guides with them. He chooses them perfectly, he doesn't go too lightly or too heavy. It is like the baby bear's porridge in the Three Bears, just right. There are so many thoughtful moments in the book, so many times for us to reflect on the world, on our family, our own thoughts and feelings. This kind of book brings something to the reader and those books I find great value in.

I cannot recommend this book enough. It is the reason books exist and should always exist, they can reveal and therefore, enlighten, the human heart.
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