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Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
The Fault in Our Stars
Format: Hardcover|Change
Price:$13.31+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

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.
3,053 helpful votes
3,054 helpful votes
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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.
161 helpful votes
162 helpful votes
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on May 28, 2014
This book was recommended to me by my 15 year old daughter, took me a few months to finally buy it on Kindle. I was hesitant because she said I would cry, Really? I was not ready for an emo book even without any details (she is a firm believer of not giving ANYTHING away when it comes to books or movies). As Augustus mentioned it was a roller coaster ride and it's all up, awesome! The battle to beat an invisible beast is brutal and it takes a brave human to keep a humorous outlook. But the deep and brilliant parts of a soul to be unleashed in such a way as to make us other mere humans understand on paper is amazing. Thought processors working through my large yet inadequate brain refuses to let me put on paper what I mean to write, it just gets jumbled and I ramble. See? As cancer seeks to live, by killing our puny seeming vessels in its wake we can chose to pass on our knowledge so the next in this rotation has a chance of handling it better and making it more bearable despite the outcome.
1 helpful vote
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on May 2, 2014
I'm not certain if this is a teen/young adult book, but as a 67-year-old grandmother, I enjoyed it. My 13-year-old granddaughter told me that she was reading it because a lot of her friends were talking about it. I want to stay involved in her life, so I put in on my Kindle. I read it during a two-day drive.
I found it to be very interesting and informative. I felt I was reading someone's diary. It provided wonderful insight into how a cancer patient feels about how they are treated by parents, family, friends, and outsiders. Taken from a teenager's point of view, I found it enlightening to know that they can feel 'smother love', cynical about their recovery or remission, and yet still hopeful for a 'normal' life of marriage and children.
The personalities of the main characters are well-defined, but subject to change as the story progresses. We come to understand how the parents' feelings affect the daily lives of their cancer-affected children, and how they come to realize that they must let go and let their kids grow.
It is funny, happy, sad, informative, and will tug at your heart. I shall check out the author and consider more of his books, even if he is a young person's author. Interested in how he researched such a complex story-line.
3 helpful votes
4 helpful votes
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on April 14, 2013
First things, first. I'm not an established fan of John Green. Just a reader who bought the book on the recommendation of all the excited reviews. Read it in a day, and I liked it. Appreciated the writer's craft a bit more than the story.

There's not a ton of story here. Two sick kids enjoy a meaningful transformative romance, adding more depth to their doomed lives. Tragic, pretty, honest, moving. Not a ton of surprises.

John Green is a talented writer. You'll enjoy the author's craft. As most chapters ended, I found myself thinking, "Well done, John." He did an excellent job choosing words, creating rhythm, evoking emotion. He captured both Amsterdam and Indianapolis (the two settings for the story) very well. He makes you feel both the hope and the fear, mixing constantly on nearly every page.

The age of the characters felt about three years off. Instead of 16/17, they should have been 20. In fact, the author makes a point of making the teenage narrator an academically-advanced college student, although we never quite understand why she's taking classes. It was almost as if the author was apologizing to us for having to make these characters four years younger than they should have been. Or, perhaps the author likes using college education as a hope mechanism.

The author's portrayal of the perspective of young people with cancer felt incredibly authentic. Every cynical view felt real. The book holds you accountable for every dumb thing you've ever said, thought, or assumed about kids with cancer. Hazel's use of her "sick kid with cancer's Wish" was brilliant.

If I had one criticism, it's the same one I had after reading PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER. The book feels written for the inevitable movie. The teenage romance at the center of the story is very sweet, and of course, the author makes you love the object of the narrator's affection. Why Augustus had to be "hot" escapes me (do we feel more sorry for good looking kids with cancer?). I guess it's a Team Edward thing... a tragic teenage boy with a hot body resonates more? Nothing difficult to film here - funny scenes, emotional moments, flawed-yet-noble parents, supporting characters with funny lines, and lots of dialogue that will easily transfer to the screen. I suppose that's what most writers have in mind these days. Augustus will make a lovely launching point for the next Zac Efron - every young actor is going to want to be the hot, cool, sensitive, poetic boy with cancer. The young male actor who nails the Isaac role will also do well as the funny, not-as-hot-as-the-main-actor actor. Agents' careers will be made and ruined according to who lands these roles. (Note to young actress, Shailene Woodley - please go more Jennifer Lawrence than Kristen Stewart in this role if you want to stand up next to your inevitably glowing co-star.)

Oh yeah, back to the book. My advice is that it's a good read. Hardly my favorite of the year, but a good use of a lazy Saturday. You'll feel more sensitive for having read it, you'll appreciate good writing, and you'll look forward to the soundtrack. Personally, I look forward to the day John Green writes a more audacious adult story without an eye so keenly trained on the film option.
1 helpful vote
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on July 22, 2015
What an emotional roller coaster ride. But it's one that I'd be willing to ride over and over again.
I saw this film before reading the book. And, as always, was able to get more details that were not in the film.
This story is so much more than just a cancer story. It's about love, acceptance, loss and hope. This book, and it's film, are great.
You'll laugh and you'll cry but, most of all, you'll bond so much with these characters that you'll "befriend" them and experience all these emotions right along with them.
I highly recommend this book, and it's film, to anyone who is up for an adventure and that emotional roller coaster I talked about.
Grab a box of Kleenex before opening up this book. You're gunna need them.
1 helpful vote
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My sister, Jessalyn, has been talking about this book since basically the beginning of time. I once borrowed it from her, but I was bad and never actually read it. I'm horrible at reading print books, it turns out.

So, when I saw it was on Amazon for only 99¢, I bought it. ...but I never got around to reading it - because I had this thing where I was only reading what was expected of me and not what I wanted to read (it's one of my goals for this year)

Finally, about a month ago, I'm given a giftcard to audible. I see it's one of the whisper sync deals, and I buy the audio version. I am going to freaking finish this book if it kills me!

And I absolutely love reading along with audiobooks, so that totally happened. And it was fabulous.

It's a pretty good book, I don't disagree. But I think I was built up too much, and it was a bit of a disappointment in some aspects. I did really like how it was able to show that it is okay for characters to not be perfect/healthy/happy people. For that, I totally appreciated this story. There are much too many books about that are afraid to use anyone outside of what society views as the norm, and I found this story a sort of relief away from all of that.

Also, I totally cried. I was sitting in my living room listening/reading while my husband was playing Minecraft and my spawn was eating his dinner... and I'm trying hard to hide the fact that there was a large quantity of liquid falling from my eyes. I failed. My cats even noticed, and they came over to give me pity cuddles.

This is a good book. I did really enjoy it. I do someday plan on watching the movie to do a sort of comparison.
1 helpful vote
2 helpful votes
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on June 7, 2017
Easily, one of my favorite books! I fell in love with the characters and the writing style of John Green. I had to read everything he ever wrote after reading this book. The Fault In Our Stars is his best work.

The emotional journeys of these characters were so real. I felt everything they went through. I rarely re-read a book as there are way too many that I want to read, but I've read this twice and seen the movie. Of course, the book is better ;)
1 helpful vote
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on July 18, 2013
Usually I don't buy into overly hyped books, they often are all hype no substance and I end up feeling had. You have had to have lived under a rock not to have heard the hype over The Fault in Our Stars a book so loved Hollywood got into a bidding war over the rights.

So yeah I though another overly hyped YA novel and about kids with cancer to boot, nah I'll pass but the it was super cheap this week and so I gave it a go. I sure wish I paid full price. I feel guilty buying it on sale. It's that great.

Hazel has lung cancer and she meets Augustus who is in remission for bone cancer at a teens with cancer support group. They strike up a friendship and romance comparing survivor notes and their love of books.

They become obsessed over a book and it's non ending to the point that Augustus uses his make a wish on both of them going to Amsterdam to meet the author.

I won't give away anymore of the plot as not to ruin this beautiful book. I rarely cry while reading but this book made me cry often. But it also made me laugh a lot.

Please don't overlook this perfect gem because it's a YA book or because of the subject matter of The Fault in Our Stars. It was one of the best books I've read this year!
1 helpful vote
2 helpful votes
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on October 2, 2013
This was a really good story and written very well. I really liked it but I didn't love it! There was a lot of hype with this one and I don't feel that it lived up to it.

Hazel Grace Lancaster is dying of cancer and goes to her weekly Cancer Kid Support Group where she meets Augustus (Gus) Waters and they develop a kindred friendship right away.

Hazel Grace had already written her life story, but everything changes when Gus comes into her life. She is now more active and taking advantage to what life she has left as a teen. This is her story and how her views differ from the norm.

This book deals with life and death and the life of cancer. It was well written and I think John Green is a fantastic author. Even though I didn't love this story, I would be willing to read another one of his books.
1 helpful vote
2 helpful votes
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