Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
fullsizerender 3?width=719&height=464&fit=crop&auto=webp
fullsizerender 3?width=398&height=256&fit=crop&auto=webp

Nostalgic Rereads: Revisiting John Green’s ‘The Fault in Our Stars’

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FSU chapter.

As someone who spent the majority of her childhood reading more books than humanly possible, I’m often floored by how little I remember about them. Usually, I can recall the barest bones of the plots and vaguely how I felt about the books themselves at age eight, 12, or 15. Now that I’m older and have moderately better taste in literature, I’ve realized my true calling: revisiting these books and seeing if they stand the test of time, or if nostalgia’s clouded my judgment.

I honestly don’t know how to explain the chokehold author-YouTuber John Green’s novels had on the “tween” girl population in the 2010s. At that time, I read just about any book recommended to me. One day, that was Green’s 2012 novel-turned-film, The Fault in Our Stars (TFIOS). This book was a sensation. Everyone I knew was reading it, talking about it, and then reading more of Green’s books to fill the void it left behind. There had to be something in the water in that era; people went nuts.

TFIOS follows Hazel Grace Lancaster, a 16-year-old girl with terminal cancer. The story begins at an adolescent cancer patient support group, where Hazel meets Augustus Waters. Augustus is 17 years old, in remission, and a massive flirt. The majority of the book follows the progression of his and Hazel’s whirlwind romance, but its bittersweet ending is what gives the book an extra kick.

The story is told through Hazel’s voice, which is a nice touch because you can hear her pessimistic spirit dripping off the pages. As she grows closer to Augustus and finds something to bring joy into her life, she becomes a bit more positive, growing as a character.

Since rereading the book, I’ve realized that, while I remember a lot about the storyline, I forgot most of the character dynamics. I genuinely couldn’t remember anything about these characters other than Augustus’ quirky behavior with cigarettes (he puts them between his teeth as if to smoke them, but never lights them). But he and Hazel are full-fledged human beings. They’re a little pretentious and melodramatic, but in the way teenagers who have been on the brink of death are. For a reader and fan, it never feels over the top.

I’m going to say it: I was expecting to hate The Fault in Our Stars. I was anticipating a reread that ended with a one-star review on Goodreads, but that’s not what happened. I walked away with a better understanding of why the book was such a success and why people couldn’t get enough of John Green after that. If you haven’t read it, I won’t share spoilers, so I highly suggest you read it for yourself.

Now, I think I’m going to need to follow in the footsteps of my middle school self and begin my John Green era. It’s been a long time since I’ve read Paper Towns or An Abundance of Katherines, so maybe it’s time to go down the proverbial rabbit hole. The only question is: which book do I read next?

Want to see more HCFSU? Be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and Pinterest!

Emma is lifetime creative getting a dual degree in Theatre and Creative Writing. She's passionate about sad girl indie pop music, batman characters, Taylor Swift, and media analysis. She's also chronically online, if you couldn't already tell. But the fun doesn't end there: she's also a crazy cat lady who can't wait to live in a big house so all 30 of her hypothetical future cats can have their own bedrooms. She also loves writing for HCFSU ;)