Book Review: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

When I first heard of “The Fault in Our Stars,” I initially had no interest in reading another book about cancer and the almost unbearable, lingering sadness that comes along with those stories. Although numerous cancer stories have been told, and become successful novels from that sadness that people are oddly attracted to reading about, I couldn’t help but notice the excessive amount of hype brought about by this book. So I read it!

The story follows Hazel, a terminally ill, 16 year old, suffering more with seeing her parents deal with the sadness she causes them daily. Hazel meets an unlikely individual, Augustus Waters, at a support group for kids with cancer, and their relationship blossoms quickly from there. Both far beyond intelligent and intriguing for their age, Hazel and Augustus face not only cancer together, but the difficulty of discovering the true meaning of life and their purpose in it.
John Green’s use of “teenager language” and humorous comments that he threads throughout the book is exceptionally uplifting to a sad story line. It is what sets apart the book from other tragedy stories, in my opinion. Making light of a situation like that seems to be one of the only ways to make it even partially bearable.  Also, the outlook on life of teenagers that may be too smart for their own good is something that people are challenged to discover every day, no matter what age. As Hazel mentions at one point, “While the world was not built for humans, we were built for the world.” Statements like those make the reader actually think and take away many of the lessons brought up in the book long after they are finished with it.

The hype that this book caused is completely NOT out of line. The various emotions provoked while reading this novel are something you don’t always get from other books, and it stands out in such a positive way that when you close the book after finishing it, the only thing you want to do is start again at page 1.

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