“The Fault in Our Stars”

Lucky me! I have another guest review by future teacher librarian extraordinaire Ms. Thomas. And if you follow reviews here, you know how I love John Green–so this is bonus day!

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Wise, poetic, 16 year old Hazel Grace Lancaster has terminal thyroid cancer that has metastasized to her lungs.  An experimental drug has kept her alive for the past 3 years.  Her parents want her to be a normal teenager in spite of having to drag her oxygen tank with her wherever she goes.   At her kids-with-cancer support group, Hazel meets good-looking, witty 17-year-old Augustus Waters who finds her “like V for Vendetta Natalie Portman” beautiful.  Gus doesn’t have a terminal diagnosis – his leg was amputated as a result of osteosarcoma (a malignant bone tumor), but he is officially NEC (no evidence of cancer).

Hazel and Gus are star-crossed kindred spirits who reject the belief that all kids with cancer are courageous saints; they are both looking for meaning in their finite lives.  They share with each other their favorite books, movies, video games, dreams, fears, loves, and Cancer Perks. “Grand Gesture Metaphorically Inclined Augustus” takes Hazel on an adventure that she never could have imagined.  The Fault in Our Stars isn’t about cancer (or its sometimes tragic consequences) or even teenagers – it’s a story about love, friendship, and the joy that Hazel and Gus find in their “little infinity.”

The professional reviews and reader reviews of The Fault in Our Stars have been overwhelmingly positive, with many people calling it one of the best novels (for teens or adults) of the year.  Released in January 2012, it was named by Amazon as one of the best books of the month, and it has been on numerous best seller lists.  Like John Green’s other novels, The Fault in Our Stars is written for teenagers (and adults) who appreciate wit, philosophical ponderings, and the realness of life and its characters.

You can hear John Green read the first chapter of The Fault in Our Stars here.

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About Victoria Waddle

I'm a high school librarian, formerly an English teacher. I love to read and my mission is to connect people with the right books. To that end, I read widely--from the hi-lo for reluctant high school readers to the literary adult novel for the bibliophile.
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3 Responses to “The Fault in Our Stars”

  1. Arik Boles says:

    I just finished reading this book. It is indeed a great book for a school wide read. It is witty and yes it is about love yet it is not sappy and overwhelmingly too much. The characters are genuine and funny, honest and endearing making the friendships and relationships refreshing. A very nice story that was even more touching than I had anticipated. Thank you for sharing it Mrs. Waddle.

  2. Ms. Waddle says:

    I just finished The Fault in Our Stars yesterday. What a great book! It’s too late in this school year to think about, but we’ve got to have multiple copies for next year. (Money, please fall from heaven.) It should be the school-wide read.

    These smart characters and their witty comments, their lack of sentimental drivel make the story so much more powerful.

    Cassius:
    “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
    But in ourselves, that we are underlings.”
    Julius Caesar (I, ii, 140-141)

    I’m going with John Green rather than Shakespeare on this one. The fault is in their stars.

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