The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

It’s true that “pain demands to be felt.”

It’s also true that a great novel demands to be read.

Such is the way of John Green’s incredible YA novel, The Fault in Ours Stars. This book doesn’t just ask you to read it, it demands that you read it. And if you haven’t yet picked up one of the over one million copies of this book available, then listen to me: I DEMAND that you do so right this instant. This isn’t some book that you pick up, read, enjoy, and forget about. This book will leave a mark – it will scar you – but that scar will in no way lessen how much you love it. In fact, I think I love this book because of the scars, because of the pain, or rather, because the pain never lessened the humor, the quirky relatability of the characters, or the love. There was pain, plenty of it, but there were also other things, and the pain mingled with those things until they were inseparable and beautiful and real. This book is a once-in-a-lifetime kind of book. It’s one of the best books I’ve ever read; one of the most beautiful stories I believe has ever been told.

Because John Green just gets it. He understands that real life isn’t a fantasy, but that doesn’t mean that fantasies don’t exist in real life. True love might not be perfect, but you might find your version of perfect in a true love. What’s real is subjective.
There’s a great note from the author before the book even begins, where John says, “This book is a work of fiction. I made it up. Neither novels nor their readers benefit from attempts to divine whether any facts hide inside a story. Such efforts attack the very idea that made-up stories can matter, which is sort of the foundational assumption of our species. I appreciate your cooperation in this matter.”
It’s a “he had me at hello” sort of thing – because the second I read those words, I knew that I was going to love this book. Sure, I had already read this book before, because I’m an avid John Green fan, but every single time I read his work I fall in love all over again. I’ve heard it said that readers aren’t loyal to authors – they’re loyal to books, and I think, in some cases, that’s true (case and point: the Harry Potter series – many young adults who LOVED those books have never had any inclination to pick up The Casual Vacancy or The Cuckoo’s Calling). But there are times when a reader’s loyalty is fiercely dedicated to an author – I feel that way about quite a few authors, most notably J.R.R. Tolkien, and I feel it just as strongly for John Green. I’m a Nerdfighter (if you don’t know what that is I strongly suggest you pause, look it up, bookmark the Vlogbrothers channel on Youtube for later viewing pleasures, and then come back), so I’ve always loved him, but that isn’t why I love the books. All of Green’s novels speak for themselves. They have distinct, strong and sincere voices.It’s the honesty in his work that gets me every time.

At it’s heart The Fault in Our Stars, or TFiOS as it’s been coined, might be a love story, but it’s core is so much more than that. This is a story about love, life, and the question of what to do with the short number of days you’ve been given to live. Yes, it’s sad, but you know that going in. The narrator, Hazel, is a 16-year-old diagnosed with terminal, stage IV, thyroid cancer with mets in her lungs. There’s really no scenario where this is a “happily ever after” kind of tale. Instead, Green delivers something even more precious – the truth. The ups, downs, and in betweens that happen to us all. He takes what could have easily become a trope and turns it on its head. The cancer victims become as they are in real life – just like everybody else. Gus and Hazel are proof that while the world may not be a “wish-granting factory” that doesn’t mean that one little infinity can’t touch us for a lifetime.

Rating: ∞/10 

Overall Reaction: Well I sobbed through the second half, and that’s having already read it before, so… yeah…

Up Next Week: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell


Add Comment

Required fields are marked *. Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>