Review of The Fault in our Stars by John Green

Posted at May 6, 2012 6:18 pm

The Fault in our Stars is a book I would recommend above all others– the “if you only read one piece of fiction this year” type of novel. It could easily go head to head with The Book Thief, The History of Love or any of my favorites. And it made me cry harder than I’ve ever cried over a fictional character– ever. I mean I KNEW this was a cancer book, I could predict what was going to happen from the first chapter, but I still needed half a box of tissues and some deep breathing exercises to get through it.
 
And I know this a cliche- but John Green is a genius. So much so that you don’t mind that he occasionally kind of rubs your face in his brilliance. I admit that it took me a few chapters to get used to his teenage prodigies. I mean, I went to a college filled with nerds, students who prided themselves on being geeks before the term “nerdfighter” even existed. And I never met anyone who talks or thinks like Hazel or Augustus. A seventeen-year-old boy who holds an unlit cigarette in his mouth as a “metaphor” and a girl who can quote poetry from memory?
 
It sounds a tad pretentious, no? But somehow this author made it work. And by the end of the novel he had turned against the pretention of the so-called brilliant writer, destroyed the “strong, brave cancer hero” myth, and actually made his quirky teens so real to me that I actually cried out when I turned the last page and hit the acknowledgements section.
 
I now hate acknowledgements.
 
I can’t think of a better way to end this review than my favorite quote from The Fault in our Stars. It feels very relevant to me right now.
 
It occurred to me that the voracious ambition of humans is never sated by dreams coming true, because there is always the thought that everything might be done better and again.

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