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Monday, August 27, 2012

Book Review: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

The Fault in Our Stars

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 13, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumors in her lungs... for now.

Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumors tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault.

Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind.

My Rating: 5 Stars Supernovas

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Read this book, read it! Run out and get it, now! Forget pants, just go as you are! I’ll wait…

How good is this book? As soon as I finished it, I reread it and was again surprised at how mind-blowingly good it is. Seriously, it is a masterpiece! Don’t believe me? Well I would like to share with you a scene that took place in my mind after I was finished reading The Fault in Our Stars:

My mind’s version of Jane Austen sits on a throne. Above her there is a huge banner that reads, “The author, living or dead, I would give anything—within reason, of course—to meet.” Miss Austen smiles contentedly as she reads aloud, “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fort—” Suddenly, mental-projection me jumps out from behind the throne and pushes Miss Austen from her regal seat*. Once Miss Austen’s posterior is no longer in a relationship with the throne’s well-cushioned seat, mental-projection me takes out a life-sized cardboard cut-out of John Green and triumphantly places it on the throne. Mental-projection me then breaks out in a long interpretive dance called “An Offering of Pizza,” which ends with the an actual offering of pizza.

*Note: mental-version Jane Austen is fine…that’s how she always takes naps…face-down…on the floor…without moving…seriously, stop asking questions! She’s fine!

John Green is so good he dethroned Jane Austen! That definitely counts for something. TFIOS is the best book I read this year and one of the best books I have ever read. John Green is by far my new favorite author. I will admit I was a bit hesitant to read this book. I generally try to avoid sad books because I have dipped my toes in the depression pool—that’s right, when I was in middle school I listened to Simple Plan—and I do not like to invite thoughts of the despairing kind into my mind. However, I decided to go ahead and buy this book and boy am I glad I did!

Hazel’s story is certainly one that includes its fair share of tragedy, but that doesn’t mean her life deserves to be reduced to her misfortunes. There is so much more to Hazel than her sickness. The thing that most stuck out to me is the fact that Hazel deals with a reality we all try to ignore as we go through our daily lives. It is a challenge to live with the realization that we are not here to stay.  Whenever we face tragedy we try to find the silver lining, the greater purpose, and/or the overall meaning, but sometimes we just have to accept that life is a bitch and time is a slut—confused? read the book! Life can seriously suck ass, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be worthwhile.

This novel struck a deep chord with me. It is so much more than a story. It is a conversation. I can’t help but feel that in it I have have discovered something special and important. John Green’s writing is intelligent, humorous, touching, sharp, and just plain beautiful. This guy can turn a phrase as well as a penguin can slide on ice. Yes, he is that good! Furthermore, reading this book is like watching a penguin slide on its belly, it just makes you feel the warm fuzzies in your chest!  This book is though-provoking, insightful, honest, and beautiful. I feel as if no matter how much I compliment it I am not doing it justice. You must experience it for yourself and form your own opinion. If you find that you do not like it then let me know and I will kick myself in a buttock—you pick which cheek.

This book taught me two things about myself: I am a crier and apparently my emotions can easily mimic a ping-pong ball because the entire time I read this novel, I was alternating between bursts of tears and bursts of laughter. I didn’t think I was the type of person who could be extremely affected by a book, but when on the second page I started to get the feels and lose the reigns on my emotions, I knew that this book was going to reach into my heart and tango with it—I blame the fantastic writing. The characters are realistic. They are not the typical rise-above-adversity-with-an-unfailing-smile and-everlasting-hope. They are real teenagers struggling with the harshest reality. They make mistakes and they are certainly not perfect, but they are real. They are so realistic and likeable that their falls and rises, their pains and joys, and their smiles and tears felt like my own. As the novel progressed I lost it more and more and eventually I just set the feels free!

I have for you a parade of gifs that will demonstrate my reading experience with The Fault in Our Stars. Please keep in mind that it is difficult to describe this book. It is amazing, but you have to experience it for yourself. You might not cry, but you will be drawn into the story and the reality the characters are confronted with. Before we proceed to “A Summary of My Reactions While Reading The Fault in Our Stars in Gifs,” I would like to remind you, I am a crier so don’t let my emotion-overload deter you from reading this book. In The Fault in Our Stars there is sadness, but I would not say it is a sad book. Trust me, this book is special and you should definitely read it. Now, to the gifs!

“A Summary of My Reactions While Reading The Fault in Our Stars in Gifs”

I started reading and I was immediately hooked.


Then at around the second page I started to get a bit emotional…


From then on I was ping-pong-balling between burst of tears and bursts of laughter.



It was an emotional rollercoaster that I found myself thoroughly enjoying.

Then at some point I just got angry—not with the book, but with life.friends gifs Pictures, Images and Photos



By the time I approached the ending I was fully immersed in my feelings.


Then the ending came…


and it was just me and my feelings.


When I finished reading, I was surprised to find that though my heart had been broken I did not feel incomplete because it had been worth it.

Then I turned to my copy of TFiOS and uttered seven heartfelt words:

I was not expecting to be so blown away by this book, but it’s by John Green, I should have known better. Allow me to take a moment to state the obvious: John Green is AWESOME!



I suppose now is the time to ask the question I always seem to ask: do I have a new book boyfriend?

The thing about Augustus Waters is this, though I love him to pieces, he is taken. I cannot, even in  my imagination, come between Augustus and his love…I cannot say more, the feelings are here…


In conclusion, reading The Fault in our Stars is more than a worthwhile experience. I am extremely glad I read this book…I will now go and re-read it…


Did you know there is an awesome song inspired by The Fault in Our Stars?

It is by Meghan Tonjes and it is called “The Fault is in Our Stars”

Check it out here.

I bought it off the ITunes and I am listening to it right now!

It’s amazing!

I’m sorry, what was that? I didn’t hear you…

No!! I am not slow dancing with the book! …the book is slow dancing with me!

Don’t judge me! You know nothing!



If you like(d) this book here are some suggestions.

The following are books that my copy of The Fault in Our Stars is hanging out with while settling in on my shelf:

Their Eyes Were Watching God

Flowers for Algernon

Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes (This book reminds me of the helpless feeling of inevitability that Hazel’s illness and story forces us to confront).


Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston (This book reminds me of TFiOS’s overall hopeful tone).

Plus, like TFiOS, both are beautifully written and extremely thought-provoking.

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