Book Review: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Book Review: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Cassandra Fernandes, Features Editor

If you were to describe a book that was too popular, surrounded by too much hype, and perhaps even too relatable to high school girls, immediately I would think of The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.  On more than one occasion, while I was innocently browsing the ‘young adult’ section of my local Barnes & Noble, an energetic teen carrying a Starbucks frappuccino has approached me, waving the book around, insisting that I ‘just had to’ read it.

“Well, what’s it about?” I’d ask.

“These kids with cancer who fall in love!”

“Oh,” I’d answer, as I mentally noted to avoid the book at all costs. Cancer kids falling in love? Absolutely depressing, I decided.

That is, until last week, when, completely by chance, I picked up the book and could not put it down. Four hours later, I was in tears but entirely satisfied with the genius that is TFIOS.

Essentially, it’s a love story: teen Hazel Lancaster meets Augustus Waters at a cancer kids support group, and their cancer-filled lives suddenly become less, well, as author John Green would put it, less “terminal.”

This main plot is flawlessly surrounded by the plot of Hazel’s favorite book, An Imperial Affliction, which eventually leads Hazel and Augustus to Amsterdam, where they are greeted by heart-wrenching plot twists. The book plays on the heavy themes of life and death, but remains widely relatable and, at times, remarkably funny.

Green himself is arguably a genius- yes, this is the same John Green from Vlogbrothers and Crashcourse. Green graduated from Kenyan College and thought he was to become an Episcopalian minister. He was working as a student chaplain at a hospital, counseling families of children with cancer, when he decided to write instead.

Still, I don’t know how exactly he so flawlessly narrates this book from the perspective of a sixteen-year-old girl with cancer, but he flawlessly narrates this book from the perspective of a sixteen-year-old girl with cancer.  His wit is powerful, and balances even the saddest of scenes.

Additionally, the bond that Green creates between the reader and the characters is so strong that Hazel Grace Lancaster and Augustus Walters actually become real people. The end of the book almost felt like the end of a friendship, with the only relief in the fact that The Fault in Our Stars movie comes out this June.