Review ~ The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

Series: No
Genre: YA Contemporary
Page Length: 318 Pages
Publication Date: January 10th, 2012
Publisher: Dutton Books
Source: Borrowed
Goodreads

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten.


I've been putting off reading this book for a long time simply because I don't like sad books, specifically books about cancer. I know way too many people who've suffered and lost in the fight against cancer, and I didn't want to be reminded of it with this book. After reading all the rave reviews about it though, I decided to give it a try. It was much better than I though it would be but still lacked in areas. 
I respect John Green and like that he tried tackling a storyline such as this. In my opinion though, the execution was quite poor. The book had a slow pace and was really unrealistic: the Amsterdam part & Hazel going to Augustus's house RIGHT after meeting him (the list is endless). The writing was good although I felt as if Green were trying too hard. Basically every other line was deep and had some significant meaning. I saw motifs all over the place and ugh it was just too much. I like intellectual reads (my parents make me read all those "adult" books on economics, business, philosophy, technology, you name it), but you don't need to pack it into each and every dialogue. Hazel and Augustus have page long discussions on oblivion and fears and philosophy, and it just bored me to tears. I felt that some scenes weren't necessary at all while vital scenes were cut short or sped through. 

Now as much as I hated the cramming of discussions and philosophy, it was quite interesting. There were some great quotes in this book that I've highlighted. And I'm glad I finally understand the "Okay," "Okay," thing. 

The characterization was horrid. Augustus and Hazel are basically the same person except Hazel is female and Augustus is male. They have the exact same voice yet I know avid fans are going to say they are just so alike and that's why they like each other. I don't know though, it seems like bad characterization to me when you have two identical copies. I found those two to be dull and boring and a bit pretentious. Each character should have a unique voice. If I switched Augustus' lines with Hazel's you wouldn't even be able to tell the difference. I really liked Isaac though! He was my favorite character by far. 

The romance, though it developed way too quickly (and was love at first sight), was adorable once it did happen. Seeing their love and devotion was so sweet and charming. They have so many cute moments. What broke my heart (in a good way) was seeing how Hazel stuck by Augustus through thick and thin and was always there for him. 

I was expecting to cry sometime in this novel yet I didn't. Some parts that I could tell were supposed to be emotional just didn't seem emotional to me. The funeral was lacking depth and emotion (in my opinion) and didn't make me feel anything. 

I know this review might sound like I'm slamming the book, but it was a good read. There were too many flaws to call it a favorite, but I respect Green's attempts and who doesn't love a good love story? 



What were your thoughts on this book? 

50 comments:

  1. I hated this book. From the completely unrealistic things that come out of Augustus' mouth to how Green romanticizes cancer, it's completely terrible. It's probably one of the worst books I've ever read. I didn't cry, either, but I did throw the book against a wall when I finished reading it.

    Your review is in no way a slam. You should see what I said about it in mine.

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    1. Thank you, Erin!! I feel the same exact way. I tried to put it a bit lightly because I didn't want to be hunted down by TFIOS fans and get murdered in my sleep...

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    2. I know what you mean. I refuse to post my review on here because of the superfans. They can like it all they want, but some of them are so viscous. Anyways, I just saw it on Goodreads and left a comment. I just edited my review there because of yours. I'm no longer afraid to say why I hated it.

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    3. I haven't gotten yelled at yet, so there's that :) You edited it because of me? ;) I try to offset my GR reviews with GIFs xD

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  2. I totally agree with your review! I don't see how it has become lauded as some sort of amazing, one-of-a-kind wonder book, when there are already plenty of books about cancer and plenty of YA books that are much better written. I thought the book was an OK read as well, but didn't like how try-hard the writing was (as you said in your review). I felt like John Green was too aware of how people would want to quote the book, rather than trying to write something actually meaningful.

    Anyway, I'm glad to find someone who isn't as in love with the book as everyone else seems to be! Great review!

    Rachel
    Dashing Good Books

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    1. Thank you! I agree, John Green was too aware of how people would eat this up. He didn't write the sentences to make the story, he wrote so called "deep" things that could be used as quotes. I just find it sad that one of those quotes is "Okay. Okay" off of the failed "Always. Always" of Isaac's relationship. Hmm, foreshadowing perhaps?

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  3. I held off on this book a long time, too. I finally picked it up after seeing the movie trailer. I really liked this book, though. I didn't mind the long, packed dialogue though I agree that some aspects were unrealistic. I liked the characters enough that I was able to over look it, though. I cried during the book and I didn't think Green romanticized cancer. He showed the uglier parts of it and showed (while maybe not showing enough) how negatively it affects the person afflicted and the people around that person.

    I wouldn't say this is my favorite book but I am glad I read it and I enjoyed my time while I was reading it.

    Nice review! You made some very valid points :)

    Ashtyn @ Wonderland’s Reader!

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    1. Thanks! I'm glad I read it as well, it's one of those books you just need to read.

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  4. I totally agree Rachel - I loved Isaac so much, mostly because I think he was the most realistic character of the three of them. TFiOS was a cute love story and I loved it when I first read it, but parting with my super 'fangirl' side, I totally get what you're saying, especially with the character voices!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Carol! :) Yes the character voices annoyed me so much :P

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  5. I actually really liked the book - it's certainly not my favorite of course, and I think it's overrated with so much hype... like most bestsellers. But oy, welcome to the uncrying club. I know uncrying isn't a word, but hopefully it makes you feel better you're not the only one who didn't! ;)

    I suppose we'll suffer through the tomatoes together, lol. Great review, Rachel! :D

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    1. It is quite overrated. Yay uncrying club! Yes, it made me feel a bit better :) Thanks Sophia, I'll protect you against the tomatoes. We can work on our dodgeball abilities!

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  6. PHEW! Someone who felt the same way as me! I've seen nothing but 5 star reviews, which is definitely discouraging.

    "Augustus and Hazel are basically the same person except Hazel is female and Augustus is male." BINGO! This was what bothered me too. Each of the characters were basically mini John Greens, talking in a John Green voice, acting in a John Green way, you know? I did like the romance though.

    And frankly, the whole reason they took the trip to Amsterdam in the first place was confusing and pretty much pointless. Books are supposed to make you think and infer and wonder. When you find out what the author was thinking when they wrote it, that kind of ruins the whole thing, right? Because it's supposed to be your interpretation of how the events roll out. :/

    Thanks for sharing Rachel, and, as always, BRILLIANT review! Guess we'll have to suffer through the hype for this one together. xD

    ~ Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf

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    1. Quite true! I didn't even think about the author interpretation part! That totally ruined everything Green was trying to build *fists hair* Ugh. Thanks Zoe <3 We must unite together against the hype!!

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  7. Nooooo :( I hoped you would somehow liked it...

    I LOVED IT.

    Okay, it may not have been SUPER realistic but I believe what happened could happen in reality. Maybe not to everyone but it could. Anyway, you have the right to your opinion and I see that you didn't HATE it so lol we're still in good terms ;) I actually loved everything: writing, plot, characters, romance, EVERYTHING and gave it 5 stars. ^^

    Lola @ Hit or Miss Books

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    1. I'M SORRY LOLA, I TRIED ;(

      I loved the romance :) I hope I can salvage our new blogging buddy status!!

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  8. I think this is one of those books you just have to be in the right mood for
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

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    1. Quite true. I had no intention of reading this (anytime soon) but a GR buddy made me buddy read it with her. It wasn't bad, just not my favorite.

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  9. Oh Rachel, thanks for your honest thoughts on this book! I can kind of see what you mean with every dialogue and sentence trying to be too profound. But luckily you could see the character differences portrayed in the movie even more, with Gus wanting to be bigger than he was and Hazel being bitter at the start of the book.

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    1. That's good! I need to see the movie now. I wanted to see it in theaters, but I was afraid of being judged and stamped as one of "those" people who watched the movie without having read the book first.

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  10. Aww. Too bad you didn't like it. :(
    But then again, we have different tastes in stuff so I understand where you're coming from. :)

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    1. Quite true, we seem to be opposites xD.

      You: I LOVE IT. Me: I HATE IT.

      You: I HATE IT. ME: I LOVE IT.

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  11. I have yet to read this one... it's not everyday I'll see a review saying that they didn't like it but hey, people have different taste, right?
    I'm really just setting this aside because I fear that my feelings for this novel won't be the same as most people (meaning - crying all over it). I don't always cry at books especially when I expected myself to cry..
    thanks for the honest review, I'm definitely keeping your points in mind when I read this :)

    czai @ the Blacksheep Project

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    1. Thank you! Yeah it wasn't my favorite. I was expecting outrage with my review but you guys rock and respect my opinion :)

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  12. Really good review. This were basicially all my feelings about the book in one review. Everyone else seems to love this book and I just don't see why it is such a big deal.We all have different tastes i suppose...
    Anna @ http://booksquoteasanddimples.blogspot.com/

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  13. I actually read this book a long time back and my thoughts were pretty different then. Now, I feel like it wasn't all that good a book or worthy of THIS much hype. I agree with the thing about the dialogues being packed in that manner. It IS pretty unrealistic and in all honestly, teenagers don't talk like they just came out of some modern version of a Shakespeare poem. Love the review and your honesty! ^_^

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    1. Quite true, I didn't say it because I didn't want to offend fellow teenagers, but it's true. Some teens have the ability to talk like this, but they wouldn't xD I don't understand all the hype, but that's just me.

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  14. Oh no :( This is one of my favorites!

    I get everything that bothered you though. It's all valid stuff. I just didn't mind that much. It's cool that you were so honest about a book that has so much hype and love!

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    1. I'm sorry Michelle!! It wasn't horrible but was in no way a favorite of mine... Thank you!

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  15. You made some great points! I definitely agree about Hazzel and Augustus' characters falling a little flat. I hate how people are saying that Green is the new voice for our generation when he's not accurately portraying what young adults are like. However, I would recommend seeing the movie, I personally enjoyed it more than the book.

    Amber @ The Book Cookies

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    1. Oh geez, he's the new voice for our generation? *smh* He does not understand teens, at all. We don't talk like that!! Some have the capacity and ability to, but we don't talk like that!! I will see the movie just to see why everyone's crying...

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  16. I found the book decent enough, BUT I do agree with your assessment of this one. It really was unrealistic in terms of character development, characterization and dialogue. Seriously, I had a close friend of mine read it, and while she did like it, she nitpicked how the characters sounded way too mature for their age, spouting off stuff that you usually only read in really poetic novels. "Like how could they talk like that?" was something she told me ^^;; agree on the pretentious part, too! It does sound trying hard - that's why I could never bring myself to award it 5 stars.

    Faye at The Social Potato

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    1. Yeah I really just didn't like the characters that much because they had that pretentious tone basically the whole book! It wasn't a horrible read, just very flawed. I found it to be trying too hard, others say he was trying to convey a message. Conveying and throwing in your face are two very different things.

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  17. I personally loved this book, although I can see why you would find it unrealistic.

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    1. Quite unrealistic, but a cute romance I guess...

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  18. You have definitely made some great points. I think I read this one a year ago and was kind of blinded by all the IT'S SO GREAT I CRIED ALL NIGHT hype that surrounded it and how sad the ending was but now I feel like if I were the reread it and focus more on everything I'd feel the same way. The two main characters really are similar.

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    1. I think my opinions are a bit more critical than most because I started reading this after all the hype, not in the beginning or midst of the hype. I was weary to begin with because of the insane amount of hype so I nitpicked more than I usually would. I see why some people love it, but there were just too many flaws for my liking.

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  19. I would have commented on your Silver Shadows review, but I'm not really into reading reviews from that series until I'm all caught up. Anyhow, LOL! I was expecting a 5 star rating as always, but yay that someone thought (a little better) like me. I felt the trying too hard thing too! =/ I felt like Hazel's inner monologue was so young and childish, but when she spoke with Augustus, it was just woooow! "where's my dictionary" kind of moment, you know? I liked Isaac too :) I didn't even like the romance that much, tbh. It was too insta-lovey for me and I really didn't understand how they fell in love. They just did. I didn't cry either *high fives* though it's weird, since I cry very easily with books and movies, but not with this one. As sorry as I am that you didn't enjoy a book, I'm glad I'm not the only one who didn't fall head over heels for this one lol. Great review, Rachel :)

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    1. I know right?? The trying too hard part really got to me... So true!! Hazel acts childish in her mind and inner voice yet speaks all eloquently and sophisticatedly to Augustus. Personality change!! The romance was way too instant, it's not that great a romance story anyway... They fell in love faster than Romeo and Juliet!! Oh my gosh me too!! I cry a lot during books but not this one... Twins :D Thanks, Siiri :)

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  20. Okay, I'm a mom, and to me it was too realistic. It made me cry from the beginning because I could just imagine my child going through what those kids were. I did't think Hazel and Gus were too much alike because she didn't mind being small, and he had a real hero complex. He was bold and sociable. She was more shy and a little antisocial. I thought they looked at life quite differently, and so they had a good effect on each other. But I'll get off my soapbox. We all have different opinions, and I do admire someone being honest in a review. So kudos for bravery in stating your opinions! :o)

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    1. haha well I can respect your opinions, and those are good arguments, but their mannerisms are too alike and the way they speak and their behavior is all too alike. Thank you, I'll admit I was scared to post this, but I haven't gotten shunned or beaten yet xD

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  21. I feel exactly the same way! I don't understand the hype. It was so unrealistic and the characters were so pretentious.

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  22. YAY! I adore your review because I had all the same issues with it. I couldn't really understand what all the fuss was about. I didn't even cry or get teary eyed once. I did reread it and enjoyed it more the second time around, but I think that was because I knew what to expect - NOT MUCH! HAHA

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    1. I don't understand all the hype too!! I didn't get teary eyed either. So not an emotional read... Aw thank you <3 Lol, so true. No to low expectations will make this book fantastic xD

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  23. Wow Rachel! I for a moment didn't even think of it as you have. Loved your review, although, I really liked the book. Probably because I was too mixed up with the love part. Hehe!

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  24. This was my most recent read. I really didn't like this book. At all. Your point about Hazel and Augustus being basically the same character is so true.

    I finally understand the "okay" thing, too, but I don't get why it's such a big deal. Actually, I don't get why this book is such a big deal; I found it pretentious and uninteresting.

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  25. I know what you mean. I read this when it wasn't still mainstream and thought it was okay. I liked it but then I didn't love it. :D

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  26. I honestly disliked this book. Modern teenagers don't speak with the vocabulary of shakespeare.

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