Book Review: The Fault in Our Stars


Ashley Park

Celebrating the tenth-year anniversary of its release in January of 2022, John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars has been nothing short of a success renowned by readers for a decade. The novel, which mainly focuses on themes of romance and cancer, has become a token necessity in the young adult fiction section of shelves. 

In this story, the reader is introduced to a handful of characters that bring different struggles and aspects of plain teenage hardships to the table. A majority of these characters have been affected by their diagnosis of some kind of cancer, including the two leads. The female lead by the name of Hazel Grace Lancaster, who in the duration of the book is sixteen years old and has stage four thyroid cancer, and the male lead, Augustus “Gus” Waters, meet through a cancer support group. Hazel, who was simply leading a life of reading books and staying home–waiting for death to take her–finds her match with Gus. Gus, being on the opposite side of the spectrum, is a witty and active guy despite the amputation of one of his legs. He brings out a side of her she would have never imagined to exist, and together they spend every last dying moment. Throughout her life, Hazel wasn’t ever afraid of death and what her fate was, and she did not anticipate that all that would change because of a boy. It’s safe to say that she was in for quite the rude awakening.

From the beginning of the book, it is hard to imagine being able to connect with the characters on a deeper emotional level; however, by the end of it, you might just find yourself crying and empathizing with them. The characters were at first written to be dull, blending them in with the dreary atmosphere, but their personalities are definitely expanded upon while reading. The book did well with keeping the readers on their toes in every chapter but also lacing each word with emotions that had quite the impact. The author consistently uses a tone of sarcasm from start to finish, especially in the words of the narrator slash main character, Hazel.

The book, becoming a #1 New York Times bestseller, is an extreme success. It was, two years after its publication, adapted into a film in 2014. Readers all over the world have and continue to enjoy John Green’s story; for example, Madeline on Goodreads has said, “All novels are personal, but Green’s novels seem, to me, to be especially so. But this one is personal in a different way. With this novel, Green isn’t trying to exercise the memory of the girl who stomped on his heart in high school. This goes deeper than high school romance and Manic Pixie Dream Girl angst. This is about life, death, illness, love, heroism, and how a sixteen-year-old is supposed to deal with the fact that she will die and leave everyone she loves behind.”

On a personal note, I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Fault in Our Stars. I think it is a classic for a reason, and it is perfect for those who would typically appreciate a romance standalone book.