Posted by : Deborah Takahashi Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Plot Summary:
Hazel Grace is a survivor. Diagnosed with Stage IV Thyroid Cancer, her life should have been over last year. However, she proved the doctors wrong by making a miraculous recovery. However, the treatments and the cancer have left her lungs filled with tiny tumors that need to be eradicated with medicine, but leaves Hazel permanently dependent to on oxygen tank named Philip. What should have been the typical life of a teenager, Hazel is light years ahead of peers except that she doesn't have a lot of friends and prefers to spend her time alone. In order to get her out of the house, her mother forces her to attend a support group at the local church, which she finds utterly depressing and boring until Gus came around. In fact, Hazel never thought a gorgeous boy would show up to this group, nor did she count on the fact that he actually thought she was beautiful. Confused, and unsure why this perfectly normal guy would want to be with her, she learns that he too is a cancer survivor and he has a prosthetic leg. Although this fact does not change anything, Hazel is forced to tear down the walls she has put between herself and live the life that she has been given even if for a little while longer.
Critical Evaluation:
John Green ceases to amaze me. Not only is he able to tackle all kinds of issues teens face, he is able to do it in a way that one forgets that this novel was written by an adult. Those who have cancer survivors in their family, or are one, will definitely be touched and moved by the relationship between Gus and Hazel. Although we tend to think teenagers are unable to fully understand the circumstances of life, Green conveys that teens are a lot more smarter, and mature, than most of adults when faced with adversity. Not only do these teens take their sickness seriously, they are actually able to poke fun at it and use it to their advantage to prove that sick kids are not so willingly able to give up on life. I will warn readers that tears will be shed, but along with the sadness, there is this renewed sense of hope that when we lose someone, they are never really gone. On a personal note, my aunt, who passed away almost ten years ago, was diagnosed with a brain tumor and underwent chemo (which was completely experimental at the time) that destroyed her lungs. She, like Hazel, could not be without her oxygen, but, even on the worst days, she did everything she could to fight her illness. Although the human body is fragile, the soul and spirit are much stronger; Hazel and Gus know that mourning will does not fill feel the empty space in our hearts, but living keeping the memories alive will help us get thought those days and on with our lives. Beautiful, beautiful story.    

Information about the Author:
Honestly, I am just gonna leave the link to the author's website only because it so cool! Check this link out:

Teen Contemporary Fiction

Reading Level/Interest:
Grades 9 & up

Books Similar The Fault in Our Stars:

Awards & Recognition:
  • Starred Review Booklist (1/1/2012)
  • Starred Review Kirkus (1/15/2012)
  • Starred Review Publisher Weekly (1/16/2012)
  • Starred Review School Library Journal (2/1/2012)

{ 2 comments... read them below or Comment }

  1. This was a good place to start with reading John Green in my opinion!

  2. The Fault in Our Stars shows another side of John Green's brilliance simply because it's not only his first novel with a female lead, but it portrays his quick whit and humor very well. His other works are just as amazing in their own ways, but this particular work is just stunning.


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Deborah Takahashi
Pasadena, CA, United States
My name is Deb and I am a Librarian who absolutely loves to read and recommend books to teen and tween readers. In this blog, you will find reviews on a variety resources ranging from books, movies, video games, and much more. Please feel free to leave any feedback, especially book recommendations!
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