Claudia's Reviews > The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
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Jan 15, 12

bookshelves: 2012-book-challenge-160-books, ya-books
Read from January 13 to 15, 2012

Green said it best: "We made the story funny. You have a choice in this world, I believe, about how to tell sad stories, and we made the funny choice." His trademark humor is here; his brilliant youngsters are here. His genuine characters, his real issues. And more. This book is more. Hazel and Augustus -- and Isaac -- are some of the most amazing characters I've met inside a book for years. They're smart...between the two of them, Hazel and Augustus reference or quote, among others, Dickinson, Beckett, Shakespeare, Ginsberg, Eliot, Whitman, Fitzgerald, Proust, Twain, Salinger, Anne Frank, Wallace Stevens, William Carlos Williams and Frost...Man, would I love to be their teacher!

But this IS a sad story. Sad, but not hopeless. Sad but not utterly depressing. Sad and dark, sad and angry. How could teens with cancer NOT be angry. I wondered and wondered how Green was going to explain the title, the famous quote from JULIUS CAESAR. Cassius tells Brutus the fault IS NOT in our stars...but kids with cancer?? That is the fault in and of the stars. Kids who would grow to contribute so much to the world if they could just grow up. Kids with intelligence and insight that would enrich everyone's life.

And that is a theme of the book...how do we, can we, make our mark in the years we have? Gus, more than Hazel, wonders about this. They both live out their own form of heroism, and I love that they each recognize the heroism in the other.

Augustus gives Hazel his wish trip to Amsterdam to meet an author she's obsessed with, and with that, Green gave me Anne Frank's house. I never got to go in...I just hovered on the outside, on the street in front of the canal. But John Green, and Augustus and Hazel gave me the tour, and I'm forever grateful.

This is one of the most important books about suffering and heroism and love and loss I've read in years...it made me sob out loud, and I'm so glad I finished in at home! A new semester of students who don't know me yet would have been horrified to see their teacher break down like I did...there would have been a stampede to the counselors' offices to change schedules, for sure!!

The subplot with the author of the book Hazel's obsessed with, the author who inspires the trip to Amsterdam, makes me wonder if Green sees himself in some of the struggles of this highly unlikable man...his struggles with writing and fame and fans...Green is OBVIOUSLY NOT Peter Van Houten, but some of the lines about fans seemed to connect for me.

Rereading the book to collect my quotes made me weep again. Rereading my quotes right now made me weep again.

Lines to make me cry:

Pain demands to be felt
Pain is a blunt and nonspecific diagnostic instrument
I'm a grenade and at some point I'm going to blow up and I would like to minimize the casualties
I was the alpha and omega of my parent's suffering
you are so busy being you that you have no idea how utterly unprecedented you are
You gotta pick your battles in this world
Grief does not change you. It reveals you
You don't get to choose if you get hurt in this world, but you do have a say in who hurts you
I was awash in the nobility of sacrifice
Cancer is me...it's a civil war...with a predetermined winner
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Reading Progress

01/13/2012 page 120
38.0% "Amazing characters, literary allusions, tears and laughter..Yup. It's John Green."

Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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Elaine Warner I finished this last night. I almost threw it across the room at one point because I didn't want to hear anything sad. But instead I put it down for an hour and then came back to see what would happen.


Claudia I wasn't surprised at the twist...it makes sense, but man, how sad. I shared it today. Bought three copies over the weekend. Have NONE left!You can tell he wrote this one from his soul. I can tear up just thinking about Gus!!


Elaine Warner I wasn't surprised, but wasn't expecting it until the end. I need to go buy some copies for the library!


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