InTheDollHouse's Reviews > The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
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Mar 04, 2012

it was amazing
Read in January, 2012

As much as adore John Green’s books, they adhere to the same basic formula: awkward guy meets adventurous girl. However, he breaks his pattern and produces, IMHO, his best work yet.

Facing terminal cancer, Hazel Grace reduces herself to watching America’s Next Top model marathons and attending regular Cancer Support Group meetings in the Literal Heart of Jesus. However, Augustus Waters comes along to rewrite the final chapters of her life.

Okay, here's another cancer story—an inevitable downward spiral of decay, and the reading of said novel is a sheer act of masochism.

However, Green doesn't reduce his characters into the disease—handling the topic with humor, intelligence, and grace. Green injects a blend of philosophy, literature, and zombie videogame references. The plot and characters take unwanted turns; characters lose body parts, and stoicism. However, through this postmodern realism, Green confronts uncomfortable truths and captures all the more realness for it. This is not so much a book about death as a book that examines life.

After working at a children’s clinic, Green said he wanted to write a novel about a teen with an incurable disease but could never get the character quite right. Oh, but he did. He found incredible insight into the hearts of his characters, and they’re brimming with complexity and life.

This book is also oh-so-quotable with every page worthy of a being scribbled on notebooks or written on refrigerator magnets. Green just strings together the most brilliant combinations of words and morphemes, constructing phrases such as "vaguely pedophilic swing" and “my thoughts are stars I cannot fathom into constellations”.

And for those who complain that Augustus and Hazel display a wit and intelligence uncharacteristic of teenagers: Teenagers are capable of being thoughtful and quoting the works Wallace Stevens. Rare and illusive, you can find maybe just maybe find wild Hazels and Augusti lurking in libraries, and it would be a sad day when they become extinct.

Without verging into melodrama, tragedy and humor reside in the same house. The author fills this novel with wit and substance without ever talking down to his readers. This is a contemporary YA masterpiece, which I do not say lightly. This book receives 5 out of 5 stars.
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