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The Fault in Our Stars

John Green

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Hazel is 16 and has terminal cancer. When she meets Gus, a gorgeous boy in remission, at her Cancer Kid Support Group, they fall in love.

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Book Synopsis

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. Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, “The Fault in Our Stars” is award-winning author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love. This book comes from the “New York Times” bestselling author of “Looking for Alaska”, “An Abundance of Katherines”, “Paper Towns” and – with David Levithan – Will Grayson, Will Grayson. John Green has over 1.2 million Twitter followers, and almost 700,000 subscribers to Vlogbrothers, the YouTube channel he created with his brother, Hank. “The Fault in Our Stars” will capture a crossover audience in the same vein as Zadie Smith, David Nicholls’ “One Day” and “Before I Die” by Jenny Downham.


Richard's Review

When I started this book, I worried that the subject matter (teenage kids with cancer) might make it difficult to read. But John Green skilfully avoids sentimentality with his honest, sensitive and intelligent story.

It's also funny and beguiling, thanks to the two main characters Hazel and Gus. They make a wonderful couple, clever, thoughtful and witty. Their teenage love story is never gauche or awkward, and always totally convincing.

It's a book that tackles big themes - life, death and love. How having to face up to mortality at barely sixteen is searingly raw, but it can be done - and it has to be. Real-life accounts about children who are looking death in the face are a testimony to that.

Hazel and Gus's parents are wonderful characters, sharing their children's ordeals with courage and positivity. Yet we are always aware of their pain (though Green, thankfully, never descends into pathos).

At the end of this story there is the strangest, unexpected twist - and sadly, it is not a happy one.

But The Fault in our Stars, despite its theme of death, brilliantly celebrates life. As Hazel and Gus face the end, they are vital, vivid, in love, and gloriously and intensely happy.

A stunning book.

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Judy's Review

This is an emotional novel, which unflinchingly tackles the big issues - life, death and love. Yet it handles them with care and whit.

The story of Hazel and Gus is simultaneously heart warming, funny, dazzlingly witty and tragic. Which is a tall order, but John Green pulls it off brilliantly.

Hazel is sixteen and has terminal cancer. A new wonder drug has bought her some time, but she knows she is going to die. It's tough to describe how a young girl feels about that, but Green succeeds in making her super intelligent, with a great sense of humour.

At the beginning, Hazel, who has survived stage four cancer for three years, is unsurprisingly clinically depressed. Encouraged by her doctor and her mother, she goes to a weekly 'Kids-With-Cancer' support group.

There she meets the wonderfully attractive Gus. He is eighteen and a cancer survivor. Unlike Hazel, he is officially in remission.

The two of them arte kindred spirits, sharing the same sharp and irreverent sense of humour. They fall in love.

Gus and Hazel are an immensely charming couple, and as a reader you are deeply drawn to them. They spend a lot of time laughing, and you laugh with them.

Yet, at the same time, you never forget the dark side of their daily lives. How long will Hazel live? What is the meaning of her short life?

The Fault in Our Stars is honest, charming, raw and deeply moving.

  • Katy

    This was a bit too depressing for me, although really well written and obviously well researched. Not one of my book club favourites.

    • http://www.facebook.com/scmackay Simon Mackay

      I disagree. Although, the subject matter is unpleasant I found that John Green told it in such a way that it was a very uplifting experience to read it. I read it in one day and would recommend it to anyone. A wonderful and deeply engrossing story that has something for everyone.

  • Crystal Fiona Moody

    WARNNG SPOILERS! This was such a fantastic read, i could not put the book down (only when the story got so sad I had to for 5 minutes, to stop myself from being an emotional wreck!)

    The story is about two teenagers, Gus and Hazel who meet in a childrens cancer support group. Hazel has terminal cancer and starts off with little confidence but one day meets Gus who is an attractive, charming and witty lad who can’t keep his eyes off Hazel.

    The author uses humour to find the serious matter of children with terminal illnesses to make the book slightly more light hearted and keep the reader engaged, but still has the elements of seriousness and you feel what that character feels when it is really needed. Hazel who has terminal cancer finds a new light, and with Gus together they provide not only love for each other, but invest in new experiences and have fun/ humour which every teenager whether ill or well should experience – and they did even in the little time they had together.

    Augustus says of Hazel ‘she was loved deeply but not widely ….. Isn’t that the real heroism?’ – As i was reading this book I didn’t feel that any character was a hero, but I do think they were brave. Even a terminal illness didn’t stop them from doing in what they believe in, and even with the difficulties they faced they were still up for the challenge, you sometimes forgot that the character had cancer, until a scene would face a troublesome situation, ie carrying an oxygen tank and walking up a flight of stairs isn’t the easiest, or trying to be romantic and spending the night with a boy for the first time when your living with tubes into your body.

    The novel first left me feeling sad, the twist in the story was not what i first expected, but I did feel that you shoudn’t waste your precious time while you have it, and to spend the time with your loved one when you can, because you never know what twists can happen in your own life.