Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Fault in Our Stars; John Green

Author: John Green
Publication Year:  2012
Publisher: Brilliance Audio / Penguin
Edition: arc and audio 
Reader: Kate Rudd (excellent)
Source: library
Date Completed: Sept - 2013
Rating: 5/5

I pretty much knew that this would be a somewhat sad read going into it, but based on the glowing reviews, I decided to join the masses who enjoyed The Fault in Our Stars so much.  The audio version is read by Kate Rudd, who did a fantastic job.

The story is narrated by 16 year-old, Hazel Grace Lancaster, who was diagnosed with stage IV, thyroid cancer at the age of 13. She's survived cancer thus far (3 years), but she has had to endure experimental drugs, and now carries a portable oxygen tank with her everywhere she goes.

Depressed (who wouldn't be?) and taken out of her regular school during her treatments, she is encouraged to try a support group for cancer kids.  It is there that she meets, the handsome 17 year-old Augustus Waters, and the two engage in various philosophical debates, and one thing leads to another -- before long becoming more than just friends. Hazel is obsessed with a book about cancer called, An Imperial Affliction and she encourages Augustus (Gus) to read it, so she can get his opinion on the ambiguous ending.

Without giving away too much about this novel,  I'll just say that this book is very much about being a teen and dealing with cancer, in addition to dealing with the other challenges healthy teens face.  It's about making the most out of the circumstances you've been forced to deal with.  It's about love, life and death, and the delivery is just so well done. 

The story is full of beautiful passages. I ended up highlighting  these in my eBook edition after hearing some of them on audio.

"The marks humans leave are too often scars."

“There will come a time when all of us are dead. All of us. There will come a time when there are no human beings remaining to remember that anyone ever existed or that our species ever did anything. There will be no one left to remember Aristotle or Cleopatra, let alone you. Everything that we did and built and wrote and thought and discovered will be forgotten and all of this will have been for naught. Maybe that time is coming soon and maybe it is millions of years away, but even if we survive the collapse of our sun, we will not survive forever. There was time before organisms experienced consciousness, and there will be time after. And if the inevitability of human oblivion worries you, I encourage you to ignore it. God knows that’s what everyone else does.”  

 “Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.”

“There are infinite numbers between 0 and 1. There's .1 and .12 and .112 and an infinite collection of others. Of course, there is a bigger infinite set of numbers between 0 and 2, or between 0 and a million. Some infinities are bigger than other infinities. A writer we used to like taught us that. There are days, many of them, when I resent the size of my unbounded set. I want more numbers than I'm likely to get, and God, I want more numbers for Augustus Waters than he got. But, Gus, my love, I cannot tell you how thankful I am for our little infinity. I wouldn't trade it for the world. You gave me a forever within the numbered days, and I'm grateful.”

“Almost everyone is obsessed with leaving a mark upon the world. Bequeathing a legacy. Outlasting death. We all want to be remembered. I do, too. That’s what bothers me most, is being another
unremembered casualty in the ancient and inglorious war against disease.”
“So, I guess we are who we are for a lot of reasons. And maybe we'll never know most of them. But even if we don't have the power to choose where we come from, we can still choose where we go from there. We can still do things. And we can try to feel okay about them.”
The Fault in Our Stars is a story that you'll think about for a long while. It's such a touching story, one that reminds us once again, that --- life, indeed, is hard and often unfair.  I enjoyed this book a lot and can't wait to see the movie in 2014.


  1. Oh boy.... I don't know - I believe you, but... Thanks for the review, this is definitely food for thought.

    1. Trust me, it's sad but I never needed kleenex. Just so well done - try it.

  2. Great review of this book. I thought Green did such a wonderful job of portraying the emotions, the frustrations, the friendships, and the affect that cancer has on families. While the subject matter is depressing, the book is also uplifting.

  3. That one sounds just a wee bit too sad for me.

  4. I downloaded this book to my kindle after reading the review Les wrote a couple weeks ago. I know it will be sad, but I'm looking forward to reading this one! Great review.

  5. The book was wonderful. We'll see how the movie goes. That actress who is playing Hazel will also start in Divergent. She seems to be the IT girl.

  6. Super excited for the movie as well. I've been loving John Green's vlogs from the set.

  7. There are so many beautiful passages in this book. I'm so glad you loved it!

  8. Just reading your review makes me teary-eyed. I'd need lots of tissues. The passages you shared are so touching!

  9. One of my favorite reads this year. I loved the writing and Hazel Grace. Your review was so spot on.

  10. Oh, Diane, I loved this book. One of my favorites this year. Your review is right on.

  11. I loved this book too and thought it was so well written.

  12. It sounds like a really powerful read. Thanks for the great book review Diane.

  13. This book really made me cry! I didn't know there was a movie being made. Can't wait to see how they play it out on screen.

  14. Glad you enjoyed this audiobook. I loved it. The mmovie will be a hit I am sure.

  15. That's a beautiful passage you posted, Diane. I haven't read this book yet but I sure plan too!
    Great review.

  16. I am so behind, but definitely need to get to this one before the movie comes out next year.

  17. So many people love this one so much; I really need to pick it up.

  18. While I didn't love this one like everyone else did, I agree that the writing and the quotes are just so fantastic. John Green certainly has a knack for words and making one feel all the feels! Glad you loved it.

  19. I keep meaning to read this. I have heard so many glowing reviews of this authors books. I'm pretty sure my library has this audio too.

  20. I also loved the quote about having an evangelical zeal for a book! Will be interesting to see the movie version when it comes out.


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