The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
(Summary taken from the inside of the book jacket) “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.”
This book is written very well. It flows well, is easy to read and understand, and yet is also quite complex. The metaphors and literary terms abound in this book. There are also a lot of fabulous vocabulary words. I learned a few new words! The characters are developed well and come to life on the pages. Hazel (I love this name, it is my grandma’s name. She hated it, but I love it.) felt like my best friend or close cousin. She is a typical teenager, and yet she’s not. I love the attention to detail that Mr. Green used when writing her. She’s feisty and tough, and sensitive and caring all at the same time. Augustus was also developed well. He’s a complex guy. He definitely likes his metaphors and takes them to the extreme. At first you want to say, “Yeah, right…..that’s totally fake.” But then as you get to know Augustus better it just fits him. Isaac was a good character to be in there with them. I definitely felt bad for him. I’m not sure why I felt worse for him than I did for Hazel or Augustus, but it may be because of his attitude compared to theirs. I think Van Houten was kind of a weak link in this book. His character was mostly well done, but at the end I got annoyed with him and thought his actions seemed contrary to what he really was. I’m not sure I think his character would have done what he did at the end, and that bothered me. However, people grieve and suffer in their own ways, so I guess you never know what to expect. I began this book only knowing it was about a girl with cancer. (By the way, I don’t know if I’ve ever read a book written by a male with such an accurate female main character. Kudos to Mr. Green for doing a great job with the female attributes, attitudes, emotions, and hormones.) I went into it 99% positive that she would die. Now, I’m not going to spoil it-she may or she may not die- but let’s just say it wasn’t exactly what I thought. It was about 2/3 through that I started thinking that maybe I was wrong. I was surprised and yet I wasn’t. Hahaha…..is that confusing enough? You’ll just need to read it and let me know what you thought. Don’t think you have it completely figured out before you even start. It’s much more complex than you think. I did cry, though. A lot. So there you go. You’ll just need to read it.
There is quite a bit of language in this book. There is one “f” word, a bunch of others, and they take the Lord’s name in vain. There is talk of being a virgin along with an “intimacy” scene. It’s not detailed at all, but it is still there. It’s also difficult to read in some places because of what happens to the characters.
Rating: PG-13+ (Language, including the “f” word, along with innuendos and an “intimacy” scene)
Recommendation: At least 16 yrs and up. I think I’d feel more comfortable with my kids reading it at 18. I’m finding I’m quite conservative in my age-ratings, but that’s just me.