The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars is a story about a girl named Hazel who has thyroid cancer and had a very close scrape with death, and she is struggling to fall back into a normal teenage routine due to the fact that she has a limited guarantee for life. She then meets Augustus Waters, who too has had an experience with cancer and near death. They form a strong relationship and support each other throughout their struggle against cancer and other life difficulties.

On a scale of 1-10 I would give this book a nine out of ten, because as Hazel would say, “I’m saving my ten”. This book utterly blew my mind with the literary styling and relatable voice that came through the entire novel. It is honestly one of the best books that I have ever read. The way John Green was able to keep a cynical perspective but create a touching and upbeat story hit all the right notes for me.

The story keeps referencing Hazel’s favorite book, An Imperial Affliction andevery part of the book ties into Hazel’s life which I thought was incredibly interesting. This way, just by Hazel talking about the book, the reader is able to indirectly gain more insight into Hazel’s life.

John Green also uses almost a poetic style of writing, with really short simplelines. For example, occasionally he would write entire scenes in a dialogue, which I loved and thought was a really unique way of writing that was super down-to-earth and stylistic.

This book is definitely targeted towards high school aged students due to therather deep themes. Also, there is a level of maturity to several scenes in the story, but for the most part it is poetic and beautiful. Also, since the story revolves around teenagers, they would probably get the most out of it, but I think that good literature has no age cap. And although this book is told in the perspective of a girl, I think both genders would enjoy it, since it gives insight to both boys and girls and is relatable to both.

 

-Sarah Wallin, A2

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27 responses to “The Fault in Our Stars

  1. yifan9898

    Throughout the first section of John Green’s endearing novel, The Fault in Our Stars, readers are introduced to the several difficulties faced by Hazel, a teenage girl suffering from cancer. At times, the author illustrates the scene with such sorrow that the reader begins to feel sympathetic for Hazel. It was evident that up until the day Hazel met Augustus Waters at support group, her life was boring and miserable. Thus, this plot change gave me a sense of hope and encouragement as Hazel began a new chapter in her life. The adventures they embark on together show that the happiness Augustus brings to Hazel are remarkable. When Augustus decides to use his “Wish” from the Genie Foundation in order to send Hazel, her mom and himself to meet Hazel’s favorite author in Amsterdam, readers can directly see how passionate and strongly they feel for each other. I admire their strong relationship, but the fact that Hazel and Gus fell in love very quickly was not very realistic. To me, it was unexpected since the author had portrayed Hazel as an awkward girl, who prefers not to socialize. Although the beginning of this novel had some misleading aspects, every other part of the story is so intriguing; I cannot wait for more captivating moments to occur in Hazel’s life.

    ~Yifan Mao

    • meghanamysore

      I agree with Yifan on her comment about how the book is unrealistic in ways. Regarding the topic of love, the plot moves very fast (unrealistically fast), when I would think that a girl like Hazel, with an oxygen tank and awkward mannerisms would not find love this easily. I also think that, however, John Green’s choice to move the plot along quickly reflects on the feeling of love, and how everything seems to move fast when you are in love. This book is written through the eyes of Hazel, so hers and Augustus’s fast-paced relationship may be slow-moving to the rest of the world. I noticed that the beginning of the novel and other parts where she wasn’t talking about Augustus seemed less unrealistic and fast moving, perhaps because feelings other than love are day-to-day for Hazel, such as the feeling of being unique and strange.

      Though I agree that the book is in a way unrealistic, its unrealistic approach actually makes it truthful about human emotions. If the book simply droned on at every plot twist, such as when Hazel met Augustus at Support Group, the reader would have no indication of Hazel’s feelings. Green’s stylistic choice to vary the pace of the plot shows the ups and downs of human emotion, and points out that Hazel constantly fluctuates between happy and sad, and good and bad, as human emotions do.

  2. I believe Meghana made an excellent point concerning the fact that John Green’s style symbolizes the nature of human feelings. I too particularly like the author’s writing style, the way he communicates Hazel’s thoughts utilizing a straightforward, colloquial technique that typically appeals to the average teenage reader today. Authors oftentimes struggle with balancing an easy-to-read style and the intended hidden messages in their works; their book is either too dense and difficult to follow or poorly written and shallow. However, Green does an extraordinary job of making his writing easy to understand while still communicating the underlying message. For example, Augustus Waters buys cigarettes simply for the purpose of sucking on them, and he explains to Hazel that this peculiar habit is a metaphor for “[putting] the killing thing right between your teeth, but you don’t give it the power to do its killing” (21). This symbolizes Hazel’s and Augustus’s fight against cancer, a dangerous enemy that, although unbeatable, can be held off through one’s perseverance if one does not give the cancer the power to take a life. Though perhaps this idea is mostly applicable to cancer patients, perhaps the author wanted all readers to consider this thought – can we control or prevent all struggles and setbacks in life, even if they are placed “right between our teeth”? What does the author mean by “the killing thing,” and how might one give this thing the power to kill?

    I have loved this novel from the very beginning, as it has allowed me to get a glimpse into the complicated lives of cancer patients and how they embrace life despite the looming threat of death.

    ~ Maia Lee

  3. Renee Perrine
    I too have found the novel to be an entrancing one. As Mr. Green writes through the eyes of seventeen year old Hazel Grace it is as if he is speaking directly to the reader. I understand the point made about love moving unnaturally fast however, that is the nature of love, as both Meghana and Maia previously stated, love is an unpredictable force. And isn’t the head-over-heels love that Hazel Grace is beginning to be a part of the best kind? Augustus and Hazel Grace are drawn together and their love was evident before it was even announced. And though this book gives a glimpse at the lives of cancer patients and their families it is not that narrow in scope. It depicts love through the lover’s eyes, death through the dying’s eyes, but most importantly it shows life through the living’s eyes.
    In response to Maia’s question on whether or not we are able to control the setbacks and struggles of life when they are placed directly in front of us I believe the answer is no. We have little to no control as to what cards life deals us, but what we do have control over is how we react to them. Hazel Grace could have turned down Augustus’s first proposal with a number of excuses, all of them quite valid- I don’t know you, I’m too tired, I don’t want to “be a bomb”, etc.- but she didn’t. She took him up on his offer, and because she did she was given another experience that few in life get to have- an honest and true love.
    Although on the first half- page alone cancer and death are mentioned half a dozen times I don’t believe that is what the author intends for his readers focus to be on. Instead I believe we are supposed to seek out what we value in life as we see the struggles Hazel Grace goes through to protect her own. This book, though it revolves around death and the concept of dying, I have found to be about love and the concept of living.

  4. The Fault in Our Starts by John Green is an attention capturing novel about a cancer survivor that marches to the beat of her own drum. Hazel is a teenager in Indiana, and up until this point in the novel she has met another cancer survivor, Augustus Waters through her support group. They instantly clicked, and have been thoroughly connecting through literature up until this point. Augustus has even given up his “Wish”, made possible by the Genie Foundation for juveniles with cancer, so that Hazel can go visit the author of her favorite book in Amsterdam, which is extremely emotionally attached to.

    I agree with Meghana regarding the fact that Hazel and Augustus’s relationship is unrealistic and has moved extremely fast, but this can be justified by the fact that since these children have gone through such traumatic experiences, it would make sense for them to realize the importance of showing their emotions and living to their fullest while they can. Regarding Maia’s comment about the intense metaphor of the unlit cigarettes, it symbolizes to Augustus that although cancer has taken control of his life, he still has control over his future because much of his fate still rests in his choices rather than luck. This is reassuring to both Augustus and the reader.

    Within moments of picking up The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, I fell in love with his style of writing; a carefree, laid back, relaxing tone that puts the reader in a good mood. He does an excellent job conveying deep messages in a way that is relatable and honest to the reader. Hazel, the narrator, is extremely blunt and offers us an outlook on a cancer patient’s life that we may never have imagined before. Overall, this novel is enticing, fresh and eye opening.

  5. The Fault in Our Starts by John Green is an attention capturing novel about a cancer survivor that marches to the beat of her own drum. Hazel is a teenager in Indiana, and up until this point in the novel she has met another cancer survivor, Augustus Waters through her support group. They instantly clicked, and have been thoroughly connecting through literature up until this point. Augustus has even given up his “Wish”, made possible by the Genie Foundation for juveniles with cancer, so that Hazel can go visit the author of her favorite book in Amsterdam, which is extremely emotionally attached to.

    I agree with Meghana regarding the fact that Hazel and Augustus’s relationship is unrealistic and has moved extremely fast, but this can be justified by the fact that since these children have gone through such traumatic experiences, it would make sense for them to realize the importance of showing their emotions and living to their fullest while they can. Regarding Maia’s comment about the intense metaphor of the unlit cigarettes, it symbolizes to Augustus that although cancer has taken control of his life, he still has control over his future because much of his fate still rests in his choices rather than luck. This is reassuring to both Augustus and the reader.

    Within moments of picking up The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, I fell in love with his style of writing; a carefree, laid back, relaxing tone that puts the reader in a good mood. He does an excellent job conveying deep messages in a way that is relatable and honest to the reader. Hazel, the narrator, is extremely blunt and offers us an outlook on a cancer patient’s life that we may never have imagined before. Overall, this novel is enticing, fresh and eye opening.

  6. meghanamysore

    In the second section of the book, the author Peter Van Houten of a novel particularly important in the lives of Hazel and Augustus, An Imperial Affliction, becomes a prominent character. Though the topic of reality in the novel has already been explored, I would like to explore it further in regards to Peter Van Houten, and Hazel’s possible trip to Australia. I find it incredibly strange that Augustus and Hazel have regular conversations with the author of An Imperial Infliction, because normally, authors of books are not actually part of a person’s life. Green may have chosen to include Peter Van Houten as a character of the novel to move the story along, provide interest to the reader, and hope, but this particular tactic does not appeal to me.

    Another aspect of the novel I found interesting is when Augustus and Hazel sell her old and broken down swing set. The swing set is a reminder of pain and old memories. By destroying, or selling, the swing set, Hazel can get rid of all the memories that make her yearn for her past. It rids her of one of the reasons of her pain. In life, people often try to destroy or give away the things that make them hurt inside. A person may try to give away an old bear attached to painful childhood memories, hoping that he can forget. Still, as is known though, destroying something physically does not destroy it in one’s brain, because pain cannot be destroyed.

    The Fault in Our Stars addresses this fact, as it continually refers to the idea that “pain demands to be felt.” This, I suppose, is one of the themes of the novel. In this recurring idea, Green is able to make the novel seem more realistic despite some of its unrealistic parts. The book sometimes becomes too hopeful, like when Augustus and Hazel consider going to Australia, but the theme of pain unable to be destroyed keeps it grounded. This theme makes the book highly appealing to me, because it can address so many parts of life. People keep trying to forget about reality and pain, but like Hazel’s breathing tank, life’s restrictions will always linger on.

  7. meghanamysore

    Correction: Augustus and Hazel are going to Amsterdam, not Australia

  8. I think Meghana made an excellent point regarding the fact that Hazel and Augustus find a way to correspond with the renowned author, Peter Van Houten. I, too, found it slightly improbable that these two teenagers could get in contact with an author, and on top of this, that this author would agree to meet up with these two teenagers. However, I disagree with Meghana about Hazel’s old swing set. This passage intrigued me as well, though I believe the swing set symbolizes more of the happy, healthy memories of Hazel rather than the painful ones. Looking at the lonely swing set day after day reminds Hazel of her perfect life prior to the cancer diagnosis; she remembers the carefree feeling of having no worries or stress. It is not always the sad memories that pain us. Usually, it is the memories when our lives used to be different. In this case, Hazel is drowning in a world of despair and depression, and it pains her to remember that her life did not always used to be the way it is today.

    There is one passage in this section of The Fault in Our Stars that particularly stands out to me. It is when Hazel and her mother are waiting outside Augustus’s house before picking him up to depart for Amsterdam. The two hear Augustus and his mother in the midst of a heated argument, so the two retreat to the car. Later, while waiting in the car for Augustus, Hazel remarks, “The weird thing about houses is that they almost always look like nothing is happening inside of them, even though they contain most of our lives” (139). I completely agree with this statement, both in the literal sense and in the metaphorical sense. A typical passerby would never guess that Augustus is having a serious argument with his mother at this point in time. No exterior components of the house would give the interior away. I believe this applies to people too. Though our facial features often give away what exactly is on our minds, oftentimes those closest to us still do not understand just what is occurring inside. In order to be heard by the world, and to break down those sturdy walls of one’s “house,” one must communicate through the form of self-expression, a concept with which many struggle in life. This passage caused me to wonder how much we do not know about our closest friends and family—are we seeing their true sides? What does it take to truly know a person?

  9. When I read this section of the book I became kind of annoyed. I honestly couldn’t care less about Peter Van Houten- or his story within this story, a story that does not even exist. Instead, I wanted to hear more about Augustus and Hazel Grace’s love. However, with further reflection on this passage I now realize the full impact that Mr. Van Houten had first with Hazel Grace, later with Augustus, and even later with the blossomed love between the young couple.
    Mr. Van Houten and his “Imperial Affliction” have been mentioned many times throughout the novel and even though I might be pleased with the absence of his character I agree that it benefitted the progression of the book, along with the overall story. For Hazel Grace Mr. Van Houten symbolized a sort of salvation- the equivalent of Arnold’s cartoons. I believe that Augustus needed answers from Mr. Van Houten- if not for himself, than for Hazel. As for their love, it was Van Houten who opened the door to it. It’s not as if the love would have been absent without him, more so it allowed the reader- or at least myself- to better understand the depth of their love. Augustus used his wish for Hazel, but I think Hazel is his wish- come- true.
    As I am quite transfixed on the topic of love I’d like to remark on something narrated by Hazel, “They might be glad to have me around, but I was the alpha and the omega to my parent’s suffering.”(Green, page 116) This was thought during Hazel’s cancer meeting, in response to her father’s heart-breaking tears, and I believe to be a prime example of what love is. It is my opinion that love is the preciousness between the moments of heartbreak, which then momentously outweigh the actual suffering.
    Lastly, I agree with the Dutchman who shouted, “The beautiful couple is beautiful.” (Green, page 165) Both Hazel and Augustus have such beautiful inner strength that I have no doubt, if they existed outside the novel, that that beauty would be fully evident.
    Renee Perrine, A2

  10. yifan9898

    I have found myself so intrigued and fascinated with this novel as I continue reading; for the various moments of Hazel and Augustus’s life convey many vehement messages. A particular passage in chapter 6 grabbed my attention, as it was a prominent moment in Hazel’s life. When Hazel looks up Caroline Mathers, Augustus’ ex-girlfriend who died of cancer, on Facebook, she notices a particular message of condolence from one of Caroline’s friends, “It feels like we were all wounded in your battle, Caroline” (Green 97). After reading this post on Caroline’s Facebook page, Hazel’s mind fills with distress as she becomes overwhelmed with the metaphorical meaning of the post. Hazel realizes that Caroline was like a “grenade”; her death wounded people around her. Realizing this, Hazel does not want to be a grenade because of the devastation that her death will cause to others, as it did for Caroline. Green uses this metaphor to help show some of the many struggles and unfortunate consequences that come with cancer. I think the use of this metaphor in this moment of Hazel’s life is an excellent way to allow readers to understand the pains of being a cancer patient.

    Although that passage provoked my interest in the second quarter of the book, there is also an aspect that made the story slightly annoying at some points. Like Renee, I believe that the continual reference of Peter Van Houten’s story somewhat deviated from the original love story of Hazel and Augustus. I admire John Green for creating such a touching and powerful relationship between Hazel and Augustus in the beginning of the book, but it seems to me that the association with “An Imperial Affliction” detracted from their engaging love story. My desire for Houten’s story is not as great as my desire to read more about Hazel and Augustus’s relationship. However, I respect Hazel and Augustus’s passion for Houten’s novel because it evidently results in a significant plot change, when the two travel to Amsterdam to meet Houten.

    Furthermore, I agree with Meghana and Maia on the fact that it is rather unrealistic for Augustus and Hazel to get a hold of Houten, especially since this particular author has supposedly been reclusive after writing “An Imperial Affliction.” It is very rare for a famous author to respond to a fan’s request, much less to agree to meet with the fan. Additionally, the two teenagers and Houten continue to have very casual conversations, which is unlikely in the world outside of the novel. Despite the rarity of this situation, it renders anticipation and hope for Hazel as she is given the opportunity to leave her home and meet her favorite author.

    ~Yifan Mao

  11. I would like to address just one topic regarding this quarter of the novel, and that is the fact that I am slightly mad at Hazel Grace. Although she knows that she is a bomb waiting to go off, a grenade anticipating explosion and that her blowing up will leave shrapnel within everyone that cares about her, she continues to spend time with Gus. This of course, is a metaphor for her death. She knows perfectly well that he has already been “wounded” when his previous girlfriend died of cancer, and by holding onto him, she is being selfish and is only hurting herself and him more. He must understand what exactly it is that he is getting into with Hazel and what the consequences might be. I believe that Augustus does indeed understand this. This is what I love about Augustus’s character, and it is why I somewhat dislike and personally vilify Hazel’s character.
    This isn’t to say that I don’t love where this book is going; I am merely frustrated with Hazel. If I were to predict an ending, I’m guessing that The Fault in Our Stars will end the same way as the book that is idolized in the novel, An Imperial Affliction, which ends abruptly as the character telling the story dies and it leaves the reader hanging. I think that although this is a blunt and thoughtless way to end a novel, it is powerful. The metaphorical grenade will explode and many will go away with deep wounds, but they will continue on.

  12. meghanamysore

    In the third portion of the book, the theme of death intermingling with youth becomes apparent, as Augustus nears his death. With the return of cancer, Augustus and Hazel are slowly being brought apart. I would like to address why, exactly, Augustus’s cancer returns. In the book, it is shown that Augustus is an extremely lively, happy, and enthusiastic individual with much zest for life; however, his life will be taken away first.

    Through this plot twist, Green points out the irony of life. Augustus wants to live, but he will not be able to because of an uncontrollable cause. Many people love Augustus, including Hazel, due to his contagious personality, therefore many will be affected by his death. Why is that the ones who want something and whom others love dearly must leave first? By leaving this question unanswered, Green shows that it may be an unanswerable question.

    In this section, in addition to discussing the unpredictability and irony of death, Green talks about childhood. After Augustus realizes that he will die soon, Hazel takes him to see Funky Bones again. Augustus says, ”’Last time, I imagined myself as the kid. This time, the skeleton.’ We drank from paper Winnie-the-Pooh cups” (233). This passage shows that as one nears death, one experiences nostalgia for the life once had. Since Augustus and Hazel cannot go back in time, they simply drink from Winnie-the-Pooh cups, in an attempt to bring back memories of happiness, if only for a little while. This is what most humans do–they try to bring back something that they know will never return.

    Finally, when Hazel thinks that Augustus has reached the time of his death, she sees him as she never had before. Green writes, “He looked up at me. It was horrible. I could hardly look at him. The Augustus Waters of the crooked smiles and unsmoked cigarettes was gone, replaced by this desperate humiliated creature sitting there beneath me” (245). Hazel’s vision of Augustus shows that no matter how good of a person one is, how handsome/beautiful one is, or how much one wants to live, death will always be the winner. Death, in Augustus’s case, takes his handsomeness away from him and replaces him with a helpless being. This ultimately shows that, in the end, no human being is strong enough to fight the unpredictablity of life, and that, at the core, every human being is helpless.

  13. yifan9898

    I agree with Meghana that in this third section of the story, though death has begun to once again dominate the life of Augustus, Hazel and Augustus are also building a stronger relationship. Clearly, Augustus has become a very important person in Hazel’s life, providing much needed companionship and humor. As seen in earlier parts of the novel, Augustus also acts as a reminder to Hazel to not let cancer take away her hopes and dreams. Like Meghana said, when the two go to see Funky Bones, they are attempting to relive moments of happiness. I think that when Augustus says that he imagines himself as the skeleton this time, it was a way for Green to reveal Augustus’s vulnerable side. Despite the recurring cancer issues and impending threats of death, Augustus and Hazel continue to unconditionally love each other.

    Also in this section, and throughout the entire story, Green has done an extraordinary job creating Hazel’s thoughts so that they are very believable and in which readers can grow to care for. A particular scene that demonstrates Green’s writing skills is when Augustus and Hazel must climb many staircases through the Anne Frank House since there were no elevators to accommodate them. Green portrays Hazel’s thoughts on this issue, “It was fourteen steps. I kept thinking about the people behind me… and feeling embarrassed or whatever, feeling like a ghost that both comforts and haunts, but finally I made it up… my brain telling my lungs it’s okay it’s okay calm down it’s okay and my lungs telling my brain oh, God, we’re dying here” (198-199). In Hazel’s mind and body, climbing fourteen stairs is a burden; however, for most readers, climbing a few stairs may seem like no trouble at all as it is an everyday task for many people. By reading Hazel’s thoughts of distress, readers can understand the reality of a cancer patient and their difficulties in completing something that may seem tireless to others. Green’s ability to portray such realistic thoughts not only help readers understand the hardships for terminally ill people, but it also allows readers to feel sympathy for them. I know that when I read this and many other parts of the novel, I began to yearn for a better life for Hazel as my compassion for her began to grow. As one continues to read the profound thoughts of Hazel, he/she will realize that life presents itself with many obstacles.

    ~Yifan Mao

  14. I particularly agree with Meghana regarding the comment she made about the true underlying helplessness of every human being. I believe that in this passage, John Green is trying to communicate to the reader how much we all depend upon one another, and how much we rely upon those whom we love to go about our everyday lives.

    During this portion of the book, Augustus and Hazel meet Peter Van Houten at last, who turns out to be alcoholic, abusive, and highly impolite. Hazel’s dreams of discovering the epilogue of An Imperial Affliction are crushed. This caused me to wonder what the author’s purpose was of including Van Houten in the novel. Is he supposed to symbolize the unpredictability and unfairness of life? That life “isn’t a wish-granting factory,” as Hazel would say? Do Augustus and Hazel need any more unhappiness in their lives? Peter Van Houten’s character frustrated me greatly, as he appears to have no understanding of the struggles and interior battles of the adolescent cancer patients who visit him.

    Augustus also reveals during this section that he has once again been diagnosed with cancer, turning Hazel’s world upside down; until this point, it was always assumed that Hazel would die first, and that she would leave beautiful Augustus behind as she passed on. However, Augustus’s diagnosis forces Hazel to reconsider life, especially when she is forced to call 9-1-1 after finding Augustus with a malfunctioning G-tube in the middle of the night. To calm him, she recites from William Carlos Williams’ poem, “The Red Wheelbarrow,” and soon adds her own addition: “…And so much depends, I told Augustus, upon a blue sky cut upon by the branches of the trees above. So much depends upon the transparent G-tube erupting from the gut of the blue-lipped boy. So much depends upon this observer of the universe” (247). I love this passage, as it reveals aspects of life that I had never considered previously: how everyone has a part to play in life, for we are all “observers of the universe.” Every tiny thing is special in life, no matter how small, for one never knows how it may become important one day. Even if one is simply a mere teenager fighting a losing battle with cancer, so much depends upon this one person, for he or she must make a valuable contribution to the world.

    ~ Maia Lee

  15. meghanamysore

    Though I have already posted, I would like to reply to Maia’s analysis of the above quote. While I do believe that the book is about how everything depends on every little thing, I feel that what Hazel was trying to reveal in her continuation of the poem is that everything depends upon God, an obsever. “This observer of the universe” refers to God and all that he has power to do. Ultimately, God is simply an observer, yet every move he makes can affect the course of a life, as it did Augustus’s.

  16. Reading this portion of the book made me very sad. I, and I imagine everybody else, am no fan of death and the humiliation, pain, and despair it brings. I would like to start off by relating this to my own life. Earlier today I was on Mt. Hood, and when we were leaving we had to be redirected because there was a car accident in which somebody died. They were just going about their lives, living a normal day, and then in one instant everything changed. They had no opportunity to say goodbye. Living with cancer sucks, that is very evident throughout the whole novel, but by knowing you have a ‘shorter shelf-life’ I believe you are prompted more to live. The people who die in car accidents or explosions, they don’t have that opportunity to say goodbye, but The Fault in Our Stars, is looking to be a pretty good and elaborate goodbye for Hazel and Augustus.

    Responding on the topic of Peter Van Houten, I don’t believe he is symbolizing the unpredictability and unfairness of life, but rather life in general. He gives hope and love through An Imperial Affliction, he shows understanding and even compassion in correspondence to Augustus and Hazel, and then, in the end, he takes everything away.
    When I found out that it was going to be Augustus who died first, I too was slightly confused and very sad that Green would go down that path.

    However, what else could he have done? It is not as if both Hazel and Augustus would beat their life-stealing cancers and grow old together. From the very beginning that was not even a possibility. I think that Augustus will have to die first in order for Hazel to finally discover her own strength and be prompted to live.

    Renee, A2

  17. In this section of The Fault in Our Stars, Augustus’s cancer returns. Hazel’s role in the relationship changes from being the weaker one to the stronger, healthier one. She becomes a caretaker to Augustus. The third part of the book is extremely blunt and matter of fact, as if Hazel is a robot facing very human circumstances. She does not get too overemotional, yet it is evident how much she cares about Hazel. The weaving together of these two tones shows John Greens expertise.
    As Renee stated, death seems to be around the corner for Augustus. My prediction from the last blog post, that the book would end in mid-sentence, symbolizing Hazel’s death by cancer, would seem to be incorrect. Now, it is more likely that Hazel must be tortured to watch Augustus die and find her own inner strength and peace against her disease.
    As for the kid’s correspondence with Peter Van Houten, it is my belief that his existence is a symbol of hope for the kids so that they can keep living an aspect of a normal life, a bit of it free from cancer. When they meet him and are severely disappointed, everything is lost and it is the breaking point for Hazel and Augustus and the book takes a downward turn from there.
    Hazel and Augustus’s love is unique, intriguing, and from what I’ve known high school relationships to be, deeper and more real. I continue to be fascinated by this great, unusual love story.

  18. I’m glad you ladies are enjoying this book so much. What do you think about this book as a novel to be read with an entire class together? Do you think it has enough depth for discussion, writing, etc.? We have been talking about adding it to the freshman extended list for the curriculum, so your opinions would be greatly appreciated.

  19. I’m not in this Independent Reading group, but I’ve read the book recently and I say yes yes yes!!! The overriding themes of friendships and relationships through hardship and death would provide for great discussion. Overall, Green’s writing style in the book is poignant and above all, delivers “bad news”, so to speak, in a hopeful yet accepting way.

  20. Meghana Mysore

    The Fault in Our Stars is definitely a beautiful and unique love story. It has many elements and explores the areas beyond the surface. That being said, I don’t know if it would be a great idea to read it with an entire class together, mainly because the book is more plot focused than anything else. Yes, the topic of cancer explored is quite deep and thematic; however, the majority of the book is told in quotations and the plot races forward too quickly for it to stop and present thematic topics.

    I also feel that the discussions on this book would be rather pointless, since one would be discussing the nature of life and pain in general, rather than focusing on textual “evidence” from the novel, as the novel is written in a way that it would be difficult to extract evidence from.

    I don’t know if any of this makes sense, but upon reading The Fault in Our Stars, I don’t think it would be an excellent choice for a class to read together. I thouroughly enjoyed this book and its underdeveloped tone reading it alone, but for a book to be well-analyzed and discussed over in a group, I think the characters have to be very well developed and the plot less important than the overall theme.

  21. yifan9898

    After reading The Fault in Our Stars, I think that it would be an excellent addition to the Freshmen English reading list. It is an extraordinary story with many uplifting aspects in which readers would gladly spend time reading. Although this book has an underlying theme of death, it also emphasizes the “live life to the fullest” statement.

    The main characters, Hazel and Gus, are different from many Young Adult characters out there; they are quirky and fun characters that suit each other well, so it isn’t surprising that they had such a powerful relationship from the beginning. I immediately felt a connection with the couple and built a love for them through the rest of the story.

    Green’s writing style is admirable and truly helps make the book an easy to understand and quick read. The way that Green delivers this upbeat love story allows for many topics to be open for discussion. Students could discuss a variety of themes and share their thoughts on friendship, relationship, family issues, compassion, and much more. I also think that several of the characters could be further analyzed and deeply discussed, especially a character like Peter Van Houten.

    I don’t necessarily agree with Meghana about it being difficult to find evidence because my independent reading group has been doing a great job incorporating quotes to support their opinions and thoughts when reviewing each section of the novel.

    I highly recommend this book to any teenager, boy or girl, who is interested in a unique story that has many laugh-out-loud scenes, emotional moments, and focuses on an intimate relationship between two incredible, young people. I think this book would be fantastic for an entire class to read together and experience a heartwarming story through the perspective of a teenage cancer patient.
    Rating: 9.5/10

  22. I really enjoyed reading The Fault in Our Stars and I definitely think it should be added to a recommended reading list for a book outside of school. However, I don’t think it should be a book for the entire class to read. I feel that if the novel were to be put on a pedestal for criticism, positive or otherwise, it would be degrading to the story. By having read it in only a small group we were all able to discuss both our analytic and personal thoughts, based off what the demand required, in depth. Further, by having an additional twenty-odd minds added to this I think it would make the story less personal and relatable and more of an obligation. The discussions would become focused less on what was enjoyed and more on how every little detail means something more than what was written, taking away from the overall story.
    From the beginning of the book I knew I was going to enjoy it just because of the author’s diction, which gave Hazel a very fun and characteristic personality. Add into that that the story would be one of longing and romance and I quickly became captivated. Even with a definite romantic theme throughout the novel, I too, would recommend this to both boy and girl teenagers. I don’t think it is solely a teenage book, because both my mother and grandmother have since read it as I tend to leave my books all over the house. I asked both of them of their opinions and they each found it to be an easy to read yet enjoyable story.
    I would give The Fault in Our Stars a nine out of ten. I cannot think of anything that would have made this book better, besides possibly being a little longer, it is just that I do not know what reading a ten would feel like and thus do not think it fair to assign one.

  23. Meghana Mysore

    RATING: 7 OUT OF 10

    The Fault in Our Stars by John Green is an extremely heartfelt novel about both the struggles of cancer and of teenage life.

    It raised many interesting themes about existence, death, and love to name a few, and tastefully wove in information about cancer. It also contained plenty of symbolism, such as a swing set and Augustus’s house, making it a highly enjoyable read.

    However, I do believe that the characters were not developed enough. For example, I still do not understand the relevance of Peter Van Houten’s character. His character detracted from the meaning of the novel and made emotional parts of the story unemotional. In addition, Hazel’s character was meant to be shy and unattractive; however, she seemed more confident in some parts of the story. Overall, the story did not flow smoothly, as some characters were either meaningless or too dynamic.

    Also, I found some portions of the novel to be too densely filled with thematic concepts and others without much thematic meaning. This inconsistency made the thematic parts of the novel to almost seem forced.

    Though The Fault in Our Stars is slightly flawed in some areas, it is altogether an enjoyable read. Due to its many insightful themes, it can be read by any audience, but should be read mostly by teenagers, as it can best apply to them. Despite its inconsistency, this book is definitely worth one’s time.

  24. RATING: 9/10

    The Fault in Our Stars by John Green is an extremely moving book. It discusses aspects of life, including love, hate, struggle, and dreams, in a way that all teenagers can understand and connect with. The author’s characters are extremely relatable, which is quite a feat considering that both Hazel and Augustus are suffering from cancer, an experience that most teenagers today have not endured.

    One theme that is especially prominent in the novel is the theme of perseverance and never giving up on one’s hopes and dreams. In the story, both Hazel and Augustus face an enormous obstacle in their lives, cancer, but they do not let this stop them. They refuse to give up, to spend the rest of their lives as ill beings locked up inside their bedrooms. Instead, they take advantage of life, and embrace life’s gifts and advantages before they breathe their last breath. I truly admire Augustus and Hazel for this – I love how they do not let anything stop them from achieving their goals.

    I believe that The Fault in Our Stars is an excellent choice for an in-class novel. Similar to Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, the narrator’s voice is humorous, enthralling, and easy to relate to. It is a fun and easy read for both teenagers and adults, but at the same time it presents vital themes about life that would certainly guide intriguing class discussions.

    That being said, there was one aspect of the novel that I found somewhat annoying: the character Peter van Houten. Upon finishing the book, I am still unable to discern the author’s purpose of including this character in his novel. To me, van Houten simply seems like another challenge Augustus and Hazel must overcome, but other than that does not add anything else to the novel. However, perhaps if this book were to be read in class, others would have some ideas about John Green’s choice.

    Overall, I truly loved this book and would recommend it to all readers who want a moving and captivating tale.

    ~ Maia Lee

  25. Rating: 9/10
    Overall, I really loved this novel. It expressed rich themes that I hadn’t been presented with before, and even though it was about someone struggling with cancer, the themes were EXTREMELY relatable.

    I agree with Maia in saying that the authors voice is enticing and funny; I had trouble putting down thenovel at the end because I had enjoyed reading it so much. Although the plot is unrelatable and a bit far off and unrealistic, the core of the story is applicable to any human being on this earth.

    My only complaint for this novel was that it was a very easy read, and I feel as though the author could have expanded on it a bit more. However, the language was colorful, interesting and unique when it came to describtions and events.

    There was also a unique sense of mystery in the author’s voice which enhanced every experience Hazel went through. He left the reader wondering and figuring out the results of scenes.

    I really enjoyed this book and although it is written for teenagers, think that anyone could read and be pleased with it, because some of the problems it deals with are very mature for typical teens.

    -Amy Moring

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