3,5 out of 5
The Fault In Our Stars
Year of release
Part of book series | If so, which one?
Young Adult, Romance, Drama
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.
I read the book a while ago, and I picked it up because of all the fuss about it. Kind of. Surprisingly, it was a very good idea for me to let the review rest a little. With the distance, my opinion on it changed quite dramatically. At first I was like: Woah, this book is sooooooo good. Crazy, how could I have lived without it?
And before anybody gets a heart attack; no, I don’t hate the book now. I still like it. I’m just not over the moon anymore. I was crushed and emotionally unstable, and I needed the time desperately to pull myself together. Now my vision is clear. I am able to write a review without dying cruel deaths anymore.
Just in case, if you haven’t read the book, please don’t read any further. Spoilers ahead!
Okay, I will try to go along with the storyline but I can’t promise anything. Also, I will not talk about every little detail, but pick some of those scenes that in one way or another stuck around.
First things first, Hazel needed different friends. That girl from school, whose name I have totally forgotten by the way, holy shit, she is so annoying. So, good thing she meets Gus along the boring support group way. It’s cool that he meets then in support group, and I think it’s legitimate that they immediately feel some kind of attraction or affection – or whatever you want to call it – for each other. In their age it is totally normal to do some spontaneous shit like going to a person’s house, although you don’t know jack shit about him. I mean, really, I did that, too.
But Hazel’s mothers, Hazel’s lovely, crazy and overprotective mother, just let her go? Thinking back to it now it seems so unrealistic. She is like mother hen in person. She probably would sleep in Hazel’s bed if it were possible – so, why would she let her daughter drive off with a stranger? That doesn’t make any sense at all to me. I’m not saying it would have been in character if she forbade it, but I’m pretty positive that she at least should’ve driven Hazel to Gus’ house.
I quite loved the fact how they bond over their favourite books despite the fact that they were different as day and night, and yes, the way Gus freaks out about ‘An Imperial Affliction’ is rather adorable.
Next steps are phone calls, dates and long talks. Gus is always pretty clear about his intentions, and Hazel imitates the surprised why would a guy like him like a girl like me? teenage girl. Of course they fall in love with each other. Of course Hazel gets over herself, although I kind of understand her wish not to hurt him, because she really does have a point. What I don’t really understand is Gus’ lack of self-protection. I’m not saying he should’ve given up on her immediately, but “Oh, I wouldn’t mind, Hazel Grace. It would be a privilege to have my heart broken by you”. Maybe I’m not romantic enough to understand a sentence like that.
Then again, the whole Amsterdam incident is kind of amazing. And besides the whole kissing-and-applauding thing in the Anne Frank museum, I can totally agree with everything that had happened. Kind of. I mean, holy shit, Van Houten is one big douchebag – but every book kind of needs one of those, right?
In between the Amsterdam vacation and the dates before that, Gus starts acting weird, and his weird behavior intensifies – that’s when I was pretty sure my theory about the ending of the book was absolutely right. I remember how I wanted to throw the book out of the window back then, because rude, man (still very rude, by the way). It’s kind of weird that I could’ve lived with Hazel dying but the fact that Gus had to die was so unfair to me. Okay… that was the wrong choice of words. Of course, it would be dramatic, too, but – I don’t know.
I think it’s probably because of Isaac. While reading I started to love Isaac even more than Gus or Hazel. I will explain later why. Thing is, Isaac lost everything. He lost his first love Monica – I hate her, I hate her, I hate her – he lost his eyesight, he lost his believes in love and after all he lost his best friend, too, a friend he knew for far longer than Hazel knew Gus. And to make it all worse, Gus has the brilliant idea to have a pre-funeral for which Hazel and Isaac have to write and deliver a eulogy. I – what the bloody hell is wrong with this guy? Why would you put your friends through something like that? I was so incredible angry and devastated and everything at that moment.
In the end Van Houten’s reasons to be a douchebag are revealed (not too surprising either. I did see that coming from a mile away), Gus’ funeral was kind of too hasty but his eulogy, which he’d sent Van Houten (although he proved himself a real asshole) brought tears to my eyes.
Moving on to the characters. Like I said before, I totally fell in love with Isaac. He got me at ‘Right, of course. But you keep the promise anyway. That’s what love is. Love is keeping the promise anyway’. Hello? The boy has it all figured out, man. He is, I don’t know how to describe it. Down to earth, realistic – like the boy next door you could meet every single day. I loved how Gus tried to cheer him up by egging Monica’s car. I totally understood his every reaction (his wish to destroy or his silence). He was someone, I could relate to – at least up until the whole fact that he’s losing his eyesight. Isaac is a teenager after all, and teenagers tend to think the end of a relationship is the end of the world. We’ve all been there, right? Right. The way he acts is human. He is hurt. He is afraid. He is lovesick – Monica is such a horrible person. Who even is Van Houten?
I was so desperate, I still am actually, for more information on Isaac. He is just different, more balanced and normal than over-the-moon Gus or ever-pessimistic Hazel.
Concerning character development Hazel is the worst. During the whole story I really thought she has changed. Like, go, girl. Live your life to the fullest. I mean, she turned from the unsure, quiet, kind of self-hating girl into someone who appreciates herself and the world, someone who stops hiding behind her book and her America’s next top model reruns. She falls in love – and then Gus’ dies and everything is for naught. She falls back into old habits. I was so mad.
And Gus is just, he’s like a puppy. Of course, he is a great guy, an awesome friend and an amazing boyfriend – if you like crazy romantic. But you can’t tell me someone is so unfazed by rejection like he is. Always happy, no matter what Hazel replies or puts him through. Always nice, no matter who wrongs him. That’s not selfless, that almost touches idiocy. Yeah, he’s a teenager, I’m aware of that, but let’s be realistic here, Augustus Waters is far from real.
Okay. Despite its flaws – hopelessly romantic, an obvious ending and some very weird scenes – I liked the book, I really did. I was heartbroken in the end, although the reasons therefore have been Isaac’s losses. I quite liked how everything fell into place, and stuff. The story was okay – but what it really did for me, besides Isaac’s character, is John Green’s writing style. It’s simply magnificent. The wonders he works with the way he uses words made me enjoy the book.
So, all in all, I’d give the book three and a half out of five stars. I’ll definitely read more books from John Green, just for his writing style. I’m already dwelling over Looking For Alaska.
We’d love to hear your opinions! What did you think about The Fault In Our Stars?
xx Li & La