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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

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.…

The Fault in Our Stars

by John Green

Overall Book Review:

Achingly beautiful–from beginning to end.  A poignant, witty, tender, intelligent story of true love, told before a backdrop of terminal illness. 

The writing in this book is so wonderful that I feel I can’t do it justice with my own pathetic words. These teens use language I haven’t dreamed of using, but their speech is crafted in such a way that the reader doesn’t feel like it’s unrealistic. These are very smart characters, and I feel a little bit smarter having known them. They made me think: made me evaluate how I look at dying and the significance of a life–especially one that hasn’t had opportunities to do anything most of us think of as really “great.”

This book will gently encourage you to examine your friendships, loves, and family relationships. It will help you find ways to appreciate the importance of finding humor, joy, and beauty in each day. And it will leave you certain that young people are capable of true, deep love.

Yes, there’s some content. I don’t recommend this book for younger readers. That said, I feel like these characters are doing such a heroic job of dealing with hard, hard things, that it seems unkind not to allow them a little more freedom with things we hope the young people in our lives don’t experience for a very long time–if ever. We’d all like to think that every cancer patient bears pain and suffering with ultimate fortitude, but the reality is that fortitude can mean different things to different people. I love the way this very issue is addressed in the book, and I love the goodness that shines from these characters. 

From the beginning we know there will be tragedy in this story. It’s painful, and it’s sad. But that doesn’t mean it’s not worth reading every page. 

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language: 37 religious exclamations; 12 mild obscenities; 8 religious profanities; 15 derogatory names; 33 scatological words; 15 anatomical terms; 1 f-word derivative.

Violence/Gore: Several brief scenes depicting video game and movie violence; a character becomes angry and breaks things; a character eggs another person’s car.

Sex/Nudity: Two characters flirt; a character touches another character’s face briefly; two characters kiss briefly several times; a character refers to prostitution; a character recites a poem that refers to prostitution; a character refers to the possibility of having sex; a character refers to a poem that discusses sodomy; a character mentions pornography; a character touches another character’s breast; two minors have (protected) sex with little description.

Mature Subject Matter:

Cancer, Terminal Illness, Severe Illness, Loss of Vision/Sight, Death, Process of Dying

Alcohol / Drug Use:

A character references a poem in which drugs are used; two minor characters drink champagne in small amounts; an adult character is alcoholic. 

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

I’ve been an avid reader for as long as I can remember. My mother would often find me curled up in a corner, avoiding chores with a book–or two. When I was growing up, there wasn’t a large selection of YA books. I had children’s books and adult literature to choose from. I’ve come to love YA fiction as an adult and read almost nothing else when I read for pleasure–any genre will do.