Teen Book Review: The Fault In Our Stars

Northeast Library

Teen Book Review: The Fault In Our Stars

The Fault In Our Stars by John GreenNow that we’re at the end of April, we only have about two months until school is out.  It’s amazing how time flies, isn’t it?  Since we are approaching a time of endings, I wanted to review a book that’s all about endings but has a great beginning as well.  It’s the latest great book by mega-popular YA author John Green: The Fault In Our Stars.

Hazel Grace Lancaster is dying.  So is everyone else, but she’s doing it a bit quicker.  A combination of thyroid and lung cancer has been staved off by a miracle drug, but it’s only a matter of time before the drug becomes ineffective and her tumors kill her.  Of course she’s depressed about it, but that doesn’t mean she wants to go to support group. 

Her attitude changes when she meets Augustus Waters.  He only has one leg due to the cancer he survived, but Hazel finds him very cute and falls head over heels for him.  Both of them love the same book, An Imperial Affliction, which ends mid-sentence.  They use Gus’ Wish (a charity that grants dying kids their wish) to go to Amsterdam and find out the ending of the book from the author, which might be more they bargained for. And when cancer again rears its ugly head, it will take all the courage one of them has to survive the decline of the other.

This book takes a very serious topic and makes it relatable to teens, especially those who’ve never had to deal with it.  Hazel is by turns depressed and upbeat, depending on what her illness is doing to her and her relationship with Gus.  Her sarcasm and snark will resonate with all teen readers.

Gus is another great character with a lot of humor and quirks, and his love of Hazel is probably one of the great romances of YA literature despite its brevity. The intelligence of both of the characters as they observe the foibles of life will make this novel appealing to both adult and teen readers. The supporting characters in this novel sometimes start out flat, but become well-rounded by the end of the title. 

The author’s hometown is portrayed with great clarity, as is Amsterdam because of the time the author spent there writing this novel.  This book is definitely another great hit from Green, and deserves a place in every library serving teens.

The Fault In Our Stars is recommended for mid- to late-teen readers.  Check it out along with other great books by John Green at Northeast Library or your local branch of the DC Public Library today.
-- Brandon Digwood