Sunday, April 6, 2014

Book Review: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Hazel Grace Lancaster is a sixteen-year old girl who has lung cancer. Her mother kept insisting that she attend a Cancer Support Group because she has been passive, spending her time mostly by watching TV shows and reading books. Contrary to what her mother thought, she found the support group rather depressing as hell. Nevertheless, it is what led her to meet Augustus Waters. Augustus had osteosarcoma (bone cancer) but has been showing NEC “no evidence of cancer”. Hazel made Augustus become a fan of An Imperial Affliction book written by author Peter Van Houten which totally made them closer.

The book entitled An Imperial Affliction is a book that literally ends in midsentence. For Hazel, it would not be a surprise for her that the book has ended that way because Anna (the leading character of An Imperial Affliction) also has cancer, an implication that the book wasn't finished because she died. However, Hazel got curious with the other characters of the book. With that in mind, she related that thought to her real life, thinking about like what would happen to her mom, dad, and Augustus when she dies. From Indianapolis, her mom, Hazel and Augustus traveled to Amsterdam to find Peter Van Houten, the author of AIA, to seek for answers. However, the alcoholic novelist refused to tell them what they wanted to know. Meanwhile, while they were in Amsterdam, Augustus told her that cancer cells are invading his body again. What, then, could be written in Hazel’s and Augustus’ stars?

Peter Van Houten has dropped this line,
“Everyone in this tale has a rock-solid hamartia: hers, that she is so sick; yours that you are so well. Were she better or you sicker, then the stars would not be so terribly crossed, but it is the nature of stars to cross, and never was Shakespeare more wrong than when he has Cassius note, ‘The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars/ But in ourselves.”

It is clearly stated that Peter strongly disagreed to what Shakespeare has written were our destiny depends with how we navigate our lives. Yes, we build our own lives but everything that is bound to happen is already written and that we only need to walk the journey. The point here is, it was not everyone's fault to get sick because the stars have already decided for us. The stars here is symbolical which means astrology (greek word of star is aster/astro).

Yes! Despite it being a book that deals with death, the story will make you laugh, love and live. True to what is written on the cover page, it is filled with humor and tragedy. The book tore my heart and it made it beat at the same time. Lastly, this piece of literature is like reading a book within in a book. Both of which are open-ended in different ways. John Green is a true-blue nerd! :) In addition, I think John Green’s a huge fan of Ocean’s 12 movie because the movie and the Fault in Our Stars have the same setting - Amsterdam, and the word “oblivion” is slightly in a role.

“He was a tenured professor in the Department of Slightly Crooked Smiles with a dual appointment in the Department of Having a Voice That Made My Skin Feel More Like Skin.”

“That’s the thing about pain… it demands to be felt.”

“Sometimes people don’t understand the promises they’re making when they make them.”

“The only solution was to try to unmake the world, to make it black and silent and uninhabited again, to return to the moment before the Big Bang, in the beginning when there was the Word, and to live in that vacuous uncreated space alone in the Word.”

“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. I wondered if that was sort of the point of architecture.”

“I’m in love with you, and I’m not in the business of denying myself the simple pleasure of saying true things. I’m in love with you, and I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we’re all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust, and I know the sun will swallow the only earth we’ll ever have, and I am in love with you.”

“Some tourists think that Amsterdam is a city of sin, but in truth it is a city of freedom. And in freedom, most people find sin.”

“Do you know what Dom Perignon said after inventing champagne?”


“He called out to his fellow monks, ‘come quickly: I am tasting the stars.’”

“It’s really mean of you to say that the only lives that matter are the ones that are lived for something or die for something.”

“It would be a privilege to have my heart broken by you.”

“All representations of a thing are inherently abstract.”

“Dad always told me that you can judge people by the way they treat waiters and assistants.”

“I have a Churchillian relationship with alcohol: I can crack jokes and govern England and do anything I want to do.”

“I’m on a roller coaster that only goes up.”

“And it is my privilege and my responsibility to ride all the way up with you.”

“I believe the universe wants to be noticed. I think the universe is improbably biased toward consciousness, that it rewards intelligence in part because the universe enjoys its elegance being observed.”

“I can’t talk about our love story, so I will talk about math. I am not a mathematician, but I know this: There are infinite numbers between 0 and 1. There’s .1 and .12 and .112 and an infinite collections of others. Of course, there is a bigger infinite set of numbers between 0 and 2, or between 0 and a million. Some infinities are bigger than other infinities. A writer we used to like taught us that. There are days, many of them, when I resent the size of my unbounded set. I want more numbers than I’m likely to get, and God, I want more numbers for Augustus Waters than he got. But Gus, my love, I cannot tell you how thankful I am for our little infinity. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. You gave me a forever within the numbered days, and I’m grateful.”


  1. Seems like a heart touching story to read about someone's life,her fight etc.Would surely gonna read this.

  2. Your review pointed out the very essence of the story, though, touching lives of people who faced reality to its own terms.

  3. Reading the quotes alone is enough for me to be convinced that this is indeed a good book to read. :)

  4. It sounds like an interesting book with a well constructed review.

  5. This looks like an interesting story that touches the heart.

  6. "Were she better or you sicker, then the stars would not be so terribly crossed, but it is the nature of stars to cross, and never was Shakespeare more wrong than when he has Cassius note, ‘The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars/ But in ourselves.” - Really love this quote. I might buy the book because of this! But I'm more of a mystery thriller reader.

  7. sounds like my kinda of book and my sister too! balance of everything in just one book

  8. This book looks an all in one book - about death, laughter, love and living.

  9. where can i read it online, im at work and im not allowed to bring books...