If you ask me who my favourite author is, I won’t even hesitate before telling you “John Green”. As much as I love Harry Potter, my favourite books will always be those written by John, in particular his first, Looking For Alaska. I have laughed and cried (and cried, and cried) my way through all of his books, so when I heard he was releasing a new novel I pre-ordered it the moment it was available and began to wait with eager anticipation.
John’s new book is called “The Fault In Our Stars” and was finally released in early January. Being in France, I only got my hands on it today (I was so eager that as my pre-ordered copy hadn’t arrived I bought another copy from my local bookstore) and I devoured it in just over two hours. It left me sobbing and wishing that John could create real life seventeen year old boys for me, rather than just fictional ones.
The Fault In Our Stars follows the story of sixteen year old Hazel who is dying of cancer. One day at the support group she begrudgingly attends, she meets Augustus Waters and from that moment, nothing is the same.
The Fault In Our Stars is not just a cancer novel, though all the teenage characters it contains do have cancer of some variety. It’s a novel about living and loving to your fullest, and about the pain, heartbreak, and most importantly, joy, that life can bring.
The book gets its name from a Shakespeare quote which reads “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars/But in ourselves” which John expands on in the novel by adding “Easy enough to say when you’re a Roman nobleman (or Shakespeare!), but there is no shortage of fault to be found amid our stars.”
In looking for Alaska there is the line “…but I loved her present tense” and there is a shout-out to this in TFIOS with the line “I love you present tense”. I think it’s a cute reference for those readers who adore John’s books enough to pick it up.
My favourite idea from the book was “some infinities are bigger than other infinities”. It was a recurring theme throughout the novel and fitted the theme beautifully. Infinity, or forever, are just words we throw around but this novel made you think about the true reality behind them and what they mean to different people.
The Fault In Our Stars made me laugh, cry, and fall in love with fictional characters and I hold absolutely no regrets about any of the above. I live-texted my reading to Toong, as she read the book earlier in the week, and she will vouch that most of my texts were along the lines of “I’m just so in love with Augustus Waters”, “Why can’t real guys be Augustus Waters”, and “WHY WOULD JOHN WANT TO BREAK MY HEART LIKE THIS?” I recommend John’s books to anyone who will listen (and I also heartily recommend his youtube channel) and TFIOS is no exception to this. I think Alaska will always be my favourite, but this is a super close second, if not equal first. It makes you confront the reality of life in a brilliant way, something which is very rare to find in a young adult book these days.
If you see The Fault In Our Stars anywhere, buy it. Buy it. BUY IT. I got my copy today for $20 and it is $20 that I don’t regret spending at all. I plan on re-reading it ASAP or maybe just listening to the audio-book version I have, which is read by John Green himself (I cannot wait to hear him narrate a story told by a sixteen year old girl).
I read a lot of Young Adult books (I get sent them to review for here, and believe me, it’s a massive pile that I have at the moment to write up) but it’s very rare that I read a YA book that contains so much beauty, emotion and perfection. Most are more concerned with vampires or shallow romance than amazing truths. John Green is my hero, and I cannot recommend anything he does enough.
The Fault In Our Stars is available in all good bookstores now for around $20. It is published by Penguin, and I give it a definite 10/10 and beg you to consider reading it.
frangipani princess xoxo