The Fault in Our Stars
John Green
Contributed by Margherita Wickersham
John Green
Year Published
Young Adult Fiction
About the Title

A popular, almost household book with its own movie adaption, John Greene’s story of a blossoming teenage romance filled with angst came to define the past decade of a popular sub genre of fictional teenage romances, along with other infamous releases such as Stephenie Meyer’s “Twilight”. Greene’s “The Fault in Our Stars” distinguishes itself because of its use and incorporation of fatalism in the larger backdrop of a typical teenage romantic fiction. The characters, Hazel and Augustus, each struggle internally with themselves due to being diagnosed with serious, potentially terminal cancers that could lead to their deaths at any time. How these characters navigate their romance when a very real risk exists for their partner’s sudden death helped bolster a sense of authenticity between the love of Hazel and Augustus, while also providing enough cover for Greene to justify the awkwardness of his characters as a result of their feelings of social isolation and despair, rather than as a result of lackluster writing. In any case, this type of romantic story where love developing between awkward teenagers putting them in more awkward positions due to some fatalistic element has existed as far back as Shakespeare’s “star-crossed lovers” in Romeo and Juliet. By attributing fault to some indifferent entity such as the heavens or the stars, Greene aims to use symbolism which functions as a euphemism for the randomness and indifference of the cancer afflicting both Hazel and Augustus.

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