The Fault in Our Stars
John Green
Contributed by Margherita Wickersham

Review by Frank Bruni, New York Times (2012)

Bruni states that The Fault in Our Stars “contains no sorcery, no vampires, and no apocalypse, not unless heartbreak counts as the end of the world, as it probably should” (Bruni para. 6). According to him, Green’s story comprises lovers who are not so much star-crossed as star-cursed, and it leans on the “most durable assets” of literature: beautifully drawn characters, finely wrought language and a distinctive voice. By distinctive voice, he implies the voice of Hazel, 16, who tells the story, narrating that she falls in love with Augustus, 17. Even though Bruni does not feel very passionate about The Fault in our Stars, he admires it enormously, more than several adult-targeted novels that he has read.

Review by The Guardian (2014)

The Guardian describes the book as enthralling, entertaining and educative. According to them, it provides a jumping-off point for young people to explore and also discuss major philosophical issues. The plot is terrific, the characters are utterly believable, and one completely falls in love with them. While The Fault in Our Stars has numerous trappings associated with a sick lit novel, The Guardian believes that it does not belong to this genre, but is rather a story of two people in love, who are suffering from cancer. The Guardian also states that the novel has a certain philosophical bent through which it discusses the meaning of life and death. This is true because, through Hazel and Augustus, Green gives the reader different viewpoints about life and death.

Review by Mary Quattlebaum (2012)

Quattlebaum finds the novel compelling, not because of its “a thrill-a-minute” plot, but due to the authenticity of the characters who are focused on living “forever within the numbered days.” She describes Hazel and Augustus as cranky, funny, sad, and scared, and points out that these two buck the desire of society regarding them as models of heroic suffering, an “inspiration to all people.” The two remain fiercely, distinctively themselves. Quattlebaum compares The Fault in Our Stars with Green’s Printz-winning novel, Looking for Alaska, stating that just like he did in Looking for Alaska, Green skillfully combines the profound as well as the quotidian in the touching love story to the human spirit. She concludes her review by stating that in the book, the author neither romanticizes sickness nor sentimentalizes loss; rather, he brings the reader into the minds and hearts of the two young people pondering life and death, as well as love and the strange beauty of a world that includes a sweet-pea sorbet, orange tulips and an oxygen tank known as Philip.

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