Mighty Life List
Apr 3 2013

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

This is the first thing I’ve read by John Green, and it’s good. Green is clever and talented — he certainly made me laugh. Still, I found this a frustrating read because it had the potential to be great. I still recommend it, but if you’re someone who notices when the shiny bits don’t match the rest of the work, this might bug you a little. That said, on to the shiny bits, of which there were plenty.

The best parts of The Fault in Our Stars:

I didn’t tell him that the diagnosis came three months after I got my first period. Like: Congratulations! You’re a woman. Now die.

“Yeah, hurdlers. I don’t know why. I started thinking about them running their hurdle races, and jumping over these totally arbitrary objects that had been set in their path. And I wondered if hurdlers ever thought, you know, This would go faster if we just got rid of the hurdles.

I liked being a person. I wanted to keep at it.

“Come over here so I can examine your face with my hands and see deeper into your soul than any sighted person ever could.”

The absolute sterility of the place made me nostalgic for the happy-kid bullshit at Children’s. Memorial was so functional. It was a storage facility. A prematorium.

Vocabulary

hamartia – fatal flaw
toroidal – doughnut shaped
numinous – filled with a sense of the presence of divinity

17 Responses to “The Fault in Our Stars by John Green”

  • Amber Says:

    I pretty much loved The Fault in Our Stars and was totally jazzed to read John Green’s other stuff. Unfortunately, the next book I picked was Waiting for Alaska, and I kind of hated it. Do not recommend. And now I am done with John Green. Sadface.

  • Amber Says:

    P.S. I really need for you (or someone or EVERYONE) to read The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland on a Ship of Her Own Making. I think you would LOVE it, as all the people should. It is tremendous and wonderful. Then you (and everyone) should read the sequel, which is also the tops.

  • Megs Says:

    You might be alone in this… The shiny bits were so shiny and bright that the glare of them must have blinded me to the less than shiny bits. : )

  • melissa Says:

    Pssst….Amber, I’ll read “The Girl Who Circumnavigated…….”.
    I love book recommendations!

    As for The Fault in our Stars, I really enjoyed it as I was reading it. REALLY. Then, a couple days later, its light just kind of dimmed and I filed it under “enjoyable read, not an enduring pleasure.” Don’t know why (or if that even makes sense), but there it is.

  • Sarah E Says:

    I recommend Paper Towns. Definitely captures awkward teen-thought.

  • Erin Says:

    We read Fault last fall for our book club. We pretty universally cried and liked it. It wasn’t a love for me, though. Now Code Name Verity — that one is a LOVE. Set in WWII Britain and France. Older teenage girls who are best friends and engaged in the war effort. Amazing.

  • Jen Says:

    I can relate-it is often called young adult fiction, which I don’t think should mean lower standards. It wasn’t a predictable book for sure.

    But, I’m coming up on the anniversary of the death of James, a 17 year old, who’s cancer journey I witness and pastored to, as best I could. John Green’s seems to have intimately known this painful, powerful process and spoke James’ very words: “this is all bullshit”. This alone tore open that wound. It tapped that grief like a faucet.

    He’s producing books at such a volume that I suspect his writing will only improve as he slows down a bit, because the potential is pretty phenomenal.

  • Jill Says:

    “I fell in love the way you fall asleep; slowly, and then all at once”

    Sigh… love that quote. But yes, I too agree, there were shiny bits (such as that beautiful quote above) and then the not so shiny bits. Couldn’t have said it better myself. Still super duper excited to see what they do with the movie, though!

  • Emily C Says:

    As a serious John Green devotee I found The Fault in Our Stars to be perfection. Though it makes me wonder if I have rose-colored glasses when it comes to his works.

    Green is also a semi-major Youtube celebrity (which is a thing, I swear) and has a lot of online video pursuits. I’d recommend Vlogbrothers and Crash Course (both youtube channels) to anyone who hasn’t heard of them.

  • Amber Says:

    Melissa, I hope you love The Girl Who Circumnavigated etc etc. It is so lovely and delightful.

  • Heather Says:

    Paper towns! An abundance of Katherine’s is my fave John green, though!

  • Megan Says:

    As a high school teacher, I appreciate how many of my students love John Green’s books. I have had the pleasure of overhearing lovely, thoughtful conversations because of his writing. I adore my job, but those are not often adjectives I can use to describe my students…

  • Lilly Says:

    I’d also throw in Eleanor and Park as a great read too! Similar and along the same veins of young love.

  • margie s Says:

    I loved it with a big big love, and have tried in vain to get anyone I know to read it. Sigh . . . thanks for the other recommendations.

  • Molly Says:

    (I think it’s hamartia, not harmatia.)

    Fixed. Thanks, Molly. -M

  • Jessica Says:

    My favorite line was “Grief does not change you, it reveals you.”

  • Anabel Says:

    “You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world…but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices… I hope you like yours”
    Just that quote makes this book shine so bright in my opinion. And there are lots like it. I hadn’t been able to get anyone else to read it and somewhat that makes me feel a little like Hazel and An Imperial Affliction