{I Love} The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book. 

People have written really amazing and thorough reviews of John Green’s latest, The Fault in Stars, because it’s really, really wonderful and readable and gut-wrenching

I, however, have been left unable to form a coherent thought about this book—nearly two months after finishing reading it. But nevertheless, I feel like I need to say something about it, because the book (as well as attending the Tour de Nerdfighting) really hit me and actually changed my thinking.

For real.

Anyway, like I said, since everyone’s reviewed it, I thought I’d just share a few of my reflections on this special novel. I mean, there’s a big blobby tear stain in my book. And I kind of think I’m too old to be crying over books, because, you know, I have to deal with real life and all that stuff, but geez… I guess I’ll never stop crying over books. The Fault in Our Stars also made me laugh out loud. Especially the thing about the Swedish rap. Which is why it’s so good, because any book that can combine all those things is so, you know, “wow.” 

Why I ♥ The Fault in Our Stars

  • Hazel’s voice just killed me. I don’t know how authentically “teenage girl” it is, but I don’t think that really matters, because I feel like this book and characters are very ageless. Her voice and perspective were just phenomenal.
  • Gosh, how much do I love the ranty stuff about the Cancer Fiction Genre? I remember reading the various I Want to Live/Too Young to Die/Six Months to Live/Don’t Die, My Love books [Were those all written by the same person? *checks Goodreads* Oh, I think they were!] back when I was in junior high and oh yeah, the ranty stuff about the Cancer Fiction Genre is so, so spot on.
  • This: 
… I’m not in the business of denying myself the simple pleasure of saying true things.


  • And this:  
I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, then all at once.


  • Of course, this [tiny spoiler, sort of]:
I love you present tense.


  • And the thing about infinities that I can’t quote because it’s massively spoilery, but if you’ve read the book, you know what I mean. 

It seems that it’s kind of trendy at the moment to not like John Green’s books (I love them, but I agree they’re not for everyone), to say he’s overrated or what have you, but regardless of what you think of his work, you can’t deny the impact his books and his community have had a loads of people. Back in January, my mom (a contributor to this blog and a big John Green fan as well) and I went to the Tour de Nerdfighting here in Portland. We were both completely blown away by the entire experience. The front rows were packed with young people in their teens and early twenties, screaming like they were at a concert.


For an author!

It was unreal. These are the people who grew up on Green’s books and the books and the Nerdfighting community mean so, so very much to them. That alone was an awesome thing to experience.

But, I was really struck by Green’s discussion of what he was trying to say when he wrote The Fault in Our Stars, 

You choose what you spend your time thinking about.


I am a thirty-something adult and maybe I’m stunted or something, but that notion completely blew my mind. I don’t know about you, but I spent a lot of needless time and aggravation over things over which I have zero control. And, for whatever reason, when John Green talked about Hazel and Augustus and heroism and their choice to not waste the time they had—however long or short—it got to me.

I must have read aloud or emailed the long version of the above quotation to everyone who’s important to me, and it’s something I keep reminding myself, 

You choose what you spend your time thinking about.


(I posted the entire thing on my Goodreads profile, if you care to read it in its entirety—it’s worth your time, I promise.) 

I’m not one to believe that reading should always educate or enrich or impart some value beyond simple enjoyment—I really believe in reading for reading sake, for reading for enjoyment. But, with that said, it’s such an unexpected joy when a novel does have that impact. 

(And, yes, Hazel & Augustus, I agree, champagne really does taste like stars.) 

{Buy The Fault in Our Stars: Amazon | Powell’s}

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