The Fault in Our Stars may be a fast-paced, easy read, but it packs quite the punch. By punch, I mean the overwhelming abundance of feels — it’s no secret that John Green’s fourth novel will leave you ugly-crying. With the movie on its way, I figured there’s no better time to revisit this Young Adult cult-classic.
I read The Fault in Our Stars in the backseat of a rental car on the way from Maine to Montreal the summer after the book first released. These days, I tend to feel too lightheaded to read in a moving vehicle, but this novel proved itself worth the momentary nausea. Drawn in by the protagonist Hazel Grace, her battle against cancer, and her rational world-view for someone so young, I realized straight away that Green is the type of writer who creates well-rounded female characters who don’t quite fit stereotypical tropes.
At one point on our journey to French Canada, I woke up from an accidental nap to my mom reading the book in the front seat. She’d stolen it from my lap and was now flipping through the first few chapters with one hand pressed against her chest for melodramatic effect. I swindled the book back, promising it would be up for grabs soon enough.
One leg of our journey later, my mother turned around to the sounds of my muffled sniffling coming from the backseat.
“Oh no,” she said. “If you’re crying, I’m definitely going to cry.”
And cry she did. That rental car was privy to too many emotionally-intimate moments.
Something about The Fault in Our Stars is so…balanced. The novel provokes the reader to contemplate existential issues all while providing laughs and far too many typography-worthy quotes (see: all of Tumblr ever). I wouldn’t be surprised if Hazel and Augustus became a legendary literary couple, referenced by future generations in lieu of Austen’s Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy.
If you’re not usually one for reading, you may find The Fault in Our Stars to occupy that same camp as Harry Potter — reading this book doesn’t really feel like reading. And if you tend to shy away from Young Adult novels (like yours truly), this one is worth making an exception for.
Watch the trailer for the upcoming movie below!