# The Fault in Our Stars John Green

## Introduction

The Fault in Our Stars is the sixth novel by author John Green, published in January 2012. The title is inspired by Act 1, Scene 2 of Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar, in which the nobleman Cassius says to Brutus: "The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, / But in ourselves, that we are underlings." The story is narrated by Hazel Grace Lancaster, a 16-year-old girl with cancer. Hazel is forced by her parents to attend a support group where she subsequently meets and falls in love with 17-year-old Augustus Waters, an ex-basketball player and amputee. A feature film adaptation of the novel directed by Josh Boone and starring Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort and Nat Wolff was released on June 6, 2014.[1] Both the book and its film adaptation were met with strong critical and commercial success.

Plot summary

Hazel Grace Lancaster—a 16-year-old with cancer that has spread to her lungs—attends a cancer patient support group at her mother's behest. At first, she hesitates because she feels like it has done her nothing. She thinks attending the support group could be the worst part of her life, until a particular support meeting, Hazel meets a 17-year-old boy named Augustus Waters, whose osteosarcoma caused him to lose his right leg, which was replaced with a prosthetic. Augustus is at the support meeting to support, Isaac, a boy Augustus' age with eye cancer. Upon catching Augustus staring at her, Hazel suddenly feels self-conscious. They meet after the Support Group and converse on the fact that they were not "literally" in the heart of Jesus, but in a basement. When everything seems to go well, Augustus pulls out a cigarette and puts it between his lips. Hazel is disgusted by this and yells at him saying that he's already got cancer and he wants to pay money for more cancer, "Not being able to breathe sucks," she yells. Augustus calmly explains the metaphor, which is, "You put the thing that kills you right between your teeth but you don't give it the power to kill you." Hazel, impressed by this, goes to his place to watch a movie. Hazel and Augustus strike a bond immediately and agree to read each other's favorite novels. Augustus gives Hazel The Price of Dawn, and Hazel recommends An Imperial Affliction, a novel written by Peter Van Houten, who lives in Amsterdam, about a cancer-stricken girl named Anna that parallels Hazel's own experience. After Augustus finishes reading her book, he is frustrated upon learning that the novel ends abruptly without a conclusion. Hazel explains the novel's author had retreated following the novel's publication and has not been heard from since.

A week later, Augustus reveals to Hazel that he has tracked down Van Houten's assistant, Lidewij, and, through her, has managed to start an e-mail correspondence with Van Houten. The two write to Van Houten with questions regarding the novel's ending and the fate of the mother of Anna. Van Houten eventually replies, explaining that he can only answer Hazel's questions in person. At a picnic, Augustus surprises Hazel with tickets to Amsterdam to meet Van Houten.

While in Amsterdam, Augustus confesses his love for Hazel. Hazel and Augustus finally meet Van Houten but are shocked to find that he is a mean-spirited drunk. Horrified by Van Houten's behavior, Lidewij confesses to having arranged the meeting on his behalf, angering Van Houten, who proceeds to insult Hazel's cancer, starting an argument and causing Hazel and Augustus to flee from the drunken author's home.

Augustus confesses that his cancer has returned. The two affirm their love and support for each other. Upon their return to Indianapolis, Augustus's health worsens and he ends up in the ICU for a few days. Fearing his death, Augustus invites Isaac and Hazel to his pre-funeral, where they give eulogies. An extremely sick Augustus dies soon after. This leaves Hazel heartbroken and she doesn't know what to do with herself. After this traumatic event, Van Houten shows up at Augustus's funeral to apologize to Hazel.

Hazel learns that Augustus was writing a sequel to An Imperial Affliction. Hazel reads Augustus's words. He says getting hurt in this world is inevitable, but we do get to choose whom we allow to hurt us, and that he is happy with his choice, and hopes she likes her choice too. The book closes with Hazel stating that she is happy with her choice.

Publication history

On December 21, 2011, Barnes & Noble accidentally shipped 1500 copies of The Fault in Our Stars before the release date to people who had pre-ordered the book. Green released a statement saying, "Mistakes happen. The people who made this error were not bad or incompetent people, and they were not acting maliciously. We all make mistakes, and it is not my wish to see Barnes and Noble or any of their employees vilified."[2] Many people who received the book pledged not to read it until its release date, January 10, 2012, or discuss it until the next day, January 11, as per a request of Green's not to spoil it for other readers. Most kept to this promise, leaving the experience untarnished for those who got the book on the intended release date.[3]

The book rose to #84 on the Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble bestseller lists in June 2011 shortly after its title was announced.[4] Green promised that every pre-order would be hand-signed by him, requiring him to sign every copy of the first printing. He proposed that the general public vote on the color Sharpie he would use to sign the books, resulting in him signing the 150,000 books with a variety of Sharpie colors, each in proportion to the amount of votes received for that color.[5] However, some people who ordered from international booksellers received unsigned copies because those bookstores, including Amazon UK, underestimated how many books they needed and ordered more after the signing was complete, but Green agreed to fix this problem, telling people with unsigned pre-orders to email him so they could be sent a signed bookplate.[6] Many fans submitted their book cover designs to various outlets including Tumblr and Twitter, tagging Green in these posts so he could see them. The sizeable number of posts received prompted Green's publisher Penguin to seek a fan-designed cover for a reprint of one of Green's other books, An Abundance of Katherines.[7] The Fault in Our Stars debuted at #1 on The New York Times Best Seller list for Children's Chapter Books[8] and remained in that spot for seven consecutive weeks.[9] A Hebrew edition of The Fault in Our Stars was published in Israel in August 2012 and more editions of the novel are forthcoming in Dutch, German, Spanish, French, Swedish, Danish, Icelandic, Chinese, and Portuguese. The Fault in Our Stars has also gained places on several bestseller lists. It was #1 on The Wall Street Journal bestseller list, #1 on the Indiebound bestseller list, and #9 on The Bookseller bestseller list. The novel was also The New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice.[10] As of January 2013, there are nearly 1 million copies of the novel in print.[11] In December 2012, it was announced that a special edition with a silver cover and an expanded Q&A, dubbed the 'Exclusive Collector's Edition', would be available from Barnes and Noble. All or at least most of the copies first available for purchase of this edition of the book contained a printing error wherein several pages of the first chapter were replaced with pages from the Q&A section at the back of the book.[12]

Critical reception

Several well-known authors have contributed their own positive reviews for the book. Jodi Picoult, author of My Sister's Keeper, calls The Fault in Our Stars "an electric portrait of young people who learn to live life with one foot in the grave." She goes on to say that the novel is "filled with staccato bursts of humor and tragedy." Bestselling author of The Book Thief, Markus Zusak, describes it as "a novel of life and death and the people caught in between" and "John Green at his best". Pertaining to Green's writing throughout the book, E. Lockhart, author of The Boyfriend List, says "He makes me laugh and gasp at the beauty of a sentence or the twist of a tale. He is one of the best writers alive and I am seething with envy of his talent."[17] Time named The Fault in Our Stars as the #1 fiction book of 2012.[22] Kirkus Reviews listed it among the top 100 children's books of 2012.[23] It also made USA Today's list of the top 10 books of 2012.[24] In 2013, the Edmonton Journal named the book one of their "favourite books of the year."[25]

In January 2012, Fox 2000, a division of 20th Century Fox, optioned the rights to adapt the novel into a feature film.[1] Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber wrote the adapted screenplay. Josh Boone signed on to direct a year later, in February 2013.[29] Wyck Godfrey and Marty Bowen produced the film.[30] Shailene Woodley stars as Hazel, while Ansel Elgort plays Augustus.[31][32] Nat Wolff was cast as Isaac, the friend who introduces them, and Laura Dern stars as Hazel's mother.[33] Sam Trammell was cast as Mr. Lancaster, Hazel's father.[34] On August 29, 2013, John Green announced that Mike Birbiglia would be playing Patrick, and on September 6, 2013, Green announced that Willem Dafoe would portray Peter Van Houten.

Principal photography began on August 26, 2013, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which doubled for the novel's setting of Indianapolis, Indiana, with a few days in Amsterdam, before concluding October 16, 2013.[35][36] The film was released on June 6, 2014, in the United States.[37] It was positively received by critics, with praise going to Woodley's performance as well as the entire film. The film also proved to be commercially successful, retaining the No. 1 spot at the box-office during its opening weekend, and grossed over $307 million worldwide against its budget of$12 million.[38][39][40] It was released on Blu-Ray and DVD on September 16, 2014.

1. ^ a b Deahl, Rachel (January 31, 2012). "Fox Options John Green's 'Fault in Our Stars'". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved July 23, 2013.
2. ^ Green, John (21 December 2011). "The Leaking of The Fault in Our Stars". John Green's Tumblr. Retrieved 26 December 2013.
3. ^ Green, John (December 23, 2011). "There Will Be NO SPOILERS!!!". Vlogbrothers. Retrieved January 12, 2012.
4. ^ Trachtenberg, Jeffrey A (1 July 2011). "Tweeting from a La-Z-Boy, An Unfinished Book Hits No. 1". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 24 December 2013.
5. ^ Green, John (29 June 2011). "The Fault in Our Stars". Vlogbrothers. Retrieved 1 July 2011.
6. ^ Green, John (January 10, 2012). "Question Tuesday: The Fault in Our Stars is Here Edition". John Green Books. Retrieved February 11, 2012.
7. ^ Green, John. "An Abundance of Covers Competition". Penguin Group. Retrieved 14 December 2011.
8. ^ "Best Sellers: January 29, 2012". The New York Times. January 22, 2012. Retrieved January 22, 2012.
9. ^ Heyman, Marshall (February 18, 2012). "The Young and the Sociable". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved February 18, 2012.
10. ^ "JohnGreenBooks.com: The Fault in Our Stars". Retrieved 27 February 2012.
11. ^ Bob Minzesheimer (2013-01-16). "John and Hank Green rock Carnegie Hall". USA Today. Retrieved 2013-01-17.
12. ^ Sprague, Rachel (January 4, 2013). "'The Fault in Our Stars' collector's edition publish date pushed back". Retrieved 5 January 2013.
13. ^ Standiford, Natalie (January 15, 2012). "The Tenacity of Hope". Retrieved 17 January 2012.
14. ^ Syme, Rachel (January 17, 2012). "'The Fault In Our Stars': Love In A Time Of Cancer". NPR. Retrieved 17 January 2012.
15. ^ Lev Grossman (February 6, 2012). "The Topic of Cancer". Time. Retrieved September 12, 2013.
16. ^ Stephan Lee (January 11, 2012). "The Fault in Our Stars". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved January 29, 2012.
17. ^ a b "Amazon.com: The Fault in Our Stars". Retrieved 27 February 2012.
18. ^ a b c "Love in The Time Of The Big C". Manila Bulletin. 9 March 2012.
19. ^ a b Minzesheimer, Bob (2012-02-02). "'The Fault in Our Stars": not a cancer book". USA Today. Retrieved February 26, 2012.
20. ^ "The Fault in Our Stars". School Library Journal. April 2012.
21. ^ "The Fault in Our Stars". Kirkus Reviews. 10 January 2012. Retrieved 24 December 2013.
22. ^ Lev Grossman (December 4, 2012). "Top 10 Fiction Books". Time. Retrieved December 7, 2012.
23. ^ Smith, Vicky. "Best Children's Books of 2012 (Page 24)". Kirkus Reviews. Retrieved 24 December 2013.
24. ^ Deirdre Donahue, Jocelyn McClurg, Carol Memmott, Bob Minzesheimer and Craig Wilson (21 December 2012). "10 books we loved in 2012". USA Today. Retrieved 26 December 2013. CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
25. ^ Le Blanc, Brittney (16 December 2013). "Edmonton Journal staff pick favourite books of the year". Edmonton Journal. Archived from the original on 2014-03-11. Retrieved 26 December 2013.
26. ^ Tanith, Carey (2013-01-03). "The ′sick-lit′ books aimed at children: It's a disturbing phenomenon. Tales of teenage cancer, self-harm and suicide..." The Daily Mail. United Kingdom. Retrieved 2013-08-22.
27. ^ a b Pauli, Michelle (2013-01-04). "′Sick-lit′? Evidently young adult fiction is too complex for The Daily Mail". The Guardian. United Kingdom. Retrieved 2013-08-22.
28. ^ "John Green: 'I'm tired of adults telling teenagers that they aren't smart'". The Guardian. United Kingdom. 2013-02-27. Retrieved 2013-08-22.
29. ^ "The Fault in Our Stars Movie Lands Director". The Hollywood Reporter
30. ^ Kroll, Justin (July 23, 2013). "Laura Dern Joins 'Fault in Our Stars'". Variety. Retrieved July 23, 2013.
31. ^ Sara Vilkomerson (March 19, 2013). "Shailene Woodley offered lead role for 'The Fault in Our Stars'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved March 19, 2013.
32. ^ Sara Vilkomerson (May 10, 2013). "Ansel Elgort offered lead in 'The Fault in Our Stars' opposite Shailene Woodley -- Exclusive". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved May 11, 2013.
33. ^ Vilkomerson, Sara (July 23, 2013). "Nat Wolff cast as Isaac in 'The Fault in Our Stars'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved July 23, 2013.
34. ^ David, Jesse (2013-08-15). "True Blood's Trammell Joins Fault in Our Stars". Vulture. Retrieved 2013-11-07.
35. ^ Schooley, Tim (July 9, 2013). "Fox 2000 shoots for 'Stars' in Pittsburgh". Pittsburgh Business Times. Retrieved July 11, 2013.
36. ^ Axelrad, Jacob (July 10, 2013). "New film 'Fault in Our Stars' to be shot in Pittsburgh". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved July 11, 2013.
37. ^ Deutsch, Lindsay (8 October 2013). "'The Fault In Our Stars' movie gets a release date". USA Today. Retrieved 26 December 2013.
38. ^ "The Fault In Our Stars (2014)". Box Office Mojo. IMDB. Retrieved August 10, 2014.
39. ^ "The Fault In Our Stars". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
40. ^ "The Fault in Our Stars Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved June 6, 2014.