The Fault in Our Stars Book (Summary - Book Review - in Order - Book Cover)

Author John Green
Cover artist Rodrigo Corral
Country United States
Language English
  • Young adult novel
  • Realistic fiction
Published January 10, 2012 (Dutton Books)
Media type Print (hardcoverpaperback)
Pages 313
ISBN 0-525-47881-7

The Fault in Our Stars, published in January 2012, is the sixth novel by author John Green. The title is inspired by Act 1, scene 2 of Shakespeare's play, Julius Caesar, in which the noble Casio tells Brutus: "Guilt, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, / but in ourselves, that's what we are subordinates. " The story is told by Hazel Grace Lancaster, a 16-year-old girl with thyroid cancer that has affected her lungs. Hazel is forced by her parents to attend a support group where she later meets and falls in love with Augustus Waters, a 17-year-old former basketball and amputee player. On June 6, 2014, a film adaptation of the novel directed by Josh Boone and starring Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort and Nat Wolff was released. Both the book and its film adaptation had a strong critical and commercial success.


Hazel Grace Lancaster, a 16-year-old girl with thyroid cancer that has spread to her lungs, attends a cancer patient support group at the urging of her mother. In one meeting, Hazel encounters a 17-year-old boy in remission called Augustus Waters, whose osteosarcoma caused him to lose his right leg. Augusto is at the meeting to support Isaac, his friend who has eye cancer. They meet after the support group and start talking. When everything seems to be going well, Augustus pulls out a cigarette and puts it between his lips. Hazel is disgusted by this and screams at him saying that he already has cancer and wants to pay money for more cancer, Augustus explains that he does not actually light the cigarette. He says: "You put an object of death between your lips, but you do not give it the power to kill you." Hazel, impressed by this, goes home to watch a movie. Hazel and Augustus establish a link 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 sick girl with cancer named Anna that compares to Hazel's experience. After Augustus finishes reading his book, he is frustrated to learn that the novel ends abruptly without a conclusion. The novel ends in the middle of a sentence, which means that she died or got too sick to continue telling the story. Hazel explains that the author of the novel had retired after the publication of the novel and nothing has been known since then.

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

While traveling on the plane to Amsterdam, Augustus confesses his love for Hazel, very much in his favor. Hazel and Augustus finally meet Van Houten but are surprised to discover that he is a petty drunk. Horrified by the behavior of Van Houten, Lidewij confesses to having organized the meeting in his name, infuriating Van Houten, who proceeds to insult Hazel's cancer, initiating a discussion and causing Hazel and Augustus to flee their home. Then, they go to the Anne Frank House, where Augustus and Hazel share their first kiss. Later that night they have sex in the Augustus hotel room, the first time for both. During her intimacy, Hazel tells Augustus that she loves him.

Augusto confesses to Hazel that his cancer has returned. The two affirm their love and mutual support. Upon his return to Indianapolis, Augustus' 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 praise. Augusto dies shortly after, leaving Hazel with a broken heart. Van Houten appears at Augustus' funeral to apologize to Hazel, but Hazel does not forgive him.

Hazel learns that Augustus was not writing a sequel to An Imperial Affliction as he told her, but an obituary for her, and reads it after Lidewij discovers it among Van Houten's letters. She states that hurting herself in this world is inevitable, but we can choose who we allow to hurt her and that he is happy with her choice, and hopes that she also likes his. The book closes with Hazel indicating that he is happy with his choice.


Damn near the genius. . . The Fault in Our Stars is a love story, one of the most genuine and poignant of recent American fiction, but it is also an existential tragedy of tremendous intelligence, courage, and sadness.

About the Author

John Green is the award-winning, #1 bestselling author of Looking for Alaska, An Abundance of Katherines, Paper Towns, Will Grayson, Will Grayson (with David Levithan), and The Fault in Our Stars. His many accolades include the Printz Medal, a Printz Honor, and the Edgar Award. He has twice been a finalist for the LA Times Book Prize. John was selected by TIME magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World. With his brother, Hank, John is one half of the Vlogbrothers (, one of the most popular online video projects in the world. You can join the millions who follow John on Twitter (@johngreen) and Tumblr ( or visit him online at
John lives with his family in Indianapolis, Indiana.

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