Usually I read a book and then watch a film adaptation, or just read and never watch but never watch and then read. However, this time I’ve watched the film at first and decided to read The Fault in Our Stars.
It is the sixth novel by author John Green, published in January 2012. The story is narrated by a sixteen-year-old cancer patient named Hazel Grace Lancaster, who is forced by her parents to attend a support group where she subsequently meets and falls in love with the seventeen-year-old Augustus Waters, an ex-basketball player and amputee. The title is inspired by Act 1, Scene 2 of Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar, in which the noblemanCassius says to Brutus: "The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, / But in ourselves, that we are underlings."
John Michael Green (born August 24, 1977) is an American author of young adult fiction, YouTube video blogger (vlogger), historian and creator of online educational videos. He won the 2006 Printz Award for his debut novel, Looking for Alaska, and his most recent novel, The Fault in Our Stars, debuted at number 1 on The New York Times Best Seller list in January 2012. In 2014, Green was included in Time magazine's list of the 100 most influential people in the world. Green graduated from Kenyon College in 2000 with a double major in English and Religion Studies. He intended to become an Episcopal priest, but his experiences of working as a student chaplain in a hospital with children suffering from life-threatening illnesses inspired him to become an author, and later to write The Fault in Our Stars. The novel was also influenced by Esther Earl, a girl whom Green was friends with who died when she was 16 years old of thyroid cancer. Green credits Earl for inspiring him to finally write the book, as she demonstrated how a short life could also be a full one.
Green shows the true horror of the disease and how much destruction it can inflict upon people, but he is also able to show the disease’s human side. The Fault in Our Stars is a sweet book that shows that those with cancer can lead normal lives that don’t revolve around their illness.
It shows that the world is unpredictable, that you’ll always be thrown curveballs, but you’ll always experience positives. Everyone has faults and nobody is perfect, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be loved or live the life you want.
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. (We can watch a trailer). And of course, there are some differences between the book and the film. But I don’t find them that big that can change the whole meaning. As I said in the beginning I’ve watched and then read, and because of that I liked the film more than the book. For me the novel seemed a little bit boring and the development of events was slow. So I won’t recommend it, and I don’t think that this book is that everyone should read, unless you really want to read it. But I want to mention that TFIOS became a huge success. And critics mostly praised the book for its humor, strong characters, language, themes and new perspective on cancer and romance.