Hazel Grace Lancaster is a 16 year old teenage girl who has suffered from Stage IV Thyroid cancer since she was 13. When Hazel's doctor and parents express their concerns of her being depressed, Hazel is forced to attend a support group held in a church basement, and run by a man named Patrick with a literal lack of balls. It is here she meets Augustus Waters, a 17-ish year old boy who says she is beautiful and who uses cigarettes--but never lights them. In his words: "You put the killing thing right between your teeth, but you never give it the power to do its killing."

The novel follows the struggles of the two young lovers' lives, and not just the struggle of dealing with cancer. Over the course of the novel, the couple go to Amsterdam, play video games, exchange books, sell a vauguely pedophelic swingset and realize that being alive, and in love, is rather a delightful business.

The book was partially inspired by Esther Grace Earl, the 16 year old cancer patient whom John befriended at a 2009 Harry Potter fan conference. Earl died in 2010. While John dedicated the book to her, he also made it clear that Esther was not Hazel, and that Esther's story was for her family to tell, not him.

The Fault in Our Stars has been adapted into a movie starring Shailene Woodley as Hazel and Ansel Elgort as Augustus. Released on June 5, 2014 in New Zealand and Australia, on June 6, 2014 in the United States, June 19, 2014 in the United Kingdom, and July 10, 2014 in the Netherlands, the movie has been a hit, with 89% of the reviewers on Rotten Tomatoes giving positive feedback.


"Okay? Okay." -Hazel and Augustus

"My thoughts are stars that I cannot fathom into constellations." -Augustus

"As he read, I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once." -Hazel

"Some infinities are bigger than other infinities." -Hazel

"That's the thing about pain- it demands to be felt." -Augustus, referencing 'An Imperial Affliction'

"The world is not a wish-granting factory." -Augustus

"You don't get to choose if you get hurt in this world, but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices. I hope she likes hers.'' -Augustus

"The problem is not suffering itself or oblivion itself but the depraved meaninglessness of these things, the absolutely inhuman nihilism of suffering." -Hazel