My 12-year-old daughter chose a gift for me this Valentine’s Day – a paperback copy of The Fault In Our Stars. I’ve read it all in one go (this really IS a book you can’t put down) and I cried all the way through it – not just because of the sad plot – but because the author has created such beautiful souls who have such wise and profound views on life and the universe.

The main characters may be teenagers, but they have a lot to teach us adults

“Life is not a wish-granting factory,” says Augustus, the 17-year-old boy who captures the heart of terminal cancer patient Hazel.  And this is something that many of us only learn, and come to terms with, in adulthood.

Augustus is a cancer survivor, and Hazel has to live on oxygen support for the rest of her life (a time undetermined by her doctors, but she knows there is no cure for her illness), but this is not just a story about how they deal with the fear of impending death.

The most beautiful love story written this century

Rather, it’s a love story – a story of two souls who are brave enough to fall in love – and take their chances. They’re both also brave enough to be brutally honest with each other, their friends and their parents – and in fact cope with their situation better than their moms and dads.

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It’s also proof that much can be fitted into a short time on this earth – and the length of your life does not determine its significance and the impact you can have on other people.

But he doesn’t just listen to young adults. He treats every human he meets as their own planet, rather than simply one of his moons. He sees people with curiosity, compassion, grace and excitement

Shailene Woodley calls author John Green the teen whisperer

“Some say that, through his books, John gives a voice to teenagers. I humbly disagree. I think John hears the voices of teenagers. He acknowledges the intelligence and vulnerability that stem from those beautiful years when we are, for the first time, discovering the world and ourselves outside of our familial stories.

“But he doesn’t just listen to young adults. He treats every human he meets as their own planet, rather than simply one of his moons. He sees people with curiosity, compassion, grace and excitement. And he’s encouraging a huge community of followers to do the same. What a gift to be alive at the same time as this admirable leader.” – Shailene Woodley

(Woodley stars in the film adaptation of Green’s The Fault in Our Stars)

Here are some quotes from The Fault in Our Stars that (I hope) will inspire you to read what I am convinced is one of this century’s literary masterpieces:

The Fault In Our Stars book cover
The Fault In Our Stars book cover

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

“I’m in love with you, and I’m not in the business of denying myself the simple pleasure of saying true things. I’m in love with you, and I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we’re all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labour has been returned to dust, and I know the sun will swallow the only earth we’ll ever have, and I am in love with you.” – Augustus to Hazel

“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.” – Augustus

“Oh, I wouldn’t mind, Hazel Grace. It would be a privilege to have my heart broken by you.” – Augustus

Order your copy from Amazon.com