Swim In My Tears: The Fault in Our Stars, John Green

The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars

John Green

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

Instead of writing a proper review for this, I am going to try to organize my thoughts into a letter to Mr. John Green.

Dear Mr. Green,

I feel the need to tell you that you are an unacceptably realistic writer. I also have to confess that I never found TfioS to be particularly ground-breaking until the second-half, and ultimately, the end. But did this make the book any less meaningful or impactful to me? No. And let me tell you that it will leave its mark, or its scar, as Augustus would say. This book did not tread lightly on the universe like Hazel did.

Confession #2: I never cry. Not when I read a book or even when I watch a movie. But because The Fault in Our Stars took the time to notice things, and pay attention to them, it began to tread not-quite-so lightly in my heart. My eyes soon turned into an endless waterfall and ruined my sheets. From that chapter onward, I couldn’t really stop sniffling. I want you to know that that’s a huge achievement. I know I’m only one person, one reader among the millions who have read your book(s), but I hope you know that I’m thankful your book made me feel like this. Hazel and Augustus were two exceptional characters, and it’s only right that I shed more than the usual torrent of tears I don’t shed for sad books. This is also the reason why I stayed up at 3 AM to finish the book and type this up, and will wake up later with swollen eyes. Thank you so much!

Why are you unacceptably realistic? See, right after you made me cry, you made me laugh again. Then I felt guilty because I wasn’t supposed to laugh at a time like this. This is NOT supposed to happen! Oh, and then there’s the thing about Augustus and Hazel, which I won’t talk about here because I don’t want to ruin the scar – sorry, bloody hole – this book will leave on the next unsuspecting reader. Mr. Green, I’m not one who believes in happily-ever-afters. Thank you, and no thank you, for strengthening that belief.

How did you turn an innocent story about a girl’s journey with cancer into something extraordinary? Your book isn’t filled with “staccato bursts of humor and tragedy.” Staccato bursts is not the right word to use. How about stabs of or gunshots of to show how painful it will be? Just a suggestion.


P.S. This letter isn’t supposed to be deep or meaningful. I’m just trying to convey, in words, instead of my not-yet-constellations, my initial thoughts. This might not even make sense, for all I know.

Who is this book for?

Everyone! Well — people looking for a contemporary that will make them laugh, then make them cry again, even until the next day.

4 stars

313 pages, hardcover from YA Book Exchange
Published January 10, 2012 by Dutton Books
Purchase: The Book Depository • Amazon


16 thoughts on “Swim In My Tears: The Fault in Our Stars, John Green

  1. I agree, hon! This book has left a scar in my heart and soul and it will never disappear because this book= *flailing* I believe extraordinary is an understatement, heh.

    Fabulous review, Megan! <33

  2. OMG TFIOS! Actually one of the greatest books I have ever read ❤
    I love how it makes you feel all the feels, and yeah, I never really cry in books either! I can literally count on one hand the number of books I've cried in, and yep TFIOS is one of them.
    The book is just so awesomely quotable too!
    Great review/letter Meg 😀

  3. Am I the only person left in the world now that hasn’t read this yet? I’m kind of scared to, I have to admit! It always takes me a lot of effort to have to force myself to pick up a book that deals with cancer. But I guess I eventually have to find out what all the fuss is about. And any book that can keep you up until 3AM and also make you cry has to be a good one. Lovely letter, Meg!

  4. Haha, we posted our reviews for this book on the same day! xD

    Loved the letter, Meg. This book was one of the few that made me sob unapologetically, too (even if I ultimately didn’t love it as much as you did). 🙂

  5. I’ve read TFiOS twice now, and both times it brought me to shaking, uncontrollable tears (once while I was on public transport…). There is so much to say about this book, but I think your review/letter captured all of it beautifully (and much more succinctly than my review, haha). ♥

  6. Hmm. I’ve been reading mixed reviews for this book… Though they all *do* admit that the story is pretty emotional and, ah, made readers experience sadness that feels like a bloody hole. And I like emotional reads so I might just try this out after I read John Green’s Looking for Alaska and Paper Towns 🙂 I think what is making me want to read John Green’s books, besides the reviews, is his YouTube channel, Vlogbrothers. It’s SO fun to watch 😛 Amazing letter to John Green, Meg!

  7. Bloody hole from a cannon is more accurate I think. I was in the same boat as you, as far as the crying 🙂 I know some people didn’t like how the characters acted, but I really enjoyed their intelligence and, yes, sometimes pretentious monologues. It’s like Green is standing against the teen stereotype and showing that we really do care about more than what the world believes we do.

  8. I can’t read this review because I still haven’t read this book yet ._.
    I really, really, really love John Green — I mean really, I’m a nerdfighter and all — but I haven’t read this book yet. I own it, but … I’m scared. I know it’ll make me sad and bring me to tears. I want to wait until I have a day that I read it through and have no where to go so that when my eyes are all red and stinging from tears it won’t matter.

  9. You too? He made you cry too :O? When I read it, I felt like the tear that came out was obligatory because everyone had been saying they’d cried and I’d be a monster if I hadn’t lol.

    I love letter reviews!

    Yes. The end(ing) is what gets you, I think. Even when you see it coming…

    Me too. I don’t generally cry either. It sounds like this book pulled quite a number on you. 3 AM and swollen tears and writing reviews? That’s dedication and the power of a book. Definitely a huge achievement — he should be proud!

    Yeah… HEAs. If only. I was wondering why you’d said unacceptably realistic, because I thought some of his characters – well, as they usually say, I think they’re sometimes too much for me to feel real. But they did have brilliant lines. And you can laugh in sad times; how else do you ever make it through?

    Eeee. Stabs and gunshots would probably not go as well with the cloud cover though. Lol. Wow. Well, have you read some of his other work? Maybe there’s that to try next? Glad this one could affect you so deeply though! A very touching letter review.

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