The Emotional Impact Of The Fault In Our Stars

‘The Fault In Our Stars’ by John Green as a book and as a movie is a real tear-jerker. We at Bookstr have decoded why it makes us feel so much.

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The Fault In Our Stars (TFIOS) was not meant to be a depressing book about two teenagers who had a torrid love interrupted by cancer. John Green intended for it to be a witty book about pure love that could not be tainted by anything—not even cancer. He wanted to show how young adults going through something so terrible feel the same emotions every other teenager does. And he succeeded.

We at Bookstr are taking a deep dive into how John Green managed to create a piece of fiction that could even emotionally stir a stone.

The Inspiration for The Fault in Our Stars

In 2000, John Green worked as a student chaplain at a children’s hospital. Working with children fighting cancer and chronic illnesses inspired him to start writing the novel. However, it was not until the death of Esther Earl in 2010 that he made a serious effort to write TFIOS. Esther was a close friend of Green and was fighting cancer. Her death and lost battle with thyroid cancer motivated Green to re-start writing The Fault In Our Stars. He dedicated the book, as well as attributed Hazel’s character to Esther. 

The Fault in Our Stars Book

When John Green published TFIOS in 2012, it quickly rose to fame. Unlike mainstream romance novels, TFIOS does not have a happy ending. Yet, it made the NY Times bestselling list for almost 150 consecutive weeks, 46 of them at No1. Additionally, the novel was received so well that John Green was named one of the Top 100 Most Influential People of the Year. 



Determined not to lose the essence of the book and with a very small budget of only $12 million, finding the right team was a challenge.

Josh Boone, the director of TFIOS, lost his best friend to cancer. Therefore he, along with several crew members, connected to the story on a personal level. Shailene Woodley was so determined to be on the set of TFIOS that she was willing to work in catering to be a part of this production. In fact, she wrote a 13,000-word letter to John Green explaining why she wanted to play Hazel. 


Every single person who worked to make this movie what it was, did it either because they resonated with the story or because they truly believed that this book had an important message that had to be shared. In fact, Shailene and Ansel went to meet people who were in similar situations as Hazel and Gus. This helped them connect with their characters more, and that certainly showed on screen!

John Green’s devotion to his friend, Shailene Woodley’s inherent belief in the message of the book, Josh Boone’s connection to the story, and the passion every member of the crew had for this book were pivotal in ensuring that the adaptation of The Fault In Our Stars, was not a generic one, but captured the true heart and soul of the book. 

While to many of us, reading and watching The Fault In Our Stars is merely a way of getting out the pent-up tears, to many more, it is a story that makes them feel seen and understood.

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