The Fault in Our Stars is the fourth solo novel by author John Green, published in January 2012. The story is narrated by a sixteen-year-old cancer patient named Hazel, 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.
On his Tumblr blog and his YouTube blog, Green stated that "the title is inspired by a famous line from Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar (Act 1, scene 2). The nobleman Cassius says to Brutus, 'The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, / But in ourselves, that we are underlings.'
In January 2012, the film rights to the book were acquired by Fox 2000. The novel was later adapted into a film directed by Josh Boone and starring Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, Nat Wolff, Laura Dern, Sam Trammell, Ken Watanabe and Rinko Kikuchi. That film was released in 2014 to critical acclaims.
Sixteen year-old Hazel Grace Lancaster is forced by her parents to attend a support group for children living with cancer. Hazel was diagnosed with Stage 4 Thyroid cancer with metastasis on her lungs when she was 13, but has managed to live with her disease thanks to an experimental drug called Phalanxifor. Hazel finished high school early, and has already begun to pursue a college education. Isaac, a friend, also attends the support group. Isaac lost his eye to cancer at a young age and has just learned that he must have the other removed, which will result in his permanent loss of vision. Isaac is best friends with Augustus "Gus" Waters, a former basketball star who lost his right leg to osteosarcoma, and is in remission. Hazel meets Gus through Isaac and the support group. Augustus decides to read 'An Imperial Affliction', Hazel's favorite book, and he becomes almost as obsessed with it as she is. In addition to countless text messages and phone calls, Hazel and Gus begin to spend more time together.
As their relationship deepens, Hazel begins to feel herself pulling away from Gus. Gus had saved his wish from "The Genies" (a fictionalized version of the Make a Wish Foundation), and wants to use it to fly himself and Hazel to Hiroshima, Japan to meet Shinji Hachimoto, the reclusive alcoholic author of 'An Imperial Affliction', a novel about a girl struggling with cancer (in this ATL the girl is Megumi, not Anna). While she is overjoyed by the proposal, Hazel decides that she does not want to pursue a relationship with Gus, so that she can minimize the pain her eventual death will cause him, as Gus lost his former girlfriend, Caroline Mathers to cancer.
Hazel realizes that she sees herself as a grenade, and her tearful admission of this scares her parents, although they do their best to comfort her. After waking up in agony due to pain in her head, Hazel is admitted to the hospital with serious pneumonia. During her week of convalescence, Gus visits several times, without her knowledge, and informs her that he cares about her more than he worries about the pain she could cause him. After her release, she realizes she's in love with him, and after some consultation with her doctors, she is cleared to go on the travel. She fly with Gus to Tokyo, then take a train to Hiroshima to meet Hachimoto.
On their first night in Hiroshima, they are treated to an elaborate meal, courtesy of Hachimoto. Their meeting with the author goes less smoothly, as it emerges that Yumiko Kitamura, his assistant, set it up without his full knowledge in the hopes that it would inspire him to give up alcohol and write again. Hachimoto is scornful and rude to the teens, and refuses to answer their questions. Distraught by their reception, Hazel and Augustus leave Hachimoto's house, accompanied by Kitamura. She takes them to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, where they kiss to thunderous applause.
However, their stay at Hiroshima takes a sad turn when Augustus reveals something tragic. The next few months become increasingly difficult for Hazel and Augustus, as the latter condition is worsening every day. Before dying, Gus and Isaac arrange a pre-funeral for him and have Hazel attend with an eulogy she previously wrote. Sometime after Augustus's funeral, Hazel discovers that Augustus may have been writing a sequel to An Imperial Affliction for her. As Hazel searches for the pages, she again encounters Hachimoto. He confides in Hazel that his novel was a literary attempt to reconcile with the death of his daughter, Megumi, who died from cancer when she was eight. Hazel tells Hachimoto to sober up and write another book.
A letter is shown in the end reveals the joyfulness that Gus said he enjoyed his time with Hazel.