There does not seem like there is one much could do to recommend a book about a couple of teenagers falling in love after meeting at a cancer support group. But despite the subject matter, there is still plenty of fun and life in John Green's The Fault in Our Stars, though at its core -- and no matter any outcome -- it is still a heart-breaker of a story.
I appreciated the brashness of the story and characters. Nothing is sugar-coated, even when humor is used at a defense mechanism, what the characters are saying and feeling regarding what is essentially their likely death sentence rings true, whether it is the lack of hope or personal doubts concerning an after-life.
My quibble is that the star-struck teenagers, Hazel and Augustus, are too eloquent... too philosophical, too wise, too witty... while it never jolted me out of the book, it was noticeable here and there. Perhaps it is a side-effect (as the characters love to say) of cancer and dying, but it just brought in a more adult hand/voice into the novel. Oh, by the way, this book is "young-adult" fiction... a classification I continue to dislike as there is nothing age-exclusive about it (or many of the books in this genre/"box").
It was pretty much impossible not to like/love this book. Again, the subject matter makes it difficult to consider the alternative... plus Green throws in a sub-plot re: a love of reading and books, that even makes it more endearing. But while pulling heart-strings always seems to earn bonus points, it doesn't always have a high degree of difficulty... and I am not sure it is as great a book as reader rated... at the time of this writing, it had a stratospheric 4.61 average rating on Goodreads, the highest amongst nearly 200 books I've logged on there... it's not that good/great... but still quite good, enjoyable, heart-breaking and overall a pretty easy recommendation.