Elements of young adult literature

Topics and language

John Green’s novel The Fault in Our Stars is considered part of the young adult genre. Typical of young adult novels is the presence of themes that concern young people, described from the perspective of a teenager. Such themes are for example, growing up, friendship and, of course, first love. The novels often deal with questions about a person’s place in the world, about who one is and who one wants to be, what young people want from life, and how they see the world. But the works also deal with serious motifs, such as illness, death, and loss. Young adult literature is often characterized by a special youth language (see analysis "Youth Language").

John Green's young adult novel addresses these issues, as the author explained in a November 2012 interview, "Adolescents not only experience first kiss, first love, first sex, they also experience first death, first loss, and there is a great rawness and directness in that experience" Source. (Zeit Online, "Goddamn Moral" By Christian Staas, November 15, 2012.) The tragic plot focuses mainly on the story of two American teenagers suffering from different forms of cancer. The first-person narrator, 16-year-old Hazel, tells of how she deals with her cancer, what experiences she has with her environment, how she experiences her first love with 17-year-old Augustus, and how she has to go through and cope with the painful loss of her lover.


Hazel is diagnosed with incurable cancer at the age of thirteen (Chapter 2, 13%) and since then her life has been dominated by her cancer, experiencing severe pain that she has to live with all the time. She has not gone to school for three years, and is isolated and lonely. Her best friends are her parents. Her mother believes Hazel suffers from depression because she spends most of her time at home, reading or watching America's Next Top Model on television, and because she inevitably preoccupies herself with thoughts of death, knowing she will die early: " 'I’...

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