Lessons and Quotes from John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars

Powerful Lessons

If you have a teenager in your house, you have heard about The Fault in Our Stars.  Bestselling author John Green’s fifth novel has sold millions of copies, won critical praise, been translated into 47 languages, and the movie adaptation is now in theaters everywhere.  The book and the movie have captivated audiences of all ages.

9780525478812A few years ago, I picked up a manuscript and began reading it (this was before the official release).  I wasn’t too far into the book when I realized its power.  It’s a story about two teenagers, told from sixteen year old Hazel’s point of view.  She is dealing with a cancer diagnosis and meets Gus, another teenager, in a cancer support group.  It explores many powerful life lessons.  No matter how brief our time may be here, we have the ability to live it to its fullest.

I had the opportunity to interview John soon after the book was released.  It was so new that he didn’t want to give away the plot.  In this interview, hear John Green:

  • Explain how he writes authentically from a 16 year old girl’s perspective
  • How he and his brother work to combat “world suck”
  • Whether he has a secret plan on social media (he has millions of devoted followers)
  • Why he once licked a cat
  • And, in one of my favorite answers ever, John did give a true “elevator” speech about the book (must see)


Life Lessons


I often write about leadership, success, and life lessons.  All of John’s books are filled with quotes on these important life themes.  Here are a few lessons from this book:

Today matters.

Search for love.

No matter how much time we have, we can impact others and the world.

Life is a struggle.

Find your authentic voice.

We all face challenges. Who we become is often based on how we handle what comes our way.

Enjoy the little things.

In a storm, you can handle much more than you think possible.

Wisdom is possible at any age.


John Green Quotes


Here are a few John Green quotes that will likely have you reflecting from this book and a few of his others:


“The marks humans leave are too often scars.” –John Green


“What is the point of being alive if you don’t at least try to do something remarkable?” –John Green


“We need never be hopeless because we can never be irreparably broken.” –John Green


“Pain is like a fabric: The stronger it is, the more it’s worth.” –John Green


“You are so busy being you that you have no idea how utterly unprecedented you are.” –John Green


“If you don’t imagine, nothing ever happens at all.” –John Green


“Books are the ultimate Dumpees: put them down and they’ll wait for you forever; pay attention to them and they always love you back.” –John Green


“Books are so special and rare and yours that advertising your affection feels like a betrayal.” –John Green


“Youth is counted sweetest by those who are no longer young.” –John Green


“We are greater than the sum of our parts.” –John Green

The Best Book Covers of 2012

Do you ever buy a book because you are attracted to its cover?

Admit it.  You’re walking past a row of books when something catches your attention.  You pause for a second, linger just a moment and, before you know it, you’re flipping through it and standing in line at a register.

Book covers can do that.  A well-designed book jacket invites you in.

Readers of this blog know that I love books and am surrounded by them.  Last year, my wife even surprised me with bookshelves in the last remaining room without them: our furnace room!  Yes, devices are terrific and mine get used plenty.  But, I love the feel of a real book and I enjoy the artistry of a good cover.

So, here is my list of best book covers for 2012.  (And, if you missed, here are the best book covers of 2011.) Let me know your favorite.  And, if you see a great one in 2013, leave a comment here so we can consider it for next year’s list.

(See also 5 Winning Lessons from Book Covers.)

Underwater Dogs by Seth Casteel




What’s Left of Me by Kat Zhang


Whats Left of Me

How Many Vlogging, Nerdfighting, Bestsellering Authors Do You Know?

Only a few weeks ago, I knew very little about John Green.  I was told he was a huge Vlogger, but that didn’t help since I had never heard of that either.  Vlogging, it turns out, is video blogging.  John Green and his brother, Hank, run an unbelievably popular video blog with over seven million views per month!  Years ago, they decided to give up all textual communications and launched a video conversation that soon went viral.  They also have an entire community of “Nerdfighters,” dedicated to fighting what they call “world suck” (apparently anything in the world that is the opposite of awesomeness.)