The Fault In Our Stars (Movie Vs Book): 4 Pleasant Surprises And 4 Utter Disappointments

Beware that when you step into the theater to see this brilliant movie, everyone around you at some point will be sobbing hysterically and there is nothing you can do to comfort them. Though the movie The Fault In Our Stars was done beautifully, there were still parts in the book that were left out leaving fans wondering why it wasn’t considered for the movie; or if it was considered, why it didn’t make the cut.

If you have only seen The Fault In Our Stars movie, you are truly missing out on a deeper story that the book has to offer. Only so much can be portrayed by facial expressions on screen. The book provides all the internal dialogue that goes with each smile, giggle, or stare.  With that being said, both the book and the movie will just ruin your life, leaving you with a new appreciation for the time you have on this earth.

Needless to say, it is a privilege to have your heart broken by Hazel Grace and Augustus Waters.

Be forewarned that SPOILERS are definitely ahead for both the book and the movie. These are the 4 ways the movie beautifully portrayed the story in the book, and 4 things that left you upset and curious as to why they were left out.

Let’s start by looking at 4 things that enhanced the story:

4. Isaac’s Trophy Scene

20th Century Fox

First of all, Isaac was portrayed perfectly in this movie. Whoever was in charge of casting deserves a pat on the back. Isaac added just the right amount of comic relief to this sad story and the movie made his character even more believable as a person.

Going into the scene where Isaac has his heart torn from his chest by Monica, you didn’t know how depressing it was actually going to be or if they were going to try and make it a bit lighthearted. Lucky for fans they really took this scene and made it flawless.

Gus gives Isaac some trophies to smash up that help him vent some of his anger/sadness and you can’t help but laugh out loud through this entire scene. While Gus and Hazel are trying to have a cute flirty conversation about the book “An Imperial Afflcition,” all you hear are the trophies being destroyed in the background. Isaac finds comfort with his destruction and becomes more and more satisfied with each trophy victim.

Instead of feeling bad for Isaac by the end of his escapade, you actually were happy that he had friends like Hazel and Gus to be there for him.

3. Amsterdam Trip

Amsterdam 1A
20th Century Fox

From the time the plane took flight to the heart wrenching bench scene at the end of their trip, you were captivated by Hazel and Augustus’s love story. The movie included all the right moments of the Amsterdam trip and actually seeing the emotions on their face made going to see this movie 100% worth it.

At Oranjee, hearing Augustus say the words “I love you Hazel Grace” just gives you gooesbumps. When they are sitting at the table finishing dessert and he starts talking about oblivion, and the inevitable, and loving her, your heart just melts; but when you see Hazel tearing up, you are just done for.

The Anne Frank Museum was filmed above and beyond expectations. The movie really showed Hazel’s drive and determination with each step that she climbed. In the movie, this struggle to get up the stairs looked ten times harder on her lungs, than it seemed in the book. Even though you could really see Hazel’s restrictions and how much her lungs hold her back from certain things, the movie never portrayed her as being weak; which made the whole scene very inspiring and it clearly defined Hazel’s personality.

Granted there was no spring snow, they didn’t eat outside at Oranjee, and the fight with Peter Van Houton wasn’t as dramatic like in the book. But you seem to forget about all that when you see Augustus’s giddy smile when he wakes after losing his virginity.

2. Van Houton Personally Delivered the Letter

Peter Van Houton
20th Century Fox

In the book, Van Houton goes to Gus’s funeral, makes snarky remarks, mildly stalks Hazel, and finally goes back to Amsterdam to drown in his sorrows. Later Hazel finds out that Gus sent a letter to Van Houton leading his assistant to scan the letter and email it back to her. It turns out Gus asked Van Houton for help to write Hazel’s eulogy, and it is the sweetest most heart felt letter you have ever seen.

Now in the movie, Van Houton does show up to the funeral to make snarky remarks and mildly stalk Hazel, but it’s so that he can personally give her the letter that Gus wrote him. This is such a small change in the story but it truly makes more sense. In the book, Van Houton just goes to the funeral almost seeking pity and forgiveness from Hazel, but in the movie Van Houton’s presence at the funeral really seems to be for Gus and to give Hazel something many people want but never get; closure.

1. Last Word of the Movie: “Okay.”

20th Century Fox

This may seem silly, but ending the movie with “okay” just felt like the obvious way to conclude this love story. Isaac said “always” to Monica constantly and after seeing how that turned out, Hazel and Gus both knew that “always” wasn’t for them especially since they knew death was coming sooner rather than later. “Okay” was as close as they were going to get to “always” which was enough for them.

The book ends with Hazel saying “I do,” after reading Augustus’s eulogy that he brilliantly conspired for her. But at the end of the movie, Hazel is laying out in the yard reading the eulogy and it ends with Augustus saying “Okay Hazel Grace?” All you need to hear is her respond with “Okay,” and you can walk out of that movie with a smile on your face.


Now let’s take a look at 4 things that were huge disappointments:

4. Hazel’s friend Kaitlyn

20th Century Fox

In the book Hazel has a friend Kaitlyn that she hangs out and chats with occasionally. Kaitlyn as a character doesn’t really add much to the story. She is your regular 16-year-old teenage girl who acts slightly older than her age, but she is nothing special.

The reason why it was disappointing to not have her in the movie was because she proved that Hazel could have friends. She could hang out with girls like Kaitlyn and chat about boys, but she chooses not to. Hazel would rather just stay at home, read, watch America’s Next Top Model, and sleep.

Even though Hazel feels like Kaitlyn doesn’t treat her differently, Hazel is just too checked out of normal teenage life. As Hazel puts it, there is an “unbridgeable distance” between her and her old friends that she had prior to having cancer. Knowing this said a lot about Hazel’s character.

3. Augustus’s Previous Girlfriend

Gus GF 2
20th Century Fox

In the book Gus had a previous girlfriend named Caroline Mathers. She died about a year before Gus met Hazel. Gus explains that they met in the hospital when they both were sick. She had a brain tumor that made her personality very cruel and he only stayed with her because he didn’t want to be that jerk that broke up with someone who was about to die. In the movie there is not one word mentioned or even a hint that Caroline ever existed.

The reason why Caroline is important is because 1) Caroline and Hazel looked A LOT a like. The whole first scene when Gus and Hazel first meet, he was starring at Hazel because he couldn’t believe the resemblance between them. He was staring out of curiosity and not just because she was beautiful. 2) On Caroline’s “condolences” wall, the online posting board where people could write their goodbye’s to Caroline, there was a line that really stuck with Hazel; “It feels like we were all wounded in your battle.”

This line is where Hazel comes up with the “Grenade” idea that she will hurt anyone close to her after she dies, and this is the reason she starts to distance herself from Gus. She needs to minimize the casualties.

2. There was No “Fault In Our Stars” Quote

20th Century Fox

It is baffling that nowhere in the movie do they mention, “The fault in our stars.” It is the title of this whole story for f*cks sake. Since the title actually has meaning to the story, there should have been more of an effort to slide it into the movie somewhere.

Basically Augustus wrote another letter to Van Houton explaining that Hazel was keeping her distance because she is sick and doesn’t want to hurt him. So in Van Houton’s response letter, he goes off on one of his eloquent word-vomit episodes where he quotes Shakespeare:

“Were she better or you sicker, then the stars would not be so terribly crossed, but it is the nature of stars to cross, and never was Shakespeare more wrong than when he had Cassius note, “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars/but in ourselves.” But there is no shortage of fault to be found amid our stars.”

It is an absolutely perfect quote for this beautifully tragic love story, but once again it was no where to be found in the movie. Terrible.

1. Augustus’s Death

Gus Death
20th Century Fox

If you completely ignored the warning that spoilers were among this article, you are in for a rude awakening. Yes, Augustus Waters dies, oblivion is inevitable, and life just isn’t fair for TFIOS fans. The movie sugarcoated his death in a way. It was sad, quick, and unjustified; the end. In the book, Gus’s death was a much more harsh reality and it was just excruciatingly painful to read.

Once they got back from Amsterdam, Hazel would go over to spend time with Gus every day. The more medications that Gus was on, the more deranged he became. It got to a point where once she found Gus in his room having peed himself, while being completely delirious. The more meds he took to take away the pain, the more his quality of life faded. Every time he called in the middle of the night, a fear would rush over Hazel and she would pray that it was him and not his Mom calling to say tonight was the night he died. When he called to have her pick him up from the gas station, she found him covered in vomit, crying and humiliated.

After Gus died there was a service in the church with an open coffin.  Hazel was able to see him one last time. She was happy to see Gus was still Gus. She was able to tell him she loves him, give him a kiss on the cheek, and place his cigarettes in the coffin with him.  After the service she didn’t even want to go to the funeral because she didn’t want people to see her cry and she didn’t want her parents to see what they will eventually be going through. But, she went anyway to support her parents and Gus’s parents.

Honorable Mention – Utter Disappointment: Hazel and her Family

20th Century Fox

Yes the book is about Hazel and Gus’s love story but it was also equally about Hazel’s journey with cancer and her fears of leaving her family behind which the movie glossed over a little bit.

In the book, between Hazel’s Dad always crying from fear of losing her, her mom’s full time job of hovering over her, and Hazel “trying” to have a life outside of cancer, it really takes a toll on everyone. Hazel thinks about her parents all the time and wonders how she can leave them without ruining their lives financially and emotionally.


Both medias were marvelous in there own way and I thoroughly enjoyed both of them. I would love to hear others opinions of what they loved seeing up on screen or what the book might have portrayed better.

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Buy the book here.

8 thoughts on “The Fault In Our Stars (Movie Vs Book): 4 Pleasant Surprises And 4 Utter Disappointments”

  1. Thank you for this article! I read the whole book today and fell in love with it so much that I planned a picnic date at the Funky Bones for tomorrow evening. 🙂

    Then I watched the movie (meaning that yes, I got to cry my eyes out twice in one day). When the movie ended, I had to go straight to Google because I could not believe that they cut out the part that explains the title of the book! I thought for sure I somehow just missed it since it would be absolutely ludicrous to leave that out. So thank you for letting me know that I’m not the only one feeling that way. I also completely agree that the Caroline Mathers part of the storyline was too important to be cut.

    With a book as amazing and touching as “The Fault in Our Stars,” I wish they would have just made it a 2.5 hour movie so that they could get it right. Now all the people who hear me rave about how much this book touched my life will never understand because most of them will probably only ever know this watered-down movie version of the story. *sigh*

    Other than that, I still thought it was an amazing movie.

    1. Sara!!!!

      Thank you so much for the comment! I seriously could not agree with you more. I think only people who have read the book should be allowed to see the movie hahaa.
      Also, I am so super jealous that you get to go to Funky Bones! I hope it is just as beautiful as Hazel makes it out to be.

      I am here to bring justice to the book world, so feel free to let me know if I ever skip over anything you feel is super important from books to come!!
      (I too don’t have anyone who quite understands how attached I get to books, or why I get so offended when the story isn’t told correctly)
      P.S. If you liked The Fault in Our Stars, I highly recommend Eleanor & Park, by Rainbow Rowell. Not as sad, but a touching heart wrenching love story.

      Thanks again for reaching out!!
      Shaina <3

      1. Visiting the Funky Bones was a lot of fun. They were a lot further apart than I was expecting; I don’t know how kids jump across them so easily. LOL

        I haven’t read Rainbow’s book yet, but I’ve actually been following her on FaceBook ever since I ran across her article about reading addiction. Brilliant!

      1. Tammy, do you mean the two video game-based books that Augustus gives her to read? Or the one that she reads out loud to him? Or the ones she quotes from memory?

  2. I hadn’t read the book. I saw the film on a plane, but they took the iPad away before I finished. Hazel and Augustus were in Amsterdam, just before re scene on the bench. Although I did spoil it and snuck a peek at some of the later scenes including a little of the “prefuneral”. Then I tried to get the DVD, to finish watching it, but it wasn’t out yet. So I got the book to find out what happens until I could watch the rest of the film.
    Re “utter disappointments” –
    I actually thought the story was better without Kaitlyn. I know you think the book shows that Hazel could hang out with her friend but chooses not to, and that this shows a strength of her character. I actually found the interactions with Kaitlyn a bit irritating, and that they took away from Hazel’s character. It felt like Kaitlyn was a prop and a filler – just there for Hazel to bounce ideas off, and then to be put back in the box. For me, it felt like Kaitlyn was wedged in the story to illustrate a point and to add to Hazel’s character. It felt forced. It also makes Hazel sound a bit aloof, pretentious and self centred. If Kaitlyn doesn’t judge Hazel or treat her differently, why doesn’t Hazel care about how Kaitlyn feels? Why doesn’t she worry about devastating Kaitlyn when the grenade explodes? In the movie, the isolation is shown better, and it makes more sense that her mum is so insistant on her attending support group.
    I have to say though, I did think that they should have shown in the film more Augustus hanging out with regular friends. He has gone back to school, he is sociable and so concerned with everyone liking him, it makes no sense for him to isolate himself.
    Re Gus’s former GF – John Green and the director talked about this in DVD commentary: they thought that if they showed this in the film, it would be hard to explore it in a short time of a film and it would make it look like Gus has a thing for sick girls. I thought it was better that he was starring at her because there was “something about her” as opposed to her reminding him of his ex. Also, it made perfect sense for me, seeing this in the film, before reading the book, that Hazel would come up with the grenade analogy after nearly dying and being in ICU.

    I agree that Van Houten bringing the letter which was emailed makes more sense. It doesn’t make sense that Gus could have got the hand written letter mailed in the first place. It also makes more sense that it was a part of Gus’s correspondence with Van Houten.

  3. I have to say I cried for about a week when I read the book. I seriously couldn’t handle it. When I watched the movie though I didn’t shed a tear. Call me crazy if you’d like. I think there were scenes done beautifully but overall I personally didn’t get a chance to fall in love with Hazel Grace and Augustus Waters like I did in the book. In the book you feel the raw emotion, the pain, the loss, the pure happiness, the love and every emotion in between. The movie portrays Hazel Grace and Gus’s love story but it doesn’t really let you see the meaning so much. I guess what I’m getting at is yes I would have loved to seen Kaitlyn, Gus’s previous girlfriend, the fault in our stars quote. Though for me it isn’t about what I needed or wanted to see it was about the feeling. All the emotion I just feel wasn’t quite portrayed well enough in the movie. Yet as I said before there were some beautiful scenes (Dutch picnic at funky bones, trip to Amsterdam, throwing eggs, pre-funeral. You get the point). So I still thought the movie was really good even though I don’t find it as sad as some might. Maybe I’m crazy and cold hearted who knows, oh well.

    I also wanted to thank you for writing this great article. I honestly found almost everything you said true. You honestly just deserve a hug for this article. Good job, keep writing.

    ~ Jaden Tribble age 12 xoxo

  4. Okay? (I have not seen the movie yet, tho I own it on DVD) When the movie came out, I put it on my “movie to watch when it comes out” list. I have a weird phobia about movie seats so I never see a movie in the theaters. Then I started hearing about differences in the book vs. Movie. I did a wonderful job about not listening, or reading about them. I have adult ADD….bought the book several months ago, but finally was able to read the book in its entirety a couple days ago. Not hearing any spoilers, u can imagine my jaw dropping when Augustus reveals he is dieing to Hazel Grace, or Just Hazel. And there was too many moments to count when I had to put the book down due to crying and couldnt see the words. I just googled book vs. Movie cuz I HAD to know which was better. I think I’m happy for reading the book first. Since I only remembered what Hazel looked like, for Gus, I pictured Max (Alex Saxon) from MTV’s Finding Carter show….so its a little weird to finally see who the movie portrayed as Gus. Also, mom got me the Movie as a gift, and haven’t unwrapped it, so don’t know if he is shown on the cover. When I finished the book, it left me wanting to know more about how Hazels life was with the Cancer etc. I have nothing to “word vomit”, wish I had something clever to say, other than this book was awesome.

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