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What Books Are like The Fault in Our Stars?
Who says love is bound to time? Elizabeth Browning in her famous sonnet quoted that ‘I would but love thee better after death.’ Falling in love is noble and can't be deterred by bodily weaknesses or complications. The Fault in Our Stars is a novel in that vein that has etched a place in our hearts.
Authored by John Green, the story follows an unusual couple who are stricken with cancer. It is about the duo’s acceptance as they come to terms with the fact that this is how they have to deal with life. This acceptance of fate and the denial of weakness is what makes it so heartfelt and relatable.
The realistic portrayal of the character’s emotional motivations and choices avoids the traps of cliché and melodrama. So, let us take a look at some books like The Fault in Our Stars that define the nature of unconditional love.
1. A Walk to Remember
A Walk to Remember is a young adult romance novel that has a lot more to offer than other works that fill this genre. This tale was written by Nicholas Sparks in the year 1999. The author has inexplicable popularity as all his books have been The New York Times Bestsellers, and this one is no exception. The book was extremely successful, thanks to its emotional and tender content.
The author projects a realistic couple who are poles apart from each other in a tale set in North Carolina, America. The book is written in first person perspective from the point of view of the lad. The narrator is a young boy from 1950s and the author is personally attached to this novel’s muse.
Coming to the story, it revolves around two school teens falling in love under unusual circumstances. The plot is beautifully crafted with high morals and the power of love as the crux. Landon Carter is a popular kid whereas Jamie Sullivan is the daughter of the senator and is considered as miss goody-two-shoes. They have nothing in common, yet the heart touching things that Landon does for his beloved makes her fall for him.
The book was a real hit back when it came out and still stands out as a classic. A story that is so intense and touching that it won’t be forgotten anytime soon. The biggest plus points for A Walk to Remember are the way the potential of love is tested in multiple instances and the ultimate character transformation readers get to witness. Not to forget that the language of the book is easily acceptable by the readers. Unsurprisingly, the book was adapted into a motion picture of the same name, in the year 2002.
If you're looking for books like The Fault in Our Stars, A Walk to Remember should be your best bet.
2. P.S. I Love You
P.S I Love You was the debut novel from the Irish author, Cecelia Ahren. This book would leave the readers transformed as they would never look at love the same way again. This romantic masterpiece revolves around a beautiful relationship - a bond that stays glued even after the death of a loved one.
The author expresses her feelings through the short use of epistolary tactics in between. The story is about a married couple Jerry and Holly, who are immensely in love with each other, as they go through hardships together and fight over a few matters. The twist in the tale comes in the form of Jerry developing a brain tumor that leads to his sudden demise. Knowing about his approaching death, Jerry plans something for Holly that can stay with her after he leaves her forever.
What makes the book so special is the fact that we go through a different perspective of an ideal relationship that we rarely find. At some point, it is extremely heartbreaking as the lead character is filled with sudden loneliness and seclusion. It’s not easy for a person to move on and mingle with the world again after losing a spouse. But tumultuous emotions aside, the book also beautifully expresses the author’s viewpoint.
The novel, which was published in Ireland in 2004, soon reached the best selling status in the country. Eventually, the book sold over 25 million copies worldwide.
3. We Were Liars
We Were Liars is a 2014 young adult romance novel that was nominated as one of the best top ten young adult books. This book has an intriguing story and may require the readers to give it a little time for completely understanding it.
Set in a lovely beach during the summer vacations, Caden Sinclair is at the heart of the story. She is a young girl from a rich patriarchal family who loves to spend her holidays with her cousins. However, the family is not all that it seems to be. An incident one summer afternoon changes everything for Cadence.
We Were Liars was the first published book of the author, E. Lockheart. Interestingly, the author had a sudden departure from the regular interest of her writing subject. One of the most interesting facets of the book is that it seems to defy genres.
To some, it is romance, while others will read it as a thriller with tiny moments of humor. Other than this intriguing aspect, the author has also kept things very realistic and has given us a detailed description of the map work of the private island owned by the Sinclair family.
She has also exploited the Sinclair family tree with her theories about families. However, the biggest takeaway is the ending of the book. It's so unexpected that it leaves us aghast, almost as if we are stranded on the island with the characters. This shock is best summarised by the author as she said ‘if someone questions you about the ending, just LIE.’
4. Me Earl and the Dying Girl
Written by Jesse Andrews in 2010, This award-winning novel focuses on a life that gets cut short due to an incurable illness. The plot revolves around three people trying to settle their scores in life and one of them, unfortunately, is dying.
The character in question is Rachel, as her world collapses and sadness pervades her mind. She befriends two guys, who try to do something for the girl before she dies.
The novel has a contemporary vibe to it as it uses saucy and humorous language. It is open to all sorts of discussion related to drugs, cigarettes, sex, and boredom. The book considers cinematography a vital part of our lives and concludes that the body can be damaged but the friendship probably remains untouched.
Behind it all, there is a deep philosophical musing conveying the message that when our own life feels less significant, we try to make a difference in the lives of those who are counting their days. The author stresses the importance of getting out of our comfort zone and embracing hardships life showers at us suddenly.
The interaction with the readers is so uniquely presented that we ourselves become a potent part of the theories explained. Those looking for a book like The Fault in Our Stars will not be disappointed.
5. Me Before You
First published in January 2012, Me Before You is an alluring romantic novel written by British author and journalist, Jojo Moyes. It takes us through a journey where we witness some massive character transformations.
Set up in England, this novel is a story of a free-spirited girl, Louisa Clark. Her family has not been doing well financially and the circumstances lead her to find a job as a caretaker to this rich household of the Traynor family. Enter William Traynor, a handsome man paralyzed by an accident. He is disappointed and feels dejected after the tragedy and is, of course, the very person Louisa is supposed to take care of.
After a lot of turmoil, she tries her best to understand Will’s situation, which slowly leads to them getting close with each other. The budding theme of deception and everyone acting in their good faith reaches the reader's heart. The tragic theme with a beautiful message strikes a chord with readers.
One goes through all sorts of emotions while reading every chapter of the book. Primarily written from Louisa’s point of view, the beauty of the story lies in the addition of catharsis that swells our hearts.
However, if you were to compare this book with The Fault in Our Stars, there is one major difference. Instead of the concept of acceptance of fate, this novel concentrates more upon the topic of euthanasia. Understandably, due to the above-mentioned ideas, the book was criticized by some for misusing paralysis victims.
6. Everything, Everything
Everything, Everything is a young adult fiction novel that talks about the pleasures of little things in life. The debut of American author, Nicola Yoon, it was a success among youngsters.
It’s a heartfelt tale about a young girl who has been leading an atrocious, lonesome existence as she has a rare disease, which forbids her to step outside. The author expertly projects her feelings of isolation through her words, which she utters to her mom and her nurse.
We can’t help but feel pity as she craves to be able to breathe free air. However, her tragic life takes a turn when a boy named Olly enters the picture. The book focuses on the insecurities and the other side of this cocooned world in detail, which is astonishing.
While the plot lacks in terms of engagement, it makes up for with some unusual scenarios. A big plus is the characters who are strong and try to exercise their power way beyond their reach.
7. If I Stay
If I Stay is a work of Gayle Forman, who is an award-winning author, with many of his books making the New York Times best seller’s list. The book received a lot of attention and positive responses the year it came out. The novel’s setting is contemporary and guided with a silver lining.
With the virtue of its characters, it discusses the importance of choices. It revolves around a girl who has suffered an accident, which leads her to change all her priorities and she is left with the liberty to choose. The book helps us realize the inherent importance of life itself. The style is subjective as it deals with serious and deep concepts of life and death.
This might sound personal to many readers. At times, though, the book’s story turns monotonous. As the protagonist dwells on life and death, it’s difficult at times to understand her complex statements. The ideas of love, family, passion, music, and human value covers the entire storyline.
Appropriate for 14 plus readers, the inspirational message that it’s so wonderful to live for the sake of life itself makes it a compelling read. It argues that unpredictable moments in life are sure to come and cannot be stopped, but these shades should not stop us from living. The potential of true love is portrayed in the story, which itself is a selfless plea.
The book became an international bestseller, which was also turned into a successful motion picture with the same name. If you're looking for a book like The Fault in Our Stars, If I Stay should not disappoint.
8. Dying to Know You
Dying to Know You is an emotional book on self-discovery, written by Aiden Chambers. It is a simple story that believes in cultivating the humane side of others and is a rather quick read. The story has been presented from the writer’s point of view, who along with a dyslexic boy and his girlfriend plays an important role.
Carl is dyslexic and is certain that if his girlfriend, Fiorella, gets to know about it, she will leave him. Unable to answer her requests of writing to her regularly, he seeks the help of an old writer.
The novel talks about how the mere inability to read and write is not enough to crumble love, and how it is the feeling that truly matters. The book has been written in a realistic manner with an emphasis on dialogues. Moreover, it is beautiful to see how the mind of an experienced 75-year-old man’s works in tandem with young boys.
It’s about impression and understanding friendship and love. The best thing about the novel is that far from resolving teenage dating issues, it deals with the acceptance of our own true self, much like the situation in The Fault in Our Stars.
9. The Lovely Bones
The Lovely Bones is a tragic story about a sad heart who's holding on to a belief system. It's written by the talented author Alice Sebold, who makes America proud with her masterpiece. The tale weaves through the lives of everyone alive and dead. The book is all about the concept of karma and how certain decisions can lead to certain consequences befalling various people.
The story is narrated by a young girl, Susie Salmon, who had a very short life. Susie is killed and the things around her change with her invisibility and her acceptance into the great beyond. The author has her own feelings about the afterlife, which she presents with a description of the pure home of God.
If we try to understand the book with a grim depth, it brings new insight and a deep sense of satisfaction. Not only that, but the book will carry the reader through a plethora of emotions. The frenzy of cold-blooded murders will enrage, while Susie’s tragic testimonies will leave one saddened. Thankfully, the author treats all these complex emotions at a steady pace.
There are a lot of emotional reconciliations that brings a family together, which creates great hook points. The hardship a family goes through after the sudden demise of the little girl is heart-wrenchingly presented. Susie makes us realize the importance of life and how lovely it is to keep living
The book focuses on Susie’s unwillingness to leave the foreshadow of her parents. While her motivations for doing so may not be very clear initially, she eventually realizes that it’s not the vengeance she wants to stick around for but actually the love of her parents and her first kiss.
Did I miss out on any other good books like The Fault in Our Stars? Let me know in the comments section.
Shaloo Walia from India on April 08, 2019:
Have read 4 out of these 9 books. Added the rest on my TBR list. Thanks for sharing!