Teen & Young Adult Books similar to The Fault in Our Stars.

Published on July 5th, 2014 | by Bright Kids Books


21 Books similar to The Fault in Our Stars

So you read John Green’s novel and didn’t want it to end. Fear not, here is a list of 21 books similar to The Fault in Our Stars.

We’ve compiled this list of epic and engaging Young Adult books that will have you on the edge of your seat – or bed. Depending on where you prefer to read. While these are books similar to The Fault in Our Stars, they’re not TOO similar. Each is unique and delightful and will have you laughing and tearful in equal measures. And just like Hazel Grace and Augustus Waters you’ll wish the characters were real… and that you could maybe meet up sometime. And that’s what makes these books similar to The Fault in Our Stars awesome. Happy reading!

A list of 21 books similar to The Fault in Our Stars
* in no particular order


1. Eleanor & Park
by Rainbow Rowell

Eleanor is the new girl in town and her wild red hair and patchwork outfits are not helping her blend in. She ends up sitting next to Park on the bus, whose tendencies towards comic books don’t jibe with the rest of his family’s love of sports. They sit in awkward silence every day until Park notices that Eleanor is reading his comics over his shoulder; he begins to slide them closer to her side of the seat and thus begins their love story. Their relationship grows gradually – making each other mixed tapes (it is 1986 after all) and discussing X-Men characters – until they both find themselves looking forward to the bus ride more than any other part of the day. Things aren’t easy: Eleanor is bullied at school and then goes home to a threatening family situation; Park’s parents do not approve of Eleanor’s awkward ways. Ultimately, though, this is a book about two people who just really, really like each other and who believe that they can overcome any obstacle standing in the way of their happiness. It’s a gem of a novel and one of the books similar to The Fault in Our Stars.


2. Speak
by Laurie Halse Anderson

Since the beginning of the school year, high school freshman Melinda has found that it’s been getting harder and harder for her to speak out loud: “My throat is always sore, my lips raw…. Every time I try to talk to my parents or a teacher, I sputter or freeze…. It’s like I have some kind of spastic laryngitis.” What could have caused Melinda to suddenly fall mute? Could it be due to the fact that no one at school is speaking to her because she called the cops and got everyone busted at the seniors’ big end-of-summer party? Or maybe it’s because her parents’ only form of communication is Post-It notes written on their way out the door to their nine-to-whenever jobs. While Melinda is bothered by these things, deep down she knows the real reason why she’s been struck mute. Laurie Halse Anderson’s first novel is a stunning and sympathetic tribute to the teenage outcast. The triumphant ending, in which Melinda finds her voice, is cause for cheering (while many readers might also shed a tear or two). After reading Speak, it will be hard for any teen to look at the class scapegoat again without a measure of compassion and understanding for that person – who may be screaming beneath the silence. One of our favorite books dealing with adversity for teens and Young Adults. And definitely one of the awesome books similar to The Fault in Our Stars.


3. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
by Mark Haddon

Mark Haddon’s bitterly funny debut novel, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, is a murder mystery of sorts – one told by an autistic version of Adrian Mole. Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions. He cannot stand to be touched. And he detests the color yellow.

This improbable story of Christopher’s quest to investigate the suspicious death of a neighborhood dog makes for one of the most captivating, unusual, and widely heralded novels in recent years. Haddon’s novel is a startling performance. This is the sort of book that could turn condescending, or exploitative, or overly sentimental, or grossly tasteless very easily, but Haddon navigates those dangers with a sureness of touch that is extremely rare among first-time novelists. Simply brilliant, and a great insight into the autism spectrum and one of the most original books dealing with adversity. A real page turner, you’ll probably read it in one sitting… just like many of these other books similar to The Fault in Our Stars.


4. Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret
by Judy Blume

If anyone tried to determine the most common rite of passage for preteen girls in North America, a girl’s first reading of Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret would rank near the top of the list. Judy Blume and her character Margaret Simon were the first to say out loud (and in a book even) that it is normal for girls to wonder when they are ever going to fill out their training bras. Puberty is a curious and annoying time. Girls’ bodies begin to do freakish things – or, as in Margaret’s case, they don’t do freakish things nearly as fast as girls wish they would. Adolescents are often so relieved to discover that someone understands their body-angst that they miss one of the book’s deeper explorations: a young person’s relationship with God. Margaret has a very private relationship with God, and it’s only after she moves to New Jersey and hangs out with a new friend that she discovers that it might be weird to talk to God without a priest or a rabbi to mediate. Margaret just wants to fit in! Who is God, and where is He when she needs Him? She begins to look into the cups of her training bra for answers…


5. The Diary of a Young Girl
by Anne Frank

Anne Frank’s The Diary of a Young Girl is among the most enduring documents of the twentieth century. Since its publication in 1947, it has been read by tens of millions of people all over the world. It remains a beloved and deeply admired testament to the indestructible nature of the human spirit. This new edition restores diary entries omitted from the original edition, revealing a new depth to Anne’s dreams, irritations, hardships, and passions. Like many young girls, she often found herself in disagreements with her mother. And like any teenager, she veered between the carefree nature of a child and the full-fledged sorrow of an adult. Anne emerges as more real, more human, and more vital than ever. Simultaneously joyous and heartbreaking, if you’ve never read this remarkable autobiography, do so. If you have read it, you owe it to yourself to read it again. Both inspiring and tragically sad, Anne Frank is a ‘real’ person who shares many similar traits to (the fictional) Hazel Grace. This is definitely one of the key reads if you’re looking for books similar to The Fault in Our Stars.
* Not to mention that the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam was the scene of  Hazel & Gus’s first kiss.


6. Wintergirls
by Laurie Halse Anderson

Lia and Cassie are best friends, wintergirls frozen in fragile bodies, competitors in a deadly contest to see who can be the thinnest. But then Cassie suffers the ultimate loss – her life – and Lia is left behind, haunted by her friend’s memory and racked with guilt for not being able to help save her. In her most powerfully moving novel since Speak, award-winning author Laurie Halse Anderson explores Lia’s struggle, her painful path to recovery, and her desperate attempts to hold on to the most important thing of all: hope. Surely one of the most moving and poignant examples of  books similar to The Fault in Our Stars.


7. Wonder
by R. J. Palacio

I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse.

Wonder is a rare gem of a novel – beautifully written and populated by characters who linger in your memory and heart. August Pullman is a 10-year-old boy who likes Star Wars and Xbox, ordinary except for his jarring facial anomalies. Home-schooled all his life, August heads to public school for fifth grade and he is not the only one changed by the experience – something we learn about first-hand through the narratives of those who orbit his world. August’s internal dialogue and interactions with students and family ring true, and though remarkably courageous he comes across as a sweet, funny boy who wants the same things others want: friendship, understanding, and the freedom to be himself. Wonder is amazing, and awesome, and one of our favorite books similar to The Fault in Our Stars.


8. Out of my mind
by Sharon Draper

Eleven-year-old Melody is not like most people. She cannot walk or talk, but she has a photographic memory; she can remember every detail of everything she has ever experienced. Her head is like a video camera that is always recording. Always. And there’s no delete button. She’s the smartest kid in her whole school — but no one knows it. Most people – her teachers and doctors included – don’t think she’s capable of learning, and up until recently her school days consisted of listening to the same preschool-level alphabet lessons again and again. But Melody refuses to be defined by cerebral palsy. And she’s determined to let everyone know it… somehow. Reminiscent of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, readers will come to know a brilliant mind and a brave spirit who will change forever how they look at anyone with a disability. Very worthy of any list of books similar to The Fault in Our Stars.


9. On the Jellicoe Road
by Melina Marchetta

At age eleven, Taylor Markham was abandoned by her mother. At fourteen, she ran away from boarding school, only to be tracked down and brought back by a mysterious stranger. Now seventeen, Taylor’s the reluctant leader of her school’s underground community, whose annual territory war with the Townies and visiting Cadets has just begun. This year, though, the Cadets are led by Jonah Griggs, and Taylor can’t avoid his intense gaze for long. To make matters worse, Hannah, the one adult Taylor trusts, has disappeared. But if Taylor can piece together the clues Hannah left behind, the truth she uncovers might not just settle her past, but also change her future. In this lyrical, absorbing, award-winning novel, nothing is as it seems, and every clue leads to more questions.


10. The Book Thief
by Marcus Zusak

The extraordinary #1 New York Times bestseller – Markus Zusak’s unforgettable story is about the ability of books to feed the soul – and one of 21 awesome books similar to The Fault in Our Stars.

It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still. Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement.

In superbly crafted writing that burns with intensity, award-winning author Markus Zusak, author of I Am the Messenger, has given us one of the most enduring stories of our time.


11. Code Name Verity
by Elizabeth Wein

Code Name Verity is an absolutely cracking read: edge-of-your-seat, stay-up-till-2am stuff. A British spy plane, whose pilot and passenger are best friends, crashes in a field in Nazi-occupied France. The spy is captured by the Gestapo and, under torture, writes her confession and account of how she came to be there. It is tightly plotted, and the characters’ voices are so distinctive and fresh they will live on with you long after you shut the book. The final chapters of this book were heart-stopping and heart-breaking, with twists that left me literally breathless.

Touching on themes of friendship, courage, betrayal and truth, Code Name Verity is a tour-de-force in Young Adult fiction with strong female characters and worthy of any list featuring books similar to The Fault in Our Stars.


12. Inside Out and Back Again
by Thanhha Lai

Inside Out and Back Again is a New York Times bestseller, a Newbery Honor Book, and a winner of the National Book Award! Inspired by the author’s childhood experience – of fleeing Vietnam after the Fall of Saigon and immigrating to Alabama – this coming-of-age debut novel told in verse has been celebrated for its touching child’s-eye view of family and immigration. Ha has only ever known Saigon: the thrills of its markets, the joy of its traditions, and the warmth of her friends close by. But now the Vietnam War has reached her home. Ha and her family are forced to flee as Saigon falls, and they board a ship headed toward hope – toward America. A heartfelt and moving story of one girl’s year of change, dreams, grief, and healing. One of the more inspiring books dealing with adversity that you’ll read.


13. A Long Walk to Water: Based on a True Story
by Linda Sue Park

The New York Times bestseller A Long Walk to Water begins as two stories, told in alternating sections, about two eleven-year-olds in Sudan – a girl in 2008 and a boy in 1985. The girl, Nya, is fetching water from a pond that is two hours’ walk from her home: she makes two trips to the pond every day. The boy, Salva, becomes one of the “lost boys” of Sudan, refugees who cover the African continent on foot as they search for their families and for a safe place to stay. Enduring every hardship from loneliness to attack by armed rebels to contact with killer lions and crocodiles, Salva is a survivor, and his story goes on to intersect with Nya’s in an astonishing and moving way. Simply brilliant!


14. Small as an Elephant
by Jennifer Richard Jacobson

Small As An Elephant could be a quick, sweet read, but it is so emotionally gut-wrenching that adult and older Young Adult readers will find themselves slowing down to ponder Jack’s trauma and choices. Eleven year old Jack has been abandoned at a state park by his mentally ill mother. Any other kid would report his mother gone, but Jack knows by now that he needs to figure things out for himself – starting with how to get from the backwoods of Maine to his home in Boston before the authorities catch on. With nothing but a small toy elephant to keep him company, Jack begins the long journey south… a journey that will test his wits and his loyalties – and his trust that he may be part of a larger herd after all.


15. It’s Kind of a Funny Story
by Ned Vizzini

When Craig Gilner is accepted into New York City’s elite Executive Pre-Professional High School, he believes his life is starting on the right path. After school begins, Craig finds that his life is spiraling out of control from the pressures, and he begins to contemplate suicide. Rather than actually jump off of the Brooklyn Bridge, Craig checks himself into the local hospital. In the five days he spends in psychiatric care, Craig connects with some of the other patients and learns who his true friends are, how to re-center himself, and that the only expectations he truly needs to meet are his own. With a cast of interesting characters and a very forthright teen perspective, Vizzini has penned a poignant and sometimes humorous tale – a very worthy contender for books similar to The Fault in Our Stars.


16. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
by Jesse Andrews

If you’re looking for books similar to The Fault in Our Stars, then Me and Earl and the Dying Girl has to be right near the top of your list. “I have no idea how to write this stupid book,” narrator Greg begins. Without answering the obvious question – just why is he writing” this stupid book”? – Greg lets readers in on plenty else. Up until senior year, Greg has maintained total social invisibility. He only has one friend, Earl, and together they spend their time – when not playing video games and avoiding Earl’s terrifying brothers – making movies, their own versions of Coppola and Herzog cult classics. Greg would be the first one to tell you his movies are f*@$ing terrible, but he and Earl don’t make them for other people. Until Rachel. Rachel has leukemia, and Greg’s mom gets the genius idea that Greg should befriend her. Against his better judgment and despite his extreme awkwardness, he does. When Rachel decides to stop treatment, Greg and Earl must abandon invisibility and make a stand. It’s a hilarious, outrageous, and truthful look at death and high school by a prodigiously talented debut author.

Though this novel begs inevitable thematic comparisons to John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars, it stands on its own in inventiveness, humor and heart.


17. Thirteen Reasons Why
by Jay Asher

Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a strange package with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker – his classmate and crush – who committed suicide two weeks earlier. Hannah’s voice tells him that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out why. Clay spends the night criss-crossing his town with Hannah as his guide. He becomes a firsthand witness to Hannah’s pain, and learns the truth about himself – a truth he never wanted to face.

Thirteen Reasons Why is the gripping, addictive international bestseller that has changed lives the world over. It’s an unrelenting modern classic and worthy of any list featuring books similar to The Fault in Our Stars.


18. Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist
by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan

Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist is a comedy about two teens thrust together for one hilarious, sleepless night of adventure in a world of mix tapes, late-night living, and, live, loud music. Nick frequents New York’s indie rock scene nursing a broken heart and Norah is questioning all of her assumptions about the world. Though they have nothing in common except for their taste in music, their chance encounter leads to an all-night quest to find a legendary band’s secret show and ends up becoming the first date that could change both their lives.


19. Before I Fall
by Lauren Oliver

In this Groundhog Day meets Mean Girls teen hybrid, Sam Kingston is pretty, popular, and has a seemingly perfect boyfriend. But after a late-night party everything goes terribly wrong, and the life that she lived is gone forever. Or is it?

At the start of Before I Fall, Sam is self-consumed and oblivious about the impact of her actions on others. But as she repeatedly experiences slightly altered versions of the hours leading up to her death – and her relationships with friends, family, and formerly overlooked classmates bloom, end, or shift – it’s impossible not to feel for the girl whose life ends too soon. Oliver’s adept teen dialogue and lively prose make for a fast, page-turning story in which the reader is every bit as emotionally invested as Sam. Worthy of any list of books similar to The Fault in Our Stars.


20. Skippy Dies
by Paul Murray

Seabrook College is an all-boys Catholic prep school in contemporary Dublin, where the founding Fathers flounder under a new administration obsessed with the school’s “brand” and teachers vacillate between fear and apathy when faced with rooms full of texting, hyper-tense, hormone-fueled boys. It’s the boys – and one boy in particular – that give this raucous, tender novel its emotional kick. Daniel “Skippy” Juster is a breed apart from his friends, more sensitive than any of them, but never visibly reactive to the pressures that weigh heavily on him. The events that lead to his untimely (though tragicomic) death unfold scene by scene, in a chorus of perfectly executed moments that are powerful enough to make you laugh and weep simultaneously – and one of the books similar to The Fault in Our Stars. This is a breathtaking novel from a new young writer.


21. She is Not Invisible
by Marcus Sedgwick

Laureth Peak’s father has taught her to look for recurring events, patterns, and numbers – a skill at which she’s remarkably talented. Her secret: She is blind. But when her father goes missing, Laureth and her 7-year-old brother Benjamin are thrust into a mystery that takes them to New York City where surviving will take all her skill at spotting the amazing, shocking, and sometimes dangerous connections in a world full of darkness. She Is Not Invisible is an intricate puzzle of a novel that sheds a light on the delicate ties that bind people to each other.

And how could we compile a list of books similar to The Fault in Our Stars, without including the book that provided much of the inspiration for the character Hazel Grace – the life and times of Esther Grace Earl, the young woman to whom John Green dedicated The Fault in Our Stars – “the one person I most want to read it never will.”.


This Star Won’t Go Out
by Esther Earl, Lori Earl, Wayne Earl and John Green

Esther was 16 when she died from complications of thyroid cancer in 2010. By that time, she’d become a fixture among the Nerdfighters, a community dedicated to intellectualism and creativity, created by author John Green and his brother, composer Hank Green, via their popular YouTube channel, the Vlogbrothers. John Green dedicated The Fault in Our Stars (2012) to Esther, and in his introduction to this memoir, he notes that while he’s proud of ‘Fault’s’ success, “the one person I most want to read it never will.” Featuring essays from friends, family, and doctors and curated by her parents, this collection—part autobiography, portfolio of her fiction and drawings, and photo album—is a touching eulogy, and it fulfills her dream to be an author.

An intimate portrait of a vibrant, deeply engaged teen, this title reveals the power of the internet as a mode for connection, which comes through with each reproduced chat session and blog post. As the Nerdfighters say, rest in awesome, Esther.


And just in case you haven’t yet read The Fault in Our Stars… or you’re looking for a special gift… here it is!


The Fault in our Stars
by John Green

In The Fault in Our Stars, John Green has created a soulful novel that tackles big subjects – life, death, love – with the perfect blend of levity and heart-swelling emotion. Hazel is sixteen, with terminal cancer, when she meets Augustus at her kids-with-cancer support group. The two are kindred spirits, sharing an irreverent sense of humor and immense charm, and watching them fall in love even as they face universal questions of the human condition – How will I be remembered? Does my life, and will my death, have meaning? – has a raw honesty that is deeply moving. Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning-author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love. Hazel Grace is a latter-day Holden Caulfield (The Catcher in the Rye) and it’s no coincidence this is first on our list of the best books for Teens and Young Adults.


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