"This is not a story where beautiful people learn beautiful lessons," Shailene Woodley's terminally-ill 16-year-old Hazel declares in the opening scene of The Fault in Our Stars. As soon as you hear her brutally honest monologue, you're instantly sucked into a heartbreaking, non-clichéd tale of star-crossed teen love.

This faithful adaptation of John Green's best-selling novel is centred on two cancer-stricken teens, Hazel and Gus, who fall in love - despite Hazel's initial reluctance - after meeting at a support group.

Ever since Hazel's diagnosis of terminal thyroid cancer three years ago, she has constantly had to endure the concern of her heartbroken parents (Laura Dern and Sam Trammell), catapulting her into an understandable depression. Gus (Ansel Elgort), a cocky but endearing 18-year-old, tells the support group he had his leg amputated to save him from cancer, but wants to make his mark on the world by living life to the full.

The performances are very impressive - Woodley and Elgort had just worked together on Divergent and their chemistry is palpable. The grief of Hazel's parents is probably one of the most heartbreaking parts of the storyline, and Laura Dern is superb as her unshakeably optimistic mother. It was the first time she ever played a mother in a film, as she explained in her interview with RTÉ TEN.

The Fault in Our Stars approaches its subject matter with originality and honesty. The blunt humour throughout the film adds depth and gives it a unique, unsentimental edge that is bound to tug at your heartstrings.

Niamh Doherty