This site is dedicated to MJF whose laughter and wit fuel my soul. Thank you for introducing us to John Green, you have made our days brighter.

The Thirty-Third Half Birthday

The day after Hazel watches the movie with Augustus, her mother awakens her with a reminder that today is her thirty-third half birthday.  Prodding her to get out and do something Hazel arranges to meet a friend, Kaitlyn, at the Castleton Square Mall for some shopping.  

Those who live in or are familiar with Indianapolis might find Castleton as an odd location since it is an older, smaller, one-level mall.  The newer, larger, and constantly being renovated Keystone Fashion Mall is closer to the area in which Hazel lives and would seem to be the more obvious mall-of-choice.  However, considering that Hazel has difficulty breathing and walking, the smaller, one-level Castleton Mall is more Hazel-friendly.

Hazel's first stop prior to Kaitlyn arriving at the mall is a bookstore.  Currently there is no bookstore at the Castleton Mall but at the time John Green was writing The Fault In Our Stars a Border's bookstore sat prominently at the mall's main entrance as shown in the older photo above.

Tracing Hazel's footsteps at the mall was not a completely sure thing due to the fact that some of the shops mentioned are either no longer there or were just plain fictitious.  For instance Hazel mentions an "Irish Gift Shop" and the "Fountain Pen Emporium".  No such shop exists today nor can I find any mention of them in any of my research on the Castleton Mall.  In fact the only place I could locate with the name "Fountain Pen Emporium" is in England.

So, taking a look at an older map of the mall we'll give you our best guess as to where Hazel would have trekked had she been a real person and had TFIOS been a biography rather than a work of fiction (just to remind myself of the lunacy of our investigation).

OK, Hazel's first stop is the book store and it is a pretty safe bet that she went to Border's as that is the book shop that would have been at the mall when John Green wrote the book.  From there she went to the Food Court to wait on her friend Kaitlyn and the food court is is where it has always been.  From the food court Hazel and Kaitlyn went shoe shopping and there was an Aldo Shoes in very close proximity to the food court.

While waiting for Kaitlyn at the food court Hazel tells us that "At 3:32 precisely, I noticed Kaitlyn striding confidently past the Wok House."

There is no Wok House but there is an Asian Chao in the food court.

After Kaitlyn departs Hazel finds a secluded bench to read from one of the books she purchased. "I found a bench surrounded by an Irish Gift store, the Fountain Pen Emporium, and a baseball cap outlet--a corner of the mall even Kaitlyn would not shop."

We are going to assume that the bench found was at the east end of the mall near the Sears.  This assumption is based upon the fact that there was a Lid's baseball cap shop nearby and because this area in front of the Sears mall entrance was quite quiet.  My theory on the solitude stems from my belief that most people entering a Sears are going there to buy something specific that only Sears sells.  Therefore they enter and exit through the parking lot entrances to Sears and do not venture into the rest of the mall.

Coming Up, click the link for the Not-So Grand View


  1. It's not at the Castleton Mall, but there was a cool Irish shop (Killybegs) in Nora, right by NCHS. It closed a year or two ago.

  2. Also, the Keystone Mall is the expensive mall. It's mostly where wealthy middle-aged women shop, and most teenagers go to the Castleton mall. Also this is weird since I go to these places regularly, but really awesome.