The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green
The Fault in Our Stars is a beautifully written story about two cancer kids that fall in love. It’s about the way we look at life and how, after a life close to us is taken away, that perspective effects the way we cope. It’s about learning that people aren’t who they seem (or who you want them) to be. People will disappoint you greatly, or perhaps surprise you into love. This book is about LIFE. Real life. Real people. Real love.
This story and the characters in it are alive in my heart and they will never leave. Reading this book brought laughter to my lips, tears to my eyes, and deep thoughts to my mind. What a marvelous combination! The way John Green writes makes me feel and think – not many writers can do that, and he does it wonderfully and fluidly. John Green, you are MAGNIFICENT.
The main two characters:
Hazel Lancaster – “I told Augustus the broad outline of my miracle diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer when I was thirteen. (I didn’t tell him that the diagnosis came three months after I got my first period. Like: Congratulations! You’re a woman. Now die). It was, we were told, incurable.” ~Hazel, page 24.
Hazel is sixteen, her favorite book is An Imperial Infliction, and she enjoys watching reality TV shows with her parents. She attends college classes and has a huge vocabulary. Because of the metastasis forming in her lungs she is constantly hooked up to an oxygen tank. She has short brown hair and is told by Augustus she looks like Natalie Portman in V for Vendetta.
She is an up-beat, sarcastic girl that has an irrepressible affection for…
Augustus Waters – Handsome and flirtatious, this guy stole that piece of my heart reserved for book boyfriends as soon as I set eyes on him. Augustus meets Hazel at Support Group and they start their relationship with a steamy stare-down, which Hazel wins. Confident, charming, tall. This guy has it all…well, I guess there’s the little detail of him having one leg due to the Osteosarcoma (bone cancer) that was in it.
Augustus is determined to leave his mark on the earth before he dies. In this way he is very different from Hazel, who is afraid to hurt anyone by leaving her mark and does all she can to prevent the pain others will feel when she herself dies. Augustus complains at one point of the book that he just wishes he could have a major impact on people. “It crossed my mind to fake a choking incident or something so that he might give me the Heimlich. Maybe then he could rid himself of this fear that his life had been lived and lost for no greater good.” ~Hazel, page 237.
She then tries to make him understand that by just living he impacts those around him: “I just want to be enough for you, but I never can be. This can never be enough for you. But this is all you get. You get me, and your family, and this world. This is your life.” ~Hazel, page 241.
They are young and in love and bring to mind a favorite quote from Doctor Who: “Life is short, and you are hot” ~Billy Shipton in the episode Blink.
Check the WRL catalog for The Fault in Our Stars