The Fault In Our Stars stews together a thick mixture of emotions, providing an easy yet quite a challenging read for those who are particularly emotionally sensitive. In just 318 pages, John Green gives the reader an unforgettable experience unlike any other work of teen fiction known to the world of literature.
Rather than traveling through the expanding world of dystopian fiction, The Fault In Our Stars takes a realistic approach to the life of three teenagers who are forced to endure quite possibly one of the most difficult battles in human history. One survivor and two cancer-battling teens find solace in each other as they struggle to cope with the reality unknown to so many others of their age.
The reader witnesses the growth of 16-year-old terminal cancer patient Hazel Grace Lancaster, who narrates the novel from a unique perspective influenced by her favorite novel, An Imperial Affliction. Her outlook on life takes a slight left turn when 17-year-old Augustus Waters appears in the Literal Heart of Jesus one evening at a support group she attends from time to time. From then on out, Hazel faces a new struggle–developing relationships with others with whom she is fated to part.
Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book. And then there are books like An Imperial Affliction, which you can’t tell people about, books so special and rare and yours that advertising your affection feels like a betrayal (33).
Hazel and Augustus travel a life-altering journey together in more ways than one, taking the reader for a long and intimate ride beside them as they experience life at its fullest. The bond the two form across the pages of The Fault In Our Stars far surpasses that of those formed in countless other teen fiction novels. The strength they build is unbreakable.
Such power swims within their seemingly endless lines of dialogue. I once read that the definition of a good book is one that causes the reader to close the book after reading such a well-written sentence sit in silence, in awe of its beauty. This book is peppered with those little moments, leading the reader to contemplate life as she knows it.
John Green tosses the reader’s emotions like a salad with the twist he so maliciously throws into the mix.
Hazel is also close friends with her mother, who has been there for her through every waking [and sleeping] moment of her life. It is quite refreshing to read a book in which the main character actually gets along with her parents. Some may find it unrealistic, but I can tell you otherwise with great confidence. By no means am I saying that the two do not have their moments; those moments are what add to the reality of this beautiful piece of fiction. We all have our moments (some of us more than others), but if life were easy, we would be bored. All the time. The human race exists to be challenged. It is how we handle those challenges that displays who we truly are.
“That’s the thing about pain,” Augustus said, and then glanced back at me. “It demands to be felt” (63).
Would I recommend this book? Absolutely. It’s as if this book was written for those facing unfathomable struggles, and the message can most certainly apply to various not-so-unfathomable situations, as well. I think each one of us can relate to at least one subplot, and possessing the ability to relate to a book is often what makes it so lovable among its fanbase. Read it. Okay?
What’s next? Coraline, by Neil Gaiman, is resting on my bedside table. I found the movie at a local used game store, and being me, I need to read the book before I can pop the disk in the blu-ray player.
I’d also like to explore more of John Green, like Looking For Alaska. Eventually. I have my already-made list that I need to conquer first.
- Have any of you seen the movie adaptation of The Fault In Our Stars yet? What are your thoughts? Don’t throw any spoilers at me, though. I do plan to watch it at some point, but I have to get my hands on a copy first. And probably another box of tissues.
- Have any of you read Looking For Alaska? Would you recommend it?