Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 13, Hazel Grace Lancaster was prepared to die until a tumor-shrinking medical miracle bought her a few more years. Now 16, Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank and is being forced to go to go to a support group after she was diagnosed with depression. Enter Augustus Waters. The pair met at the Cancer Kid Support Group and Hazel finds herself re-examining how sickness, life and death will define her and exploring the thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.
I don’t think I’d be giving much away by saying that a romance develops between Augustus and Hazel and in my (very popular) opinion it was one of the most beautiful relationships I’ve ever seen develop in a novel. It wasn’t insta-love and you could really see the way the two connected though shared pain and experiences. There aren’t that many huge, cheesy romantic gestures but I did find myself pausing and re-reading numerous lines because of the beautiful way in which they were written and the emotions they invoked.
“You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world… but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices.”
The Fault in Our Stars is written from Hazel’s perspective and I found her narrative to be witty and funny and extremely heart-breaking at certain points. The story reveals the complexities and internal turmoil of each character and explores their personalities beyond the illness that they are usually defined by.
“I’m a grenade and at some point, I’m going to blow up and I would like to minimise the casualties.”
Many people say that they could see the ending coming but I either couldn’t or really, really didn’t want to. I know at some point I was in a state of denial because I didn’t want things to turn out the way they did, but “that’s the thing about pain, it demands to be felt”. I won’t lie to you; the ending of this novel was one of the most heart-breaking things that I have ever read, but to misquote Augustus Waters, it was a privilege to have my heart broken John Green because it was worth it. That being said, I probably owe my friends an apology because they had to listen to me rant about how unfair it was for days afterwards.
John Green has created an emotional masterpiece which makes you think, laugh and cry. The Fault in Our Stars is truly unforgettable, and it hides such beauty within its pages that you will find yourself comparing many books you read afterwards to it. The title comes from a line in Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar where Cassius says, "The fault, dear Brutus is not in our stars, / But in ourselves, that we are underlings." Cassius is essentially saying that it is not fate that dooms men, but instead their own failings and that the problems and wrongs we face in life are self-inflicted. John Green disagrees and the title seems to argue that there are some things that we have absolutely no control over – such as cancer – and we are definitely not the cause or responsible for them. The beauty of the message is that they can still live their lives and make their own decisions despite their fate and the fault in their stars.
I highly recommend this book. Trust me, it’s incredible!