The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 12, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs... for now.
Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault.
Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind.
It feels appropriate that my first official book review should be on John Green’s new novel, “The Fault In Our Stars”, which I have been anxiously waiting to read for months. Considering John Green has been my favorite young adult author since I first read “Looking For Alaska” a few years ago, I had a feeling before even knowing what it was about that “The Fault In Our Stars” would become one of my favorite books. Despite the hype this novel received even before its publication, it did not disappoint in the least, and actually far exceeded the incredibly high expectations I had. While reading, I found myself switching off between tears, laughter, and running to grab post-it notes to bookmark almost every other page. I only wish I could go back in time to when I started this book, and be able to read it again for the very first time.
The beauty in any John Green novel is the way he takes a completely ordinary story and turns it into something magical. He infuses his characters with such wit and humor in the face of tragedy, and this makes them instantly loveable. At 16 years old, Hazel Lancaster seems to accept that her stage IV terminal cancer will inevitably result in an early death. She’s content to spend most of her time with her parents, watching meaningless television, and rereading her favorite book. Hazel avoids going out and making connections with others that she knows will most likely be short lived. And then, in the cancer support group her mom forces her to go to, she meets Augustus Waters. What follows is a relationship so beautiful, touching, and tragic that you find yourself inexorably drawn into their world and wishing beyond reason that they can last forever.
This book is the most beautiful of love stories. It is also about sickness, and learning how to live your life without knowing how much time you really have left. But this book is about so much more than life, death, or the struggles that we face in between. It’s about what it means to leave a mark in the world once you’re gone, not necessarily in a major way, but somewhere inside of another person. Most importantly, Hazel and Augustus teach you that despite the tragedy so present throughout life, it is always your own decision to choose to live the life you have riding on the “roller coaster that only goes up”.
Rating: 5/5 stars