The Fault In Our Stars, by John Green
The Fault In Our Stars is a book by John Green. The book follows Hazel, a current cancer survivor, and her adventure with Augustus Waters, a boy she meets in support group.
Warning! Spoilers follow here.
The book is written from Hazel’s point of view and starts at a support group meeting. Hazel has been to support group several times, but this group meeting welcomes newcomer Augustus Waters. Hazel is immediately infatuated with him and the longer she knows him the more she likes him. Augustus seems to reciprocate this infatuation and the two strike up a strong friendship almost immediately. The two share a love of reading and enjoy sharing their views on life. Hazel is hesitant to pursue a relationship with Augustus because she feels like she is a ticking time bomb that will leave Augustus alone when she inevitably dies from her cancer. When Augustus offers his Wish (a parody of the Make-A-Wish Foundation) to Hazel as an offer to meet her favorite author, Hazel begins to let herself fall in love with him. They travel to Amsterdam, where they realize the author is a mean drunk who refuses to talk to them. Hazel leaves heartbroken but determined to make the rest of her trip with Augustus enjoyable. Just before they leave to head back to the United States, Augustus admits to Hazel that he is dying. He was aware of his illness before they left for Amsterdam but didn’t want to dampen the mood. Hazel realizes that her fear of being a ticking time bomb is now swapped – Augustus is now dying to leave her alone. Hazel is by his side every waking minute until Augustus finally passes away. At the funeral, the author from Amsterdam shows up trying to make amends but by this time Hazel has already written him off. Before the author leaves however, he and Hazel come to an understanding. The book ends with Hazel finding a letter that Augustus wrote to the author telling him that you can’t avoid getting hurt in life but you can choose who hurts you. He admits in his letter that he is happy with his choices and hopes Hazel is too. Hazel agrees.
I finished this book two nights ago and am still processing it. If you read this book and all you take away is a story about cancer kids, you have missed the point. If I were ever to attribute the word “masterpiece” to a book, I would certainly consider this one. It’s a short book about teenagers, but there’s so much more to it – so many more layers. So many lessons and thoughts. I loved the twist about the author (not told above), and I think every girl deserves an Augustus Waters. There are many religious themes to the book and many questions that are not only left unanswered but justly so. The book does not leave you feeling curious, but rather leaves open-ended questions that you answer for yourself in your own life. It is delightfully written, and immensely thought-provoking. You may or may not suffer from an existential crisis after reading it (I definitely did…there was some ugly crying involved). I would (and have, since finishing it) recommend this to someone else to read. I’m also looking forward to the movie, although I was unaware of the film before I started reading the book. I give it a 5.
For Next Time
KK6: Dark Passage, by Ridley Pearson
The five Kingdom Keepers and their core friends have uncovered a startling truth: Maleficent and the Overtakers (Disney villains) are plotting a catastrophic event that could have repercussions far beyond the world of Disney.
Aboard the Disney Cruise Line’s inaugural passage through the new Panama Canal, the Keepers and their holograms uncover a puzzle hidden within the pages of a stolen journal. The point of that puzzle will reveal itself in the caves of Aruba, the zip lines of Costa Rica, and the jungles of Mexico. A destructive force, dormant for decades, is about to be unleashed. The five Kingdom Keepers are to be its first victims.