Sometimes you read a book so special that you want to carry it around with you for months after you’ve finished just to stay near it. That book for me would be ‘The Fault In Our Stars’ by John Green.
Initially I was scared to face this book, as I partly knew what it had. I knew that it was the book in which the protagonist had cancer. I was worried about the sadness it had. I cry very easily, and I almost had to weigh the facts if I’ll be able to handle it or not. I just can’t see people suffer. And I’m so glad that my friend pushed me to read this book, because it’s far from disappointing.
This book starts very unconventionally. Hazel Grace Lancaster and Augustus Waters (Gus) meet at a Cancer Support Group for Teens.
Hazel, who is sixteen, was diagnosed with lung cancer when she was 13, and is living on an experimental drug called Phalanxifor. She is nothing but terminal. This made her keep a distance from a lot of people including her parents (since she thought of her as a grenade.) She was afraid, that when she died, it’ll be devastating.
Augustus, a seventeen year old amputee is as charming and confident as ever. He was an ex-basketball player and loved playing video games. He always lost though, because he wanted to save everyone.
At the support group, their eyes meet, and sparks fly instantly.
Hazel cannot help but be friends with him.
Augustus falls in love with her at the first sight, whereas Hazel tries to stay reserved.
Little did they know that their life is about to change.
They come closer over the book called ‘An Imperial Affliction’ by Peter Van Houten (Hazel’s favorite). They have so many questions unanswered and decide to go to Amsterdam, The Netherlands to visit the reclusive alcoholic author.
However their meeting with Houten doesn’t go very pleasantly, but the rest of the trip is beautiful. Later, they also go to Anne Frank’s house, and kiss for the very first time. That’s where they are sure, that they love each other.
The characters, apart from Hazel and Gus, such as their blind friend Isaac, Hazel’s parents, Gus’s parents all play a very important role in adding perspective to this book.
They best part about this book is, it’s not sympathetic. It’s far from it. The interaction between Gus and Hazel is so subtle, that you almost forget that they’re sick. John Green knows the exact amount of emotion any situation would require and writes intelligently. He has a particular style of writing which is consistent throughout the book. It’s simple, deep and humorous, all at the same time!
Sometimes the humor is awkward and uncomfortable, coming from the people who were terminal. I was surprised as to how they could crack a joke, ignoring the grim situation they were in. John Green manages to take a cancer book and fill it with sweet memories.
The Fault In Our Stars was a book where I laughed, I cried and the beautiful quotes by the author took me by surprise. This book is not about the suffering of two teenage souls because of cancer, it’s about the thousands of happy and beautiful moments gained in their timed life.
It felt as if I was living with them. Their innocence and unconditional love was enough to keep me hooked. After a very long time I read a book which left me in pure awe. I was unable to put it down. And even if I did put it down, I just came back for more.
This book broke my heart, which I’m yet to fix.
But I’ll probably read it again, and again, and again.