Author: John Green
Hazel Grace Lancaster is dying. Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer that has spread to her lungs, Hazel has spent the last three years of her life accepting that her death is imminent, it isn’t a matter of if but when. Hazel is forced to attend Support Group with other Cancer Kids, but the group does little to impede her growing depression (a side effect of dying), then Augustus Waters shows up. Unabashedly flirtatious, Augustus breathes new life into Hazel’s world. Bonding over an obscure novel, the two of them are determined to discover the answers to the loose ends the author has left behind.
“People talk about the courage of cancer patients, and I do not deny that courage. I had been poked and stabbed and poisoned for years, and still I trod on. But make no mistake: In that moment, I would have been very, very happy to die.”
Cancer is not something many people find easy to talk about. Hazel is impenitently honesty, she doesn’t want to hear sugar-coated truths and is even less likely to dish out her own. Understandably cynical, Hazel has spent the last three years of her life stuck. The problem with being sick is everyone sees you as being Sick, even Hazel herself sometimes suffers from this, and Augustus comes into her life and sees Hazel, not the cancer. She is hesitant to get involved with Augustus because no matter how much she doesn’t want to worry that death is coming for her, she cannot ignore who she will be leaving behind.
Augustus Waters is this bright star in the middle of a starless night. Yes, he’s pretentious but it isn’t the kind that is off-putting. There is something keenly insightful about everything he says and though Hazel does not lack cynicism, it’s hard even for her not to be drawn to the shining beacon that is Augustus Waters. Augustus teaches Hazel that life, despite death, is beautiful. One of my favorite lines from him: “I have wonderful news…You are going to live a good and long life filled with great and terrible moments that you cannot even imagine yet!”
This is my second time reading The Fault in Our Stars and even though I knew the story and was prudent enough not to read it while in public, it still affected me in a largely emotional way. If I had to pinpoint the reason for the book’s popularity it would be this: John Green creates these beautiful, young characters who’ve been dealt the worse hands in the world and instead of making them objects of pity, makes you feel honored to read about them and maybe wish you had them in your life even for only a little while.