The Fault in Our Stars by John Green is a work of art, and is one of the best books by the author. It is also one of the most moving books I have ever read. The story is very modern and is about a girl named Hazel Grace Lancaster. She is a normal teenager afflicted with cancer in the lungs. And because of her weak lungs she has to carry an oxygen tank wherever she goes, which proves to be not so normal in the teenage world. Her life is very similar to every teenager afflicted with the disease, but all this changes one day when she meets Augustus Waters.
Augustus Waters is an eighteen year old boy, Hazel meets as a teen cancer support group which she has to attend. Augustus is different from any boy Hazel knows, yet they have one thing in common – cancer. The sweet, yet painful story that unravels and the love these two teenagers share are so heartwarming and sad.
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Augustus Waters’ life is very different from Hazel’s. Hazel is a girl who lives life according to her diagnosis. But, Augustus is not like that. He is optimistic and fun and is a happy person even though his life is an uncertainty and his cancer is not cured a 100%. Hazel, at the beginning, tries to reject her feelings for Augustus because she knows she is on a ticking clock and does not wish to put Augustus through the pain of going through losing someone a second time. Hazel is a quiet girl with a good sense of humor and she loves to read. Her favorite book is An Imperial Affliction and she gives Augustus to read it. Apart from cancer, these two build a common bond, which is a love for the book.
Augustus proves to be a bigger person with more heart than he sounds, living his carefree existence, when he uses his one Wish for cancer patients by taking Hazel and her mother to Amsterdam to meet the author of An Imperial Affliction, who turns out to be so not the person they expected him to be.
Most of the situations these two teenagers encounter are extremely realistic and relatable. It does not show a rose-painted world. Instead, it shows the realities of the world. For example, when they meet the author of An Imperial Affliction, he turns out to be a jerk. They are hurt and upset; yet, they show their maturity by walking away. Then, there is Hazel’s mother, who epitomizes everything good in the world. She adores her daughter, yet, because she believes Hazel needs a Life, and believes in Hazel’s need to do something exciting, she puts everything at risk to take her to Amsterdam. Hazel’s mother understands what it means to her to go somewhere with the boy she loves.
Things take an unexpected turn, when Hazel discovers that Augustus’s cancer is back. Here is the reason the title of the novel becomes quite appropriate. Hazel lives life thinking she will die tomorrow. She does not want to get into a relationship with Augustus because she fears she will die before him and leave him in pain. Instead, Hazel finds out that she is the one who is left to live in the world without Augustus. She is the one who has to deal with the pain of loss. How is the title appropriate? She is the one who accepted her fate in life. She doesn’t get how Augustus, so full of life can die before her. Her understanding that there really is a fault in our stars is quite apparent here.
This novel is a must-read. John Green quite aptly captures the essence of true love and living life to the fullest in the best way.