Saturday, January 5, 2013

The Fault In Our Stars

The Fault In Our Stars

John Green

The Fault in Our Stars

Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 13, 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.

"The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves..."

- Cassius to Brutus (Act I, Scene II, Julius Caesar)

My reaction at the end of the book--more or less.
Oh John Green, The Fault In Our Stars was so amazing. 

A novel of true life and death, a story that will stay with you, and writing that will come back to you. 

Love is the greatest of all emotions, but also the most costly. In the end its payment is the pain you feel when those you love are gone. I think that that was Hazel's greatest fear, what would happen to those she will one day leave behind. In life I've laughed when every aspect of the situation demanded I don't. In moments of joy and celebration I've cried, after all the greatest promise and threat of life is that it goes on, no matter what you may or may not want. 

This book treads a fine line--you will either love it or hate it. For me I love it, it is bittersweet, a book that reminds me of so much. 

The Fault in Our Stars is about sixteen Hazel Grace Lancaster who has been living with a terminal illness for a quarter of her life. The worst point of her life was the night she was expecting to die, she was ready to die as well. And then, the experimental miracle, and unforgettably  fictional, treatment worked. This treatment is buying her some additional time, which she uses to spend time with her parents and attend classes at college, after her mother starts fretting about her depression, she agrees to go to a support group. 

Hazel had been ready to die, and had accepted it. 
But now that the treatment is working, she struggles to make peace with herself, she tries to find some new normal, even though her aching lungs never fully work and constantly remind her of how precious her time is. She needs to carry around an Oxygen tank, which just goes to show you that she looks as outside of the world as she feels. 

John Green wrote about a difficult topic emotionally and fearless, the writing was really good, and he wrote about Hazel and cancer with sympathy. 
I think with such a raw book like this people who have gone through something like this, may hate it because it reminds them of everything but I think this book is good for so many reasons, maybe the biggest reason being the encouraged understanding an ordinary teenager will learn through this book, that will undoubtedly help them if they are ever affected by this. This book was emotionally exhausting, which finished in about thirty hours.  

Hazel and Augusts were two teenagers that found each other at a support group. 
All the characters from this book had a special very real connection, they knew how much life sucked, they were in closer with death than most of the world. They knew how sad life is and they knew how unfair it could be but they still managed to be okay sometimes. 

 They all get together in the literal heart of Jesus for their support group meetings, which is where Hazel meets Augustus Waters for the first time, a gorgeous guy who's in remission. And that is where the story of Augusts Waters and Hazel begins. She tries to distance herself from him but ends up falling for him. 

The authentic interaction between characters felt stiff to many readers, as I've read and heard, and the supposedly unrealistic dialogue was pretentious. Though it was bordering on pretentious, I found it realistic within its own merits. I loved this book. Between the characters, the cancer-ridden teenagers, it feels like it is a forced light atmosphere, as the characters joke between themselves and try to  attain an equilibrium. For anyone whose ever stayed at a children's hospital you would probably understand this better than most people, that atmosphere is exactly why I feel TFIOS is entirely authentic. 

They tried to act like normal teenagers though being normal was impossible. 
Out of all the characters Hazel was the one who was the most adjusted to the fact that she wasn't normal and never would be.  
She had been ready to die, she had, in a way, already written herself off. 
But then after the miracle treatment she finds herself able to function somewhat normally, though she is depressed, after all depression is a side effect of dying. This depression is what inspired her mother to take her to the cancer kids support group. Where she met Eric, Isaac and Augustus Waters. 

Augustus Waters...what a character. 
I am in love with his determination to be a Non-smoking smoker. 
I loved his family, their encouragements, and I loved him. 
 His fascination with symbolism and metaphors rang true to my own personal feelings and fascination on subjects. 

Being in a Children's hospital and later a children's rehabilitation center, there was such an ache of familiarity about this book. On many occasions I was surprised about how incredibly authentic it was. 

There was so much about this book that made me cry! So much in this book that will make your heart ache, and smile, and cry, and laugh, and then cry all over again. 

I recommend everyone read this, even if you don't like sad stories you should read this. I think it will inspire you and it will open up the worlds understanding of childhood illness. In many ways there were different messages in this book, it felt a little like there was an actual overload of messages in it sometimes, and you get to pick and choose which you want to take away from it. 

The two that stand out to me the most is: pain demands to be felt, and, there is an eternity within one minute, and every minute you spend with someone should have meaning and a point.  

This was a really amazing book--it was inspiring, for so many reasons, it will make you cry, it is heartbreaking, the ending was perfect, and the severe plot twist will leave you dumbfounded. 

You will most likely feel like this while reading it, but read it anyways, it is so good. 


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