My thoughts are stars I can’t fathom into constellations.
John Green, The Fault in Our Stars
When I like a book it it could end in two ways. Either I could be dying to reach the very end as I want to
know how it ends, or I just don’t want it to end. But something went terribly wrong here. In this case, I loved the book, and I badly wanted to know how it ended (atleast for a while) but I also couldn’t part ways with the characters. Never have I so deeply invested my emotions in a book, in fictional characters as this one.
Fault in Our Stars is the story of a sixteen year old Hazel Grace Lancaster who never remembers her having anything but “crappy lungs”. She is terminally ill with leukemia.She has to move around with an oxygen tank, she so fondly calls ‘Philip’, which helps her breath. She believes she is a “grenade that can blow up anytime leaving everyone around wounded.” Her worst nightmare could be leaving her loving family wounded by her ‘shrapnel’ once she’s gone. She has been out of school for a while and practically stopped socializing much. All she has been doing lately is to watch episodes of America’s Top Models and to re-read just one book, her favorite, An Imperial Affliction and obsessing over what a sequel to the book would be like. Her socializingwas limited to attending a support group for Cancer kids. Except from her high-school friend Kaitlyn, who she hardly ever wants to talk to these days, he kids at the support group are her friends now.
That’s where Hazel meets Augustus Waters, the blue-eyed, one-legged boy with a sexy crooked smile. Augustus Waters is full of life. He is doing “grand” and is “on a roller coaster that only goes up”. He keeps a pack of cigarettes at hand and occasionally hold one between his lips, but never lights it. It gives him a a sense of victory to not give the cigarette the power to “kill”him. He fears being forgotten once he’s gone, and wants his life to be meaningful.
At once, Augustus is everything Hazel is not. It is like they are yin-yang. Hazel is the smart,intelligent and composed one, while Gus is the witty, humorous and creative one. While she is is strong Gus is persistent. So, quite predictably, they were meant to fall in love with each other. And this book is about their love and how it changed their lives.
This book is a cancer book, except for it doesn’t drown us in sentiment and drama. This story is of a resilient battle to live a life as close to normal as possible, not giving cancer the power to kill for as long as possible. And hence the story never calls for us to sympathies over any character, be it Hazel, Gus or their friend Issac. They don’t ask to be indulged in sympathy-they hate it.
The book also deals with how a life-threatening hurdle, as cancer, can alter your life in different ways, and yet it up to you to choose how you want to life your life.
This book sheds thoughts on feeling pain, on being hopeful about life even when there is practically no hope, and of being in true love even through the uncertainty of a future.
I liked the book for the light nature in which it deals with grim and morbid sentiments. I like it for the positiveness it instilled in me. I would have given it a miss but for some awesome turn of fate. And as this is my first John Green book, so I’m not in a position to review this one with respect to any other of his books. So if you have read this book, or any other John Green book do let me know. Also share your thoughts on this book or any other book you think is worth a read.
My ratings for this book are as follows
Verdict: The story is a light read that starts as a cliche cancer story progressing into deeper sentiments on life and death.