“The Fault in Our Stars” Tells a Life-Like Story of Love and Pain
March 21, 2014
The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green, tells the struggles of young cancer patients in their everyday lives.
The book follows the life of Hazel Grace Lancaster, a sixteen-year-old girl diagnosed with stage four thyroid cancer. After three years of not attending school and countless visits to the hospital, Hazel begins to attend a children’s cancer support group as a way to spend time with children her age.
At the support group Hazel befriends Issac, a young boy who lost his sight to cancer. Issac dislikes going to the group meetings alone and asks his close friend Augustus Water to go along with him. Augustus (nicknamed Gus), is also a cancer patient, diagnosed with osteosarcoma. When the cancer spread to Gus’s leg, he had it amputated. As a result Gus is no longer able play his beloved game of basketball and, in the place of the sport, discovered a love for reading.
After their first support group together, Gus invites Hazel to his house to watch a movie. There, the two bond over their mutual love of reading and Hazel introduces Gus to her favorite novel, “An Imperial Affliction” by Peter van Houten.
The two begin spending more time together, yet Hazel is cautious. She does not wish for Gus to fall in love with her, for she believes that she is a “grenade” ready to explode. To save Gus from the pain of her eventual death, Hazel tries to maintain some distance, but cannot resist his invitation to accompany him on a trip to Amsterdam to meet Peter van Houten. With every day that passes, the two teens learn more about each other.
Throughout the story Hazel and Gus’s love and friendship continue to grow. And despite not wanting to think of it, the two cannot forget their unavoidable future because of their illness. The story ends with an unexpected twist and, as could be predicted, heart-break.
The Fault in Our stars is not a typical love story. In fact, I believe that it’s not a love story at all. Yes, there is romance, but there is a deeper meaning than the romance in this novel.
Hazel is weakened by the cancer, both mentally and physically. Augustus brings her confidence and spirits up not by loving her, but by showing her parts of the world that Hazel never thought that she would see.
The story is of a race against time. The reader roots for the main characters to fall for each other even though we can predict the heart-break.
The ups and downs of the novel regarding the cancer side of the story personally affected me. Though I have not had cancer, members of my family have and this novel moved me. I’m not emotional when I read novels, however when reading The Fault in Our Stars I had to fight back the tears. In my opinion, John Green did a great job in conveying the truth about cancer patients and the battles that they face everyday. He uses the romance to have young readers understand the seriousness of cancer and the effects it has on its victims.
The only criticism I have about The Fault in Our Stars was the ending. I expected the ending to explain everything that the book didn’t, but it was a cliffhanger, leaving me with questions.
I guess that the only person who can answer these questions is Green himself. Maybe I should go on a search to find the answers to The Fault in Our Stars.