Before, I’ve only heard of John Green as the author who wrote An Abundance of Katherines. I didn’t buy his book then, since I thought I’m not his target market. I just came across its title because of the mathematical content the book has, according to the reviews and summaries I’ve read, which would be a suitable gift to someone who likes math. I actually planned to buy it for a friend, but eventually, it didn’t happen.
Recently, after hearing his newly released book which everyone is looking forward to and making a fuss over it, I decided to buy a copy of The Fault in Our Stars. Plus, it was also confirmed that John Green signed all the first printing copies which totaled to 150,000 copies and I’m actually glad to be a part of that – I got a green signature!
Here’s the plot description from the cover flap of the book:
Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely written.
It is evident that this book is about the budding relationship between Hazel Grace Lancaster and Augustus Waters. John Green creates these characters realistically – making the readers relate to them more easily. They’re definitely going through rough times, yet they still endured the pain and suffering until the end. Despite being victims of cancer illness at such an early age, they’re actually no different from normal people. They have loved one another like any other, travelled like any other, and lived their lives to the fullest. One of the things I notice that differs them from the others is their deep perspective of the world as they look at it with profound and well-thought curiosity. I believe no one could match their level of intelligence in their own unique way.
In addition to this, I also salute their strength of facing the inevitable and their extraordinary love/relationship they share with one another. They have complex characterizations which make the book more interesting to read. Hazel is never afraid to express her thoughts and feelings. On the other hand, Augustus’s thoughtful and sweet gestures for Hazel justify his character of being a good friend as well as a gentleman. I just love the fact that John Green is able to show Hazel and Augustus’s vulnerability as they slowly open up to one another. This very situation intertwined their lives in most unexpected ways. It makes me sympathize with them more.
The story definitely keeps getting better and better as I move from one page to another that I have to literally stop myself from turning to the last page for the ending. (This is actually a bad habit of mine – reading the last few pages to spoil myself even when I am still far from the ending. Oh I hope I can remove that habit of mine.) John Green is truly able to capture every moment a cancer survivor could feel. There are parts of the book, however, which reminded me a bit of A Walk to Remember.
Moving on, it’s always nice to read about characters who enjoy reading. And I kind of envy the part where Augustus gave Hazel a book. I just recently discovered my passion for reading and as I take pleasure in the simplicity of things, I don’t deny the fact that I LOVE to receive a book as a gift more that anything else.
Moreover, one way or another, I really like the idea of authors and readers having the opportunity to communicate with one another. Especially with the availability of internet nowadays, this interaction becomes easier. It really provides an avenue where readers get to share their thoughts and feelings about the masterpiece written by the author, and where authors get to appreciate and thank their readers for continual support.
Overall, I enjoyed reading the book. It opened my mind to concepts about illness, cancer survivors, death, and about the world in general. I am amused by John Green’s usage of language and how he structures the sentences. It’s written so creatively, with wit and depth, which leave readers to ponder its philosophical and metaphorical meanings. The story may have a bittersweet ending, but I can confidently say that Augustus and Hazel, without a doubt, left heroic scars in each and every reader’s hearts.