It is a rare experience and treat that a fictional character will touch our hearts so much that losing them feels like we lost an actual person in our lives. Although it is so rare, John Green has accomplished just that with The Fault in Our Stars. Sixteen year old Hazel Grace Lancaster narrates the novel. Hazel pretty much sees her diagnosis of stage four thyroid cancers that has spread to her lungs as a death sentence. She has no hope for a forever… Until she meets Augustus Waters.
Unlike many fantasies of the perfect encounter of one’s true love, Green kept it incredibly realistic. The magical meeting was at a cancer support group. They noticed each other from the first second they laid eyes on each other. Augustus once battled Osteosarcoma but had been in remission for years.
The most endearing thing about their unique love story is Augustus’ persistence. Hazel lost all hope in a forever, in finding love, in living a normal life. As many have experienced, love has amazing power.
“Why are you looking at me like that?”
“Because you are beautiful. I enjoy looking at beautiful people, and I decided a while ago not to deny myself the simpler pleasures of existence.”
That one answer was all it took to give Hazel back a sense of hope. It took Augustus to make her stop believing she was a “grenade.” There to just hurt anyone that was there to love her simply because she did not have a forever. As an ultimate act of love Augustus decides to use his one wish to allow Hazel and himself to meet the author of their favorite book An Imperial Affliction, Peter Van Houton. Although the trip is not what they anticipated, on that trip, their love for each other is cemented in their hearts.
In a shocking plot twist, the tables turn on Hazel, and it is now Augustus that is terribly sick. Augustus has always been her rock to keep her going through her sickness. Now she had to be his rock, be there for this once seemingly indestructible boy and watch him slowly perish.
As an avid reader, the actual technicality of how the story is written also makes a huge impact on me. Green, in my opinion has done an amazing job. It was so beautifully written you cannot help but be mesmerized by Hazel’s story. It is too rare that I am so completely engrossed in a story that I will miss my stop on the train, but I am not ashamed to admit with this book in my hand it has happened on more than one occasion. After finishing that last page of the book I felt empty. What was I supposed to do now? I had invested hours reading just to know what happens to these two star-crossed lovers. With the movie release this June 6th I can honestly say the movie has a beautiful love story to live up to.
Going through tough experiences is said to make a person stronger. For Hazel and Augustus it did two things. It made their love stronger, and gave them both a forever they otherwise would never have had. One guarantee I would give a potential reader about this book is be prepared to have a box of Kleenex next to you because you will be so invested in these characters that parts of the book will hurt your soul. Hazel and Augustus will engrave themselves in your mind and soul. I recommend this book to anyone looking for real characters, real love, and above all else real life experiences.