If there is one book I would recommend everyone to read, it would have to be, “The Fault in our Stars” by John Green. It is unlike your typical young adult novel. In fact, it is not a young adult novel, even though the characters are teenagers. It is nothing like I have read this year and most certainly this has become one of my best reads of this year and I cannot thank John Green enough for writing this brilliant book.
“The Fault in our Stars” starts very unconventionally. It starts at a Support Group for Teen Cancer Patients. Hazel Grace Lancaster spies Augustus (Gus) Waters checking her out across the room. Sparks fly like they never did. He is a gorgeous, confident, intelligent amputee who always loses video games because he wants to save everyone. He is also only seventeen. She is all of sixteen, and living with lung cancer. It is terminal in nature and she is surviving on a drug called Phalanxifor. She is unsure as to when the research and drug will stop affecting her. She is a recluse while Gus isn’t.
Gus falls in love with her at first sight. Hazel is reluctant. Hazel and Gus get close despite all her reservations. They get close over a book called, “An Imperial Affliction” written by Paul Van Houten. They visit him to Amsterdam as the book is incomplete and they want answers. Their life changes when they meet each other and the essence of the book is not in loss or pain, but in the gains and the moments lived.
I lived their life with Gus and Hazel for the time I was reading this book. I could not put it down and yet I did not want it to end soon at all. I prolonged the joy of reading this book. I cried a lot. I laughed a lot and there were in-between melancholic moments as well, which took me by surprise. The Fault in our Stars is not sympathetic. It doesn’t go overboard with emotions. John Green knows how to add that much needed touch of humour needed for a book like this.
John Green writes with grace. He knows his style and sticks to that throughout the book. The plot is well researched. The emotions are subtle and sublime. I love the interaction between Gus and Hazel and how their lives turn out from a support group therapy session to being lovers to travelling to Amsterdam to meet Paul Van Houten. The secondary characters – Gus’s best friend Isaac, who is blinded because of Cancer, Gus’s parents and Hazel’s parents add the much needed perspectives to the book. Cancer does not play any role in the book, except that it is there as the much-needed backdrop. I loved that – the fact that it did not take over the story.
For me, The Fault in our Stars was a ride of a read. Hazel and Augustus will stay with me long after I have finished reading the book. I will in all probability re-read it. The Fault in Our Stars broke my heart and fixed it with its big heartedness.
Here are some quotes from the book to give you an idea of it:
“I wanted to know that he would be okay if I died. I wanted to not be a grenade, to not be a malevolent force in the lives of people I loved.”
“Come over here so I can examine your face with my hands and see deeper into your soul than a sighted person ever could.”
“People will say it’s sad that she leaves a lesser scar that fewer remember her, that she was loved deeply but not widely. But it’s not sad. It’s triumphant. It’s heroic. Isn’t that the real heroism?
The real heroes anyway aren’t the people doing things; the real heroes are the people NOTICING things, paying attention.”
Here is a book trailer as well: