This heart wrenching tale about a boy and a girl who meet at a cancer support centre will have you running for tissues and rethinking the importance of your life. John Green, who has received world-wide recognition for this book, starts off by warning readers that this book is not a sugar coated love story, but deals with the harsh reality of life. It is spoken about as it is.
As soon as you dive into the book, you are introduced to the main character of the story, Hazel Green, who is your average teenage girl. But this average teenage girl has terminal cancer and is clinically depressed. Her teenage life, as normal as it could be for someone who is cancer ridden, is turned upside down when she is sent to a support group and meets Augustus Waters. While the entire story is centred around cancer, and death looms above like a dark shadow, death is not a central character. It is about the power of the legacy you leave behind lying in your own hands. Augustus, who constantly has an unlit cigarette in his mouth, encourages Hazel to break out of her shell formed by the thought of dying. His cigarette is a metaphor for putting what kills you right between your teeth, but never giving it the power to kill you. Hazel soon grows close to Augustus, who teaches her to live despite her terminal illness. He reminds her that she is still alive and should live her life to the fullest before it is too late. Augustus is the exact opposite of Hazel, confident, energetic, full of life, and always speaking his mind. Hazel tries to keep him at a distance to protect him and herself, but just like us readers, she too is drawn in by the character that is Augustus Waters.
Both characters bond over a book, which soon leads them to Amsterdam to meet the author, in what turns out be the trip of a lifetime and caters to the romantic in everyone. John Green, through his gripping writing style, helps readers understand his characters and believe that they would react in the exact same way. Diving into ‘The Fault in our Stars’ will lead you to lose yourself into the world of Hazel and Augustus. This book is nothing short of an emotional roller coaster, and just as John Green promised, it is no romantic novel but ends devastatingly and in despair. Yet such is the beauty of the book that readers can’t help but fall in love with it. You will find your fair share of romance, humour and sadness in a perfect balance. While sceptics have branded it as a Young Adult novel, one will find that this book has the potential to touch all readers, young or old. This is one book you just won’t want to put down!
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