What’s This Book All About?
I have never liked romantic novels because they have always seemed to be a bit far-fetched and distant. I have always been more of a fan of historical and drama fiction in which romance might be just one of the many elements. So when I picked up The Fault in Our Stars, my expectations were not very high. I would not say the book exceeded my expectation but yes it is definitely one of the good novels that I have read in recent times.
The Bigger Picture
The Fault In Our Stars is based on the lives of Hazel Grace Lancaster and Augustus Waters, both teenagers who are battling with cancer from a very young age. During one of her cancer patient support group meeting, Hazel meets Augustus who takes an immediate liking for her. During their first meet itself, they decide to read each other favorite novel, while Augustus recommends Hazel The Prince of Dawn, Hazel tells him to read An Imperial Affliction, which is her favorite book. The reason why Hazel likes this book is because she feels it mirrors her life as a cancer patient in the perfect manner. She is however stricken by the ending of the book as it does not provide any sort of closure to the reader. She is also intrigued by the author of the book, Peter Van Houten who seems be living an extremely private life in the city of Amsterdam, away from any kind of publicity and media attention. Through a wish granting charity organisation for cancer patients, Augustus is able to arrange for a trip to Amsterdam for himself, Hazel and her mother so that she can meet the author of her favorite book. But when they arrive there, they realize that Van Houten has no intentions of entertaining them. Disappointed they return home but not before Hazel and Augustus fall deeply in love with each other. A cruel twist of fate happens when Augustus’s cancer returns and he is admitted to the hospital. As his condition worsens, the dynamics between this couple changes completely. From here, the novel has a couple of rapid twists and turns which ends with Hazel discovering the true meaning of love, loss, pain and recovery.
There are many things about this book that is really commendable and amazing. The first and foremost is the style of writing that John Green employs and it becomes very easy to understand why he one of the most popular writer of young adult fiction books. Though he does falter a bit in making his characters seem relatable, he makes you question a lot of things about your life. He has very nicely interspersed humor with tragedy, something that is not very easy to do when you are writing a tragic love story. In short, the author has a way of stringing together words and sentences that can pull at your heartstrings in the most magical manner. Another amazing fact about the book is the fact that it helps you empathize and understand the kind of lives people suffering from terminal disease go through on a daily basis.In addition, it also helps us to comprehend the amount of agony and torture that their family and friends go through when someone they love is diagnosed with such problems. And lastly, what I also liked about the book are the small important lessons about life, mortality, pain and suffering that are cleverly woven into the story.
Though, I may not have really fallen for the characters of Augustus and Hazel, but I did to a great extent sympathize with their situation and difficult choices that they had to make. A deeply heartfelt and engrossing read, I would definitely recommend A Fault in Our Stars to anyone who has had to suffer because of any kind of terminal disease or has had to watch a friend or family member battle with it. It will definitely encourage them and strengthen them in their fight. It is also is good recommendation for those who like Young Adult Fiction (YAF) and want to explore more books in this genre. (Though considering its immense popularity, I am sure that you would have already read it).
If you are a romantic at heart, this book deserves to be a part of your bookshelf. Also, Though I do not particularly like YAF, I still did enjoy this book to a great extent simply because of the author’s crisp, efficient and clear style of writing. John Green is a very gifted author and I look forward to reading more of his works. The world of Augustus and Hazel might seem a bit implausible, but there are many small yet important lessons in the story for everyone. Especially the most important being that though we cannot control our situations, we can always choose the manner in which we react to them.