“I’m in love with you, and I am not in the business in denying myself the simple pleasure of saying the truth. I’m in love with you, and I know love is just a shout in the void, and that oblivion is inevitable and that we are all doomed and there will come a day when all our labor will be returned to dust, and I know the sun will swallow the only earth we’ll never have, and I am in love with you.” -Augustus Waters
The Fault In Our Stars by John Green is about a girl named Hazel Grace Lancaster, who is a 16 year old teenage girl who has thyroid cancer and needs an oxygen tank to help her breathe. Augustus Waters is a 17 year old teenage boy who has osteosarcoma which means there is a tumor in the bone, this disease is what has caused August to lose one of his legs. Hazel and Augustsus meet at Support Group in the “Literal Heart of Jesus” and that is where Augustsus reveals that he is afraid of oblivion. After Hazel makes a comment about his fear of oblivion, the support group departs and Hazel and Augustus go outside and are left alone. From there Augustus invites Hazel over to watch V in Vendetta and switch phone numbers by the end of the night, recommending books to each other before they go home.
Throughout the book as Augustus reads a book Hazel recommended him called An Imperial Affliction Augustus is startled that the book ends in mid sentence. Hazel soon explains that the author, Peter Van Houten, has left it that way and that he never finished the book nor gives any hint of a sequel. Augustus is dedicated to finding out how the book ends, so he emails Van Houten through his secretary and communicates with him, later giving the email address to Hazel who is enthralled.
Augustus slowly falls for Hazel as they spend more time together, realizing that she is intelligent, funny, and I quote “Funny without ever being mean,” and Augustus falls in love with Hazel. Although Hazel falls in love slowly with Augustus as well, she does not want to have a relationship with him because “I’m a grenade, and someday I’m going to blow up, I just want to minimize the casualties…” Hazel doesn’t want to hurt Augustus because she knows that she’ll die someday because of her cancer, she doesn’t want to break his heart on account of her death. As Augustus says though, “It wouldn’t mind Hazel Grace. I would consider it a privilege to have my heart broken by you.”
When Hazel expresses a desire to go to Amsterdam to ask Van Houten to tell them the last part of the story (which he could not reveal through emails, in fear they might release them to the public), Augustus uses his resources (which are extremely limited) to make her wish come true. I will not tell you what he does, I want you to read the book and find out for yourself. Towards the end Augustus falls ill and his cancer worsens. Hazel also falls ill, but which comes first I will not say. All I will say though is that Hazel’s cancer worsens by more fluid entering her lungs, and Augustus’s cancer worsens and he loses the mobility and strength of his legs. “Maybe okay will be our always.”
I am making an effort to write this review because I simply loved it. The book expressed honesty, something you don’t get much from the books now-a-days, an honesty where the characters are just human. They acknowledge death and many other topics, always talking about how death and oblivion is inevitable and that they don’t have long to live. I truly love how these characters don’t sugar coat their problems, they don’t talk about hoping to live for a long time or overcoming cancer, they know they can’t because cancer is inevitable. Hazel says how treatment for cancer doesn’t save your life from cancer, it extends it. Hazel and Augustus (Gus), are so honest with themselves with the reality of their sickness: they know they probably won’t live a long and happy life because of their cancer, they know their reality.
I am choosing not to spoil anything because I want you to read it, the book was a romance type but not in the stereotypical way. The girl doesn’t fall for the guy in a traditional romance way, the girl is not a good girl and the guy a bad boy, they didn’t talk about sappy lovey crap. Hazel and Augustus’s relationship is down to earth and real, they don’t have the false imagination that they will live long together, but that they will stay together as long as they can. I love this because it shows love in one of its many forms; knowing that perfect fairytales don’t exist but adventurous love stories do. Hazel and Augustus had bonded over books, Hazel recommended An Imperial Affliction, Augustus recommending The Price of Dawn, both love books and their love is wrapped around them.
With all my heart I do recommend this as a good read, especially on a rainy day when you have nothing to do. This book is (extremely) funny, (extremely) sarcastic (especially by their friend Issac), and romantic. Please check this book out and give it a try! I promise it will be worth your time, read through to the end, that is where you will find out whether any of them die. This book also has a soundtrack because there was a movie produced out of it. The soundtrack is amazingly wonderful, my personal favorite song is “All of the Stars” written and sung by Ed Sheeran. If you listen to this song RIGHT after reading the book, the pain is so raw I can’t even put it down into words. So, read this book, even if it seems lame at least watch the movie, then maybe you’ll be motivated to read the book. You don’t get to choose whether you get hurt in this world, old man, but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices. I hope she likes hers. I do, Augustus, I do.”