Author: John Green
Published: January 10th, 2012 by Dutton Books
Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 13, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs... for now.
Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault.
Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind
“But I believe in true love, you know? I don't believe that everybody gets to keep their eyes or not get sick or whatever, but everybody should have true love, and it should last at least as long as your life does.”
How to start my review on this particular novel? As some of you may have known, I’m a medical student and a licensed nurse, and despite the fact, I never really pursued my nursing career because I’ve entered medical school as soon as I got my degree it’s still a bit hard to comment on a novel based on a disease, I have been studying and is studying at the moment. That’s why I won’t really put my review on the technicalities of cancer and it’s development and all those geeky stuff but instead I would focus on the story in itself since this is a book review.
To tell you the truth, I’ve never really read anything made by John Green, until this one. What got me interested in it is because I kept on seeing it on our local bookstore as the number one book to read. And that got me, wanting to actually read this particular novel despite the fact that I’m very busy these past few days with my school works. As I have told you before, I usually read novels during boring lectures and that’s what exactly I’ve done with this one.
And reading only a bit of it, I was instantly hooked. I felt that the love presented in the book is perfect and yet you can’t help but feel a bit unfair. It makes you question a lot of things. Embarrassingly enough, I stopped reading until I got home because I was trying to stop myself from crying during class and despite wanting to continue on reading I stopped and went home and at the confines of my room enter the world of Hazel and Gus.
The main protagonist, Hazel Grace, in my opinion, is so well made (not in a sense of being Mary Sue-ish). I said that because she not your typical heroine, who is so pretty and so positive and so strong (although I think she is) and all those superlatives that you can think of. She’s just Hazel Grace, a surprising survivor of a stage 4-thyroid cancer, who according to her mother needs to socialize more and be a teenager like she is and not bury herself on reading this one book (that in my opinion became a very important standing ground of the story). For me, she’s someone who is trying to be sarcastic in order to make her feel strong, in a way. And I feel like her falling in love was never really in her mind because she have already set her mind that in anytime her medications or therapy might fail and she does not want to leave to many people to be hurt when she’s gone. I can’t really tell much about her because I felt that no matter what I say I can’t perfectly explain who Hazel Grace is and actually that’s how I really felt about her.
While, her other half in the story, is Augustus Waters. Augustus is also a cancer survivor, and he is portrayed as a handsome young man with one fake leg for he lost it during his fight with cancer. I totally adore Augustus to tell you the truth. He’s also not your perfect guy next door to swoon at but for me he’s just perfect. I love the way he would try to find sarcasm in depressing times. And the way he would call Hazel as Hazel Grace made me feel all giggly and happy inside. The way he fell in love with Hazel is so beautifully made despite my aversion to instant love at first sight kind-of-thing. I’m not sure but they just work. His wittiness and carelessness and all the things that made him Gus felt right for me even his faults.
The last thing I’ll talk about is the romance side of the story and after that I’ll end this review because I really don’t want to say more due to the fact that I want you to read this particular book.
So, the romance part and I’ll start my review on that part with this one thought; it’s like a fairytale with a finished yet unfinished happy ending. Kind of confusing right? But that’s what I felt because the way the fell in love with each other is like a fairytale in itself. I’m not being mean or something but it’s hard to fall in love when you are thinking to many things and it’s especially hard to get in a relationship if you know that you’re entering something that maybe one of you may die in an instant. That’s actually Hazel’s dilemma. She doesn’t want to enter a relationship because for her she’s like a bomb that is constantly ticking and suddenly she would explode leaving everyone around her hurt. While, Gus believes that they should live in the moment and once you fall in love you can’t stop yourself. You can’t order yourself to stop. And the author showed this in a real warm and very subtle way, in a way, he presented their love story in a heart fluttering and at the same time a heart wrenching way. And I would like to quote another one from this book because I felt this part explained everything about their relationship;
“There are infinite numbers between 0 and 1. There's .1 and .12 and .112 and an infinite collection of others. Of course, there is a bigger infinite set of numbers between 0 and 2, or between 0 and a million. Some infinities are bigger than other infinities. A writer we used to like taught us that. There are days, many of them, when I resent the size of my unbounded set. I want more numbers than I'm likely to get, and God, I want more numbers for Augustus Waters than he got. But, Gus, my love, I cannot tell you how thankful I am for our little infinity. I wouldn't trade it for the world. You gave me a forever within the numbered days, and I'm grateful.”
Well, this is my review for the Fault in our Stars and hope you would have time to actually read this. Because;
“Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.”
I’m giving this 5 Whale Stars.