THE FAULT IN OUR STARS is the story of Hazel and Augustus, both teen survivors of cancer. Augustus’ bone cancer is in remission, for now. Hazel has “lungs that suck at being lungs” and would have died, except that she is on a miracle drug that, along with an oxygen tank and breathing machine, have bought her a little more time.
If these two lives aren’t tenacious enough, enter a blossoming loveship and a wish to meet the author of The Imperial Infliction, a book that ilicits Catcher in the Rye type-adoration from its fans. In order to do so, the duo must gain the approval of family and doctors to travel to the Netherlands where the reclusive and mysterious author resides.
All Hazel and Augustus really want to know is what happens in the end to the the characters of The Imperial Infliction. But once there, the author himself is a dismal disappointment who offers no closure, which harkens back to the book’s theme, “the world is not a wish-granting factory.”
In strokes of light and dark, humor and sadness, John Green paints a portrait of two teens who transcend hummanity while wishing for it just the same. The love story between them is compelling, as well as their day-to-day interactions with family and friends. The way in which Green can turn a phrase to either send you into a fit or giggles or land a punch that has you gasping for air. Incredible. As an author, he’s getting better and better. Here are just a few things I liked:
The way Hazel, Augustus, and Isaac reappropriated cancer-speak and all of its tropes and slogans (I’m on a roller coaster that only goes up!)
That Augustus revered Max Mayhem who defied death at every turn (spolier alert: he never dies), and was bad at video games because he continually committed suicide to save others.
The third space that Hazel and Augustus created and their ability to draw humor from seemingly bleak situations.
The Anna Foundation for People with Cancer Who Want to Cure Cholera.
That every support group meeting opened with the story of Patrick’s balls.
TFIOS is a novel that is well worth the praise and adoration. It’s a story that will stay with you and one that you’ll want to read again and again.