In 2013 it is predicted that 580,350 people will die from cancer (Howlader). Chances are any given person knows at least one person, who has suffered from cancer. Talking about cancer is not something that people willingly do. If you are unlucky enough to not know someone who has had cancer, reading The Fault in Our Stars by John Green will give you the emotions of losing someone dear to you to cancer. What makes this book worth reading because of it’s plot, the characters are relatable and give the reader meaning, and the book sticks in the readers mind even after finishing the book.
The plot of The Fault of Our Stars tells the story of Hazel Grace who experiences a miracle that shrinks her ever growing tumors and buys her more years that she expected. The novel is based on the twist in Hazel’s life when she meets Augustus Waters, a cancer survivor, at a Cancer Kid Support group.
The story follows the friendship and romance of Hazel and Augustus.
The two grow together and share experiences and love for reading making their friendship and relationship become more solidified.
The romance flourishes after Hazel has a medical issue due to the tumors in her lungs and explains to Augustus that she wants to meet her, and now his, favorite author in Amsterdam. Augustus uses his wish, presumably from the “Make a Wish Foundation,” to get himself, Hazel, and Hazel’s mother to Amsterdam. This trip is the climax in the relationship of Hazel and Augustus. They share their first kiss, and lose their virginities to each other. This is also the tipping point where we realize that Augustus is dying, Brodie 2
his cancer has reoccured and it appears to be incurable. After their trip we quickly see Augustus’ health go down a downward spiral, his caner getting worse and spreading throughout his body. The author then does the unexpected and ends the romance of Hazel and Augustus by having Augustus cancer overwhelm him and eventually take his life. Green follows Hazels life after his death showing her grief and her will to live. Augustus death gave her a new perspective on life. Wanting to fight her cancer more. The plot is overall strong and well thought out.
The story is possible, while unlikely that two teenagers with terminal caner would travel to Amsterdam together, but still has the realistic nature that gives most people something to relate to. Having two teenagers with cancer fall in love gives the plot not only a twist at the end, but also something that everyone in their lives look for. It has hope for the people needing hope, love for the hopeless romantics, adventure for the adventure seekers, something for everyone can be found in this book. The characters Hazel Grace, and Augustus Waters, have aspects of their personalities that everyone can relate to.
The author John Green specifically designed the characters to be relatable for all ages. Green gave Hazel a strong independent personality who doesn’t like seeing herself as being weak. Green wants to make Hazel a teenager, despite her terminal cancer. Green comments, “I wanted to establish that just because Hazel is sick and dying or whatever, she is still a teenager, and more generally she is still human and developing emotionally at the standard human rate, and not at some wildly increased rate of development that’s only available to you if you have incurable cancer.
” (Questions). Green creates a character that has had things in her life happen that many teenagers will never experience. However he gives her “normal teenager” aspects where she does not enjoy physical contact with her mother. Giving her a real teenage Brodie 3 attitude makes her more relatable than a mature teenager who loves her parents and has terminal cancer. While Augustus seems to be the mature teenager who beat cancer, he still has his teen angst common in adolescence.
He travels with Hazel against his parents wishes, he lies to Hazel about coming out of remission, and has attitude with a flight attendant when she asks him to remove an unlit cigarette from his mouth. While many teenagers wouldn’t go against their parents wishes especially when it comes to their wellbeing, lie to the woman they love about their cancer, and smoke unlit cigarettes to get across a metaphor, Green makes it clear that Augustus was a real person. He had pain and suffering that he didn’t lead on.
Green says when asked why Augustus stops hiding his pain towards the end of his life, “I am really bothered by the idea that people in pain who are being wrenched from existence should be perpetually cheerful and compassionate about it. ” (Questions). His point is that some people can only bottle up their pain for so long. This is something many teenagers with depression, and even adults can relate to. Memorability of a book or any form of media is important. Having quotes that can be used in everyday life, and some that are so deep that they make you think about yourself and the marks you leave on the world.
Having strong quotes such as, “I’m in love with you, and I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we’re all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust, and I know the sun will swallow the only earth we’ll ever have, and I am in love with you. ” (Green, 128). The certain quotes that stick with someone, that initiate emotions, are important in any books. The emotions that can be drawn out of the reader, mainly bringing sadness towards the end when Brodie 4
Green does the worst possible thing to his characters by ending the life of Augustus, for some people this can spark intense emotions. Many people say to “not read this book in public” (Keane) due to the fact that many people have cried. Not expecting the twist ending, finding yourself shocked at the pain the other characters are feeling create an almost physical response from some readers. The effectiveness of a good book are based on the plot, characters, and memorability. While some of these are all based on personal preference it can be agreed that The Fault in Our Stars is, according to Time, an “instant classic.
” Time magazine wrote, “(I can see) The Fault in Our Stars taking its place alongside Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret in the young-adult canon. ” Writing about such an emotional topic of cancer and on top of that writing about the love and the loss of two teenagers is a strong concept to tackle and release into the public. The words on the pages jump off and overall the book is worth reading due to the intense plot line, relatable characters, and the quotable passages. Brodie 5
Bruni, Frank. “Kids, Books and a Five-Hankie Gem.
” The New York Times 22 Feb. 2012, sec. Opinion Paged: n. pag. New York Times. Web. 2 Oct. 2013.
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“Questions about The Fault in Our Stars. ” John Green. N. p. , n. d. Web. 7 Oct. 2013. .
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Bethesda, MD, http://seer. cancer. gov/csr/1975_2010/, based on November 2012 SEER data submission, posted to the SEER web site, 2013.
Keane, Shannon Rigney. “Book Notes: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. ” Girls Leadership Institute. N. p. , 7 Aug. 2012. Web. 11 Oct. 2013. . Lockhart, E.
“The Fault in Our Stars: John Green, Kate Rudd: 9781455869893: Amazon. com: Books. ” Amazon. N. p. , n. d. Web. 7 Oct. 2013. .
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