Despite the tumor shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.
The Fault in our Stars is the sixth book by John Green and was published back in January 2012. The story is narrated by the leading character, Hazel Grace Lancaster, a 16 year old girl who has thyroid cancer that has spread to her lungs and now relies on her trusty oxygen canister to survive. The title of the novel was inspired by the line from Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar, in which Cassius says to Brutus:
“The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings.”
(Act 1, Scene 2)
Yes, this book will almost definitely make you cry, but what marks it out as different is that the characters are not asking for your pity. Their diseases, although terminal, are not all consuming. They don’t indulge us with tales of woe but instead take the viewpoint that everyone is going to die at some point, so just get on with living the life you have.
Forced by her parents to attend the Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel reluctantly goes in a bid to keep them happy. But when she meets a 17 year old boy, Augustus Waters, who has recently been given the all clear from osteosarcoma, a rare form of blood cancer, she realises she is about to embark on a new chapter of her life. The story will make you feel every emotion known to mankind. Combining love, romance and teenage friendship with a tragic, heartbreaking sadness that will literally leave you weeping uncontrollably into the pages, Green creates a literary masterpiece that will stay with you forever. What no one can predict is how the story ends, and I am certainly not going to ruin it for anyone. You must, just read this book! A tragic, love story bound together by universal themes that we can all associate with, it is a book that you will find yourself coming back to time and time again. It has, without a doubt earnt a well-deserved permanent place on my bookshelf and I will be recommending it to all of my friends.
A feature film adaptation of the novel was released in June 2014 and I had the pleasure of watching it last weekend. Now, usually I am very much of the opinion that a film can never live up to the book, which is why I always insist that I read a book before I see the film. However, in this case I would say that the film is very much on a par with the book and does it complete justice. Shailene Woodley (Hazel Grace Lancaster) and Ansel Elgort (Augustus Waters) portray their characters beautifully and the whole film was an absolute joy to watch, even though it did get a bit blurry at the end as my eyes filled with tears!
Next Month’s Book: ‘The Maze Runner‘