Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Photo Source: Amazon
"The world is not a wish-granting factory."

My second book for this year. The title itself made me curious - Why The The Fault in Our Stars? I initially thought that this book is a typical teen romance book. But then, after reading it, I realized that it is indeed more than that. It is actually much more!

[Think] What will you do if your time is limited though not specifically determined?

Reality is far different from our fantasies and things we want to come true often don't. What's meant to happen will happen. But we can control on how to make our life worthwhile. Just like what the character in the book says,

"You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world…but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices."

The Fault in Our Stars, a novel by John Green, shows two young people who learned to live life even as they both face death. It deals sensitively yet positively and even humorously during those difficult situations.

Hazel Grace, with her terminal cancer, and Augustus Waters who has lost a leg to osteosarcoma, met at a support group for cancer kids. They immediately hit it off, became friends and develop the bond over the "An Imperial Affliction" book (written by Hazel's favorite author, Peter Van Houten). They both desire to find out how the story in that book ends.

"Pain demands to be felt."

Like Hazel's favorite book, she worries about being a "grenade," wanting to minimize the casualties that her life will cause. She worries how her parents will cope if she's gone, etc.

In the same way, Gus also thinks about life after death. Through Hazel, he realized that not being able to do something extraordinary, does not equal being insignificant. He shares how life is experienced with her... that the current moment does matter.

It is during their trip to Amsterdam that Gus reveals a heartbreaking news to Hazel.

What happens during and after their trip to Amsterdam? Will the world fall apart around them?


"Some infinities are bigger than other infinities."

Hazel and Augustus.
Teens who are suffering from cancer, but they seemed to be wise beyond their years. Teens with humorous attitude but are filled with longing, worries, and hope. Teens who doubt their place in this world. But it was their positivity that helped them in their painful struggle to live for each other. Their resilience was both inspiring and heart-warming.

One thing that hit me - they fall in love while living on borrowed time. Such beautiful moments.

In Peter Von Houten's letter to Augustus:
"Were she better, or you sicker, then the stars would not be so terribly crossed, but it is the nature of stars to cross, and never was Shakespeare more wrong than when he had Cassius note, ‘The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars/But in ourselves"

Thus the title.

[My take]

The Fault in Our Stars is not a book about cancer. As what Hazel Grace says, "cancer books suck." The Fault in Our Stars does not. It is a beautiful moving story filled with sadness and courage, yet brimming with hope.

It made me worry what will happen next. It is an insightful story that helps you understand life more.

Reading this book will make you see or feel all these - the realities of terminal illness, necessity of pain, depression, death, fear of oblivion, the insensitivity of the universe, and a lot more. Oh well...

Like, what you would do if you were Hazel or Augustus? Or if you're the parent of these kids?

It wasn't a happily-ever-after-ending, but it doesn't mean it's any less beautiful.

This book is simply Moving. Beautiful. Intense.


+True love.
+Our relationships will continue, even if we do not.
+We will all die, and what happens next is something we don't know. Uncertain.
+We can't tell what memory we will leave behind.
+Life can be cruel and unfair yet remains to be beautiful.
+Like Hazel, be thankful for the joy within our days.
+Life is precious. Live it, don't simply exist. Enjoy the journey.

"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." - John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

John Green, thank you for the book. Thank you for the little infinity you created.

I choose to read this book, and I'm thankful I did. I'm thankful too for that little infinity I spend reading this book.

Even if this book is written for the young adult, read it whatever your age is. Feel the compassion, frailty, strength, love and courage.

Get moved by life.

I do.


Post a Comment