The fault in our stars by John Green. Don’t get fooled by how simple the book seems in the beginning. It takes you through so many emotions, simplicity, shock, romance, sadness. One minute you’re crying, next minute you’re laughing while crying. It reminds you that no one likes being pitied, and not everyone needs sympathy, the beauty and tragedy of true love and that life can hit you harder than anything ever will.
The book takes you through the life of Hazel Grace, a 17 year old who is a cancer survivor, but “her lungs suck at being lungs” and she needs an oxygen tank. She has written off the last chapter in her life as her diagnosis and hates being labelled as the prototypical cancer survivor, loathing the cancer survivor club. Until she meets Augustus Waters, another survivor who had one of his legs amputated as a result of the cancer and now had a prosthetic leg and a real one. She is an intelligent, smart, creative but down to earth no nonsense girl who sees herself as a normal person.
The book takes you through a simple yet intruiging plot, where she and Augustus share jokes about “literally being in the heart of God” and the instant chemistry between them. As they get to know each other more, the book unravels so many emotions that it just leaves you blown.
They exchange books, travel to Amsterdam and meet Hazel’s loved author who turns out to be quite the opposite of the image she had of him. In between she almost dies, but survives and as they get to know each other more, sparks fly and they fall in love.
This is the part that just shocked me so hard, I re read it just to be sure. Augustus’ cancer relapses, only worse this time and almost sure to claim him.
The book makes you see the world through a different set of eyes. It compels you to think that anythung can happen to anyone at any point of time, and that “Time is a slut, she screws everything”. It shows you that people who go through these illnesses do not ask for anything out of you. All they want is normalcy, to be treated the same way as they were before and not be stared at everywhere they go. And yes, it sucks to be in that condition, but a little sense of humor can take that graveness out of it.
It tells you about love, and how you get to a place where yourself dying is not as bad as how your death will affect others, as Hazel calls herself “a grenade”, and the fundamental selfishness of dying. Yes it’s not in their hands, but atleast they are in a better place, what about the ones they leave behind?
The books potrays all these relationships and feelings beautifully. Hazel’s mother saying “If she dies, I won’t be a mom anymore.” That our parents may not really know us very well, but we are their whole lives. And how loves happens. She says, and this is one of my favorite quotes, “I fell in love like you fall asleep, first slowly and then all at once.” The way she deals with Augustus dying, saying “some infinities are bigger than other infinities, and Gus, my love, I cannot tell you how thankful I am for our little infinity.” As difficult as it is for these people, it is equally hard on their near ones, like when Isaac’s girlfriend breaks up with him before his eye operation, she couldn’t deal with him being blind because it is also hard for her to handle. When a disease comes onto someone, it doesn’t just hit the victim. It hits everyone around them.
It’s a beautiful book, impeccably written, grasping every emotion to it’s best with a touch of wit and never looses its simplicity. Definitely worth a read, and many re-reads too. A little tip- keep a tissue handy. 🙂