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Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 12, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs... for now.
Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault.
Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind.
'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.'
The Fault in our Stars was a bit like that.
I don't think I can even write a coherent review for this, but I will try my best. This book left such a deep mark on me that I will never be able to explain to anyone who has not read this book. That nobody will understand until they have read The Fault in our Stars and cried until their eyes are dry.
I read a lot of books; books that are good, and books that are excellent, and books that are amazing and unputdownable.
And then there are books like The Fault in our Stars. Books that are rare and special and only come once along once in fourteen years. Books that are brilliant and humorous and heartbreaking at the same time. Books that etch their way into your soul forever.
This book...really killed me, I'll be perfectly honest here. I knew someone with lung cancer, and let me say that John Green gets pretty damn close to the ugly truth. Deaths from cancer are normally dragged out and incredibly painful with no dignity left for the patient by the end. John Green tells the real cancer story, and I would like to thank him for that.
I know this book probably has huge literary value, that maybe a year or two from now, schools will take this novel and have students and teachers dissect it sentence by sentence. And maybe that's how John Green expected his book to be read, for the full meaning of each paragraph to be understood and discussed, but for me, taking a beautiful and whole novel like this apart and tearing it down is too much. Maybe I will eventually do it and maybe I will learn something that will improve my writing, but for now, I want to keep it in one piece and enjoy this beautiful beautiful beautiful novel a few more times.
I have a chronic illness that causes constant, long-term pain. I believe that grief does change families; mine has changed. For better or for worse, I don't know. I cannot imagine experiencing what Hazel and Gus go through on a daily basis, but I know that every day, thousands of scientists are working around the clock for new drugs that may pave the way for miracles, and that hope is one thing we all--both the healthy and the sick--can have in common. John Green's novel is so much more than a novel; it shows the joy of living and tells a tragic, terribly faulted love story.
"I am," he said. He was staring at me, and I could see the corners of his eyes crinkling. "I'm in love with you, and I'm not in the business of denying myself the simple pleasure of saying true things. 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.” ― John Green, The Fault in Our Stars