Review: The Fault in Our Stars

May 15, 2013 Whitney Review 1 Comment

Review: The Fault in Our StarsThe Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Published by Dutton on January 10, 2012
Genres: Young Adult
Source: Library

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.

Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning author John Green's most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.

Is it wrong to laugh while reading a book about Cancer?  Because I was.   John Green took a serious topic and made it uplifting, inspirational and eventually heartbreaking.  Hazel has cancer of the lungs.  Her mother, feeling that Hazel is depressed over her condition forces her to go to a support group, with Hazel going grudgingly.  On one such meeting her friend Isaac, who has eye cancer, eventually going blind brings a friend Augustus Waters, who has bone cancer.  Like a good young adult novel, there is an instant spark between the two, with Hazel thinking support group many not be so bad after all.

Hazel and Augustus become enamored with the novel An Imperial Affliction written by Peter Von Houten.  They feel that he really fits the Shakespeare quote written above and dedicate themselves to meeting him.  Hazel has foolishly used her Make A Wish to go to Disney World by Augustus has been holding out on his.  Thus using it to go to Amsterdam to meet Peter Von Houten.  It turns out that he is a complete ass.  Showing that life as a cancer patient does not always fill your wish and gives a taste of other harnesses outside of the cancer ward.

Strangely, while reading this novel I was reminded of one of my favorite movies, 1939’s Dark Victory starring Bette Davis.  What do you say?  Let me explain.

Firstly, I will note that the two main characters persona’s are completely different, Hazel is a realist understanding the gravity of her condition, whereas Dark Victory’s Judith Traherne lives a carefree throw it into the wind.

Now for the comparisons.  Despite knowing that they will someday meet their maker Judith and Hazel go about as normal as possible and meet their true loves through the medical field, Judith falls in love with her brain surgeon and I have listed Hazel and Augustus’ star-crossed eyes above.  While throughout the novel/movie everyone has a hopeful facade but on the inside are trying to cope with the reality of it all.  There cannot be a happy ending, Judith loses her sight and battle with her brain tumor and Hazel someone very close to her.

As I began with a quote from Shakespeare, I feel this quote from Dark Victory sums The Fault in Our Stars perfectly.

“Nothing can hurt us now. What we have can’t be destroyed. That’s our victory – our victory over the dark. It is a victory because we’re not afraid.”


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