So, I recently read the book, The Fault in Our Stars. I know many of you may say, “whoa! She hadn’t read it till now?” Yeah, I haven’t, because I avoid books filled with deep emotion, I don’t like books that force me to come face to face with these. I usually read books full of action and humour, even if somebody dies in these books it doesn’t necessarily affect me, because these books are fictitious. But The Fault in Our Stars is a book full of reality, beautiful emotions and vibrant colours, whenever we see cancer survivors we only see their ‘after cancer period’. we only talk merely about their struggle, their battle. We, lucky human beings do not understand that mere words will never do justice to their difficult battle, one they will never forget, that will leave most of them with a scar forever.
All the characters in this book are beautiful and complex, with heart touching backstories and deep emotions and feelings. The way Hazel is already aware of the truth of her life, and that nothing is permanent. That everything is going to go into oblivion one day, shows how mature and understanding she is.
Augustus rightly said in his letter to Van Houten that Hazel walks the earth, lightly she does not want to do something great and honourable before dying but she silently notices what goes around in this vast universe, and that in itself is a sublime act.
Hazel’s concept is clear and kind of rings true to me. We should not always think of dying a great death, and have people all over the world remember you when you die. But you should have a few close people love you dearly and truly, and they should hold you in their memories till as long as they live.
Dying a great and memorable death is related to Augustus’ fear of going into oblivion. And how the author as well as Augustus navigate their way through this when Augustus is on the verge of dying is both sad and beautiful.
Hazel and Augustus were sometimes totally opposite in their thoughts, and their philosophical arguments made up the best part of the book. The way Hazel gave all her time to Augustus after his cancer recurrence was so heart rending to read. It showed her true love, being shredded into tiny pieces one by one.
So, let’s talk about Peter Van Houten he who helped shape Hazel and Augustus’ story. He wasn’t a bad guy, he was just sad and lonely, and of course drunken. Sad and lonely is the side effect of being human, it’s a characteristic, but Peter had been struck hard with this effect. In this case he was both a side effect and victim of cancer. With his daughter dying due to leukemia at a tender age, he had been sad the entire time. His book An Imperial Affliction, his reason for writing it was so deep and for some reason it brought me near tears. (I’m never that emotional type of person, I have never cried while watching a movie or reading a book, so this near crying experience was a first…) He was well versed in philosophy, but that did not make him a wise person nonetheless. Lidewij was also a nice and thoughtful addition to the book, she kinda helped him realise how low he’d gotten.
Anyway, that trip to Amsterdam was one of the best things to happen to both of them. But, it also came along with some bad news. When Augustus told poor Hazel about his cancer recurrence, when they both cried together it just showed how far they’d gotten since the first time they had met. The part when Augustus made Hazel and Isaac read to him his eulogy, was an amazing part. The confusion among their emotions, being both sad and jokingly laughing at the same time was the author showing us their strength, and their ability to grasp the truth and hold on to it and accept it. And the funeral after Augustus died was just not as sad as his struggle, and I’m glad because that would’ve been too much to handle. The little doses of humour in the book are perfectly measured, and lovely to read. With this I conclude, thanks a lot John Green for making me sad and giving me that warm wonderful feeling after reading this book…