The Fault in our Stars

Many people have raved about this book by John Green this past year, and since the movie just came out, I thought that I had better read it as well. This book is about a girl named Hazel, and her life struggling with cancer. At first glance, it seems like another novel about someone suffering from an incurable disease. However, beneath the surface of this book is some truly deep life philosophy. At first Hazel is afraid to cultivate relations with other people because she knows the pain she will cause when she eventually dies. She even says, when explaining why she’s vegetarian, “I want to minimize the number of deaths I’m responsible for.” This is her outlook on life, whether about animals or people. Although an admirable intention, she doesn’t realize that she needs more from life.

Then she meets Augustus Waters, a cancer survivor with only one leg. Charming and confident, he shares his own philosophy with her, which is basically to live life to the fullest and enjoy the small moments of happiness. As she gets to know “Gus,” she finds herself warming up to him, even going to Holland with him to meet the author of a book she loves.

Touching scenes run rampant throughout the book, and as I traveled through her tale of the relationship she shares with Gus, I was more and more engrossed in the story. I found that I literally couldn’t put the book down. There are some definite tissue moments, especially toward the end, and I thought that John Green did a magnificent job with this book. Although Hazel is aware that she is slowly dying, she is able to find joy in her life. One side effect of this book: as I read, I was very aware of my own mortality, and about how to live life like it’s your last day on earth. A must-read for every high schooler, this is a different book with lots of very wise advice.

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