Zoë recommended that I try out The Fault in Our Stars. After her successful recommendation of the Great Gatsby, I knew I had to try it out.
I am so happy I did. It is an amazing book. It is powerful and funny and sad and excellently written. I cried and laughed so much I probably looked a bit bipolar.
Hazel Grace Lancaster meets Augustus Waters at a cancer support group. Hazel has Stage Four Thyroid cancer and Augustus is in remission after amputating his right leg to osteosarcoma.
Hazel is immediately drawn to Augustus. He is funny and knows where she is coming from. She tries to distance herself from him because she is scared what her death will do to him if he comes to love her. Her parents try to make her understand that she is not a grenade, and that they are all incredibly lucky to be able to love her.
Grace shares her favorite book with Gus; An Imperial Affliction by Peter van Houten, an American author who moved to the Netherlands. Her greatest wish is meet him and hear what happens to all the other characters after the protagonist dies. Gus finds a way to make this happen. He uses his wish “The Genies” give to dying cancer children (Grace used hers to go to Disneyland with her parents) to fly him, her mother and Grace to the Netherlands. He admits on the plane that he loves her.
On their first night in the Netherlands they go to a fancy restaurant courtesy of Van Houten and his assistant Lidewij. The next day they meet Van Houten, who is a raging, rude alcoholic. He is extremely rude to them and seems to have a particular grudge against them. Lidewij resigns as a result and together they go to the Anne Frank house. Grace kisses Augustus in Frank’s house and to the applause of the rest of the visitors. Later that night they sleep together.
Grace finally understand the “loving a grenade issue” when Augustus tells her that his cancer has returned to various parts of his body. He promises to fight the cancer. Will Augustus survive? How much time does Grace have left? What is Van Houten’s problem?
I don’t have the ability to say how much I liked this book. Nothing I write will do justice to the Fault in Our Stars. It is truly powerful. The story is so sweet and unfair. Two teenagers facing cancer is probably the saddest thing to read about it but I didn’t even care.
The book is being made into a movie this year, and I seriously suggest you read the book then watch the movie too.