|It’s been a long time since my last review!!It took me long, really long just to finish one book. I made myself read more than 2 books, either fiction or nonfiction, at the same time so that I could go after my reading target this year and also reading target in some challenges I’ve been joining. It was not as easy as deciding which books to buy first, given some pocket money I was received. The time is enough, I think, but the one who uses it did not use it well. I always postponed my plan to continue reading and yeah, no wonder I haven’t finished , like, four books since March. =(And this is it, out of 6 I finally finished two and The Fault in Our Stars is one of the two. I have been really curious with this novel ever since I read the review about this book as well as John Green’s name as the author of this story. I have been interested in his other masterpiece after reading Paper Town so I thought I would like to give this book a try.
“But in fact, depression is not a side effect of cancer. Depression is a side effect of dying.”
First, before I jumped to conclusion, let me share a glance of the story to you. Situations happened in this novel was seen and told through the eye of Hazel Grace,a 16-year-old girl who has a thyroid cancer in her lung. She was unpleasantly and skeptically living her life, befriending but her parents and reading books and novels, repeating her favorite novels, An Imperial Affliction by Peter Van Houten, whom she considered her third friend. Her mother couldn’t bear seeing her like this made her join a Support Group, a group consist of some kids and teens with cancer that met up every week and share their (cancer) fighting story to each others. Hazel did not think this was her thing but she didn’t want to make her mom more difficult so she came every week, without sharing a single story but a single sentence ‘I had a thyroid cancer’ kinda. The only person she could connect with there was Isaac, a 17-year-old boy with an eye cancer. There’s not much talking between them (yet) but their eyes usually met whenever they thought something was too much. And things changed in Hazel’s life, too, because of Isaac (in my opinion lol); once, he brought his friend, Augustus Waters, to the Support Group. He had an appendiceal cancer, making him lose one of his legs, thus, making him wear a prost. From the description Hazel poured, Augustus was really hot. He was so attractive with his crooked smile and muscular body. That’s why Hazel was fascinated, and became more fascinated when he showed much interest in her.
“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.”
Augustus, or Gus, said she’s so cool, looking like Natalie Portman in V for Vendetta, repeating it like more than twice. Gus so bluntly said that he liked her and wanted to go steady with her. Any girls and women will be like melting as well as feeling confused at the same time, encountering a boy like this. And since then, they became close. Hazel shared her favorite book to him, An Imperial Affliction while Gus told her to read The Prince of Dawn series, asked her to come to his place to play the game version also, with Isaac. Hazel also told him how she really wanted to know the ending of AIA which was left unfinished, how many times she sent letters to Van Houten without ever being replied even once. Gus, who happened to be interested in that book upon reading it, sent an e-mail to Van Houten and got replied. Despite her jealousy, it encouraged Hazel to send Van Houten an e-mail, asking about the ending of the novel. And finally, she got his reply! But unfortunately, the e-mail said that he couldn’t tell her the ending unless they met each other directly, meaning Hazel should go to Amsterdam.
“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.”
But things got rough all of sudden. Hazel, who was always thoughtful about how her parents and Gus would keep up living once she’s gone, got recurrence and forced her to attend the hospital. But after this, things got sweeter. After she’s back home, she developed more intimate relationship with Gus and told him that the only way she could find out about the ending of AIA was by going to Amsterdam and meeting Van Houten. In short, with a funding support from an organization concerning themselves in kids and teens with cancer, they’re able to go to Amsterdam and meet Van Houten. Sadly, he wasn’t as cool as what Hazel had extracted from his novel. She couldn’t get to know the ending she was dying to, but she really did not want to pass the chance to be with Gus so she decided to forget about Van Houten and the ending-she-was-damn-curious-about, and had fun with Gus in Amsterdam, including making love hehehihi. The nice thing doesn’t last forever, fella. I really didn’t figure it out before. Yes, it’s soooo improbably unpredictable.
“Oh, I wouldn’t mind, Hazel Grace. It would be a privilege to have my heart broken by you.”
But I will not tell you! Please, read it yourself =3 Though unpredictable, it did not surprise me. Perhaps because this is about cancer so, yeah, there is not much those unexpected things. And I really wished I would have cried so many tears reading this but in fact I didn’t. I don’t know if it’s because I read this in a very distant time that sometimes I forgot how the story had gone, or because I really could not feel the sadness Hazel felt, or it’s just the story that wasn’t really that sad at all. But I did feel touched when it came to Hazel’s parents. Well, you should read it yourself hehe. By the way, most of the narration and dialogue are quotable. They were so beautifully chained to each other =). Anyway, the main character, Hazel Grace, was just so mature for her age. There was no scene that she didn’t talk like a philosopher, a skeptic philosopher for exact. And I think she’s what differed TFIOS with other YA novels whose main character has a cancer; while most of typical stories offer an optimistic character with a great struggle, Hazel’s just so skeptic and perceivably effortless to live her life. She tended to ask ‘why’ to almost everything in her life, but she never questioned why she should be having the cancer. And Augustus, well, I don’t know what to say about him. Compared to Hazel, Gus was more optimistic and willing to leave his trace on others, though he knew he might hurt or even get hurt. He wanted to live his life being useful to other people, showing much love to them, especially Hazel. He was just so damn blunt! I wonder if there is a man or woman able to be so honest about his/her feeling towards the one he/she loves. How he was willing to sacrifice so much for Hazel was just so adorable.
“Do the thing you’re good at. Not many people are lucky enough to be so good at something.”
For teenagers, I think they should read this, especially the teen girls. Hazel is a character that they could learn from; such a skeptic yet brave and loving girl, and instead of crying over her ‘untied’ relationship with Gus, she could cope with her life and found things she could hold onto, things that could help her remember Gus. Even the love story offered is not the cheesy type. I myself learn to be honest with my feeling to people I love, though it may not be so good for me. And that everything has a risk, even in loving itself. But the return of it is great also, so don’t be afraid to love and just take whatever the risk might be. And parents are everything. Hehe.
“You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world, old man, but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices. I hope she likes hers.”