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Book Review: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green is possibly the best standalone novel of phenomenal work he has given the world of young adult fiction by far. This multi-million worldwide bestseller was first published on Jan 10, 2012. The title comes from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, and it’s perfectly coordinated as this story opens up to us in the first person by the main character Hazel grace, a sixteen-year-old average girl in the regressive stage of lung cancer.

Though the cancer was supposed to be terminal, a new miracle drug has bought her an undetermined amount of time, but it hasn't put her disease into remission. She is required to carry her oxygen tank because, as she remarks, her “lungs suck at being lungs.” So, the dying girl continues to live with her loving family and decides to make the most out of it as long as she could. After being diagnosed with her cancer Hazel never really got the chance to experience the teenage life every girl lives, she calls it 'awkwardness', so forced by her mother she joins this boring, miserable cancer support group to meet others who supposedly understand what she’s going through.

Hazel absolutely abominates this group's idea of hope, but still continues her snarky remarks and joins them to make her mother happy, also for her friend Issac who will soon lose his one eye to cancer. This is where, one afternoon, she meets the plot twist of her life she never knew was coming, the witty, charming, Augustus Waters, a seventeen-year-old boy, a survivor of a form of bone cancer, left with a prosthetic leg, yet nothing has diminished his breathtaking spirit on life.

As soon as they meet each other, there is a mutual attraction and connection between both of them. The bond between them picks up from here though Hazel is determined not to start a teenage typical romance with him she thinks: I am a grenade and at some point, I'm going to blow up and I would like to minimize the casualties, okay?

None the less, they start spending more time with each other, talking about their favorite books, playing blind video games with Isaac, learning each other's secrets, how they see the world and everything in between. Eventually, Augustus decides to take her to Amsterdam to search for the author of their favorite book, 'An Imperial Affliction', this is where their friendship blossoms into something much more beautiful and the twists and turns continue.

This story is not your average, dying teenage girl, finally meets a boy, falls in love, lives happily ever after story and neither this book is as Hazel said "Cancer book", most of the time one will enjoy how these two kids fell in love with each other in this slow, sweet and most beautiful manner that the reader might completely forget what they are going through. Sometimes they almost seem like any other normal intelligent, fun, witty teens. except their days are numbered  together, yet heartbreakingly enough, they found their little infinity, but then John Green reminds you in both huge and little ways the ugliness of the reality, and it hits hard, gut-wrenchingly hard.

Apart from the beautiful writing style, applauses should also go to the characters, without Augustus, Isaac, and their stories, this would probably be a boring book about a kid with cancer in where you could easily imagine seeing her falling in the lap of death but no this book and all its emotions are real, Green showed us the terror and sensitivity of a topic like cancer in the most subtle and intelligent way, with turning off each page you feel Hazel's pain in every single breath she draws, which as well as could be her last one.

This story is an ode to all the people and their families and closed ones out there dealing with cancer or any other deadly ailments, and also as a reminder to rest of us that, cancer isn't what defines Hazel, Augustus and the rest of the charters we meet. Yes, it’s consuming them slowly. But that is not their identity rather, it drives the book forward and teaches us to see past pity for people, not even 18, and already they are aware of the inevitable fate of their borrowing time. Makes you gasp and wonder how they could possibly manage to be so happy? How had life not just broken them? They had been through everyone’s worst nightmares yet see how they stand strong, how they are capable of falling in love, follow their dreams, aspirations, make decisions, feel alive and enjoy this journey as much as we do, even if it is unfairly short, and not a happy ending, it's equally astonishing, extraordinary and worth it. Just like this story.


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