genre: young adult fiction
Hazel Grace has cancer. We know that from the start. And not just cancer but Cancer. The terminal kind. The kind where the doctors can do things to hold off the inevitable, but death stares her in the face every day. She only goes to the support group to appease her mother but on one fateful day, Hazel meets someone at support group. Someone who had cancer once but is no longer sick. Someone named Augustus Waters.
Augustus is a delightful human being. Intelligent, funny, a fierce and loyal friend. Augustus thinks deeply about things and he sees so much that is worthwhile in Hazel that soon she can't help but be thinking about him all the time too.
There is love, in this story.
There is also a special book. And an author. And a swingset. And two families working through pain that is so terrible and so heartbreaking that I did actually sob during two different scenes. It forces you to imagine a life where being sick is just the default. There is sick and then REALLY sick but always there is the weight of not being well. Not ever. There is that and yet, John Green needs us to know, there is LIFE too. A sick person's sickness is just one piece. One giant piece, yes, but there is so much more to be found if you can work your head around the sickness part. I think we all know this IN THEORY, but in practice? To be friends with someone who is ALWAYS sick? That's hard. It takes courage and empathy and, sometimes when required, sarcasm and wittiness and forgiveness.
The Fault in Our Stars is a beautiful book. I loved listening to it. The reader was amazing made me believe this story. If I had been Hazel Grace, I would've been head over heels for Augustus Waters.
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