For my independent book I choose to read the critically acclaimed The Fault in Our Stars. This fantastic piece of literature was written by John Green. John Green has won the Michael L. Printz Award, has had a book make it onto Top 10 Best Book for Young Adults, and has written five books and counting. The Fault in Our Stars is currently being made into a movie. This particular book was #1 on New York Times bestseller list.
This book tells the journey of Hazel Grace and Augustus. While it is a story of young love, it is not your typical love story. The reason these two teens meet is because of a cancer support group that Hazel attends weekly. One time she happens to meet Augustus and their relationship blossoms from there. An Imperial Affliction is a peculiar book that Hazel Grace re-reads constantly and feels that she can relate to completely. She considers the author her third best friend, yet she has never met him, but she has many unanswered questions about the book. Hazel Grace and Augustus bond over this book and it ultimately brings them even closer. The two main characters of this book are Hazel Grace Lancaster and Augustus Waters. Hazel Grace is a 16 year old who has cancer; more specifically thyroid with mets in her lungs. Up until she meets Augustus a normal day for her consists of either sleeping late or taking her courses, watching reruns of America’s Next Top Model, and thinking of death constantly (which she says is a side effect of having cancer which is a side effect of dying). She’s not too optimistic about life and tends to only interact with her parents. Augustus on the other hand is dashingly handsome and very charismatic, even though in the past he has suffered from cancer. In Hazel’s words “His every syllable flirted.” Augustus’s adventurous spirit really brings Hazel out of her shell. The main conflict in the story is cancer vs. cancer patients. Throughout the story it shows the struggles people go through and the toll it can have on a relationship. My favorite character in this story would definitely be Augustus. The reason to why he is my favorite character is that I feel that he brings out the best in Hazel and makes the story interesting. I feel that everyone wants their very own Augustus Waters because he seems almost too perfect. Hazel is not a very lively person but it’s like Augustus gives her a real taste of life. Augustus is charming and gallant; what’s not to like? I’m pretty sure John Green intended for all readers to fall in love with not only the book but the characters, too. I feel that readers should take a few ideas from this book. The most important idea is to go out and enjoy life. No matter what your situation is, don’t stay cooped up in your house with a negative attitude. If you think nothing will ever improve, well then that is what is going to happen! Hazel starts out all mopey and sad, but then she takes a leap of faith with Augustus and her life gets 1,000,000 times better. This advice should be given to everyone because it applies to everyday life and can really determine if you’re happy or not.
I feel that I can relate to some of the characters during this book with emotions. Hazel constantly talks about how she is a side effect of life and feels misplaced. While I cannot say I have cancer I can relate to feeling outcast and misplaced. I think it’s something that most teenagers go through, and I’ve definitely been there and done that. I have also been in a bad mood and moped around my house like Hazel in the beginning of the book. I would say I also relate to Augustus in the way that when I see a friend that’s bummed out I try to get them to have fun and enjoy themselves.
I absolutely love this book! I feel that you get a unique point of view from Hazel as she tells a life that seems to have its downsides but she makes it worth living. I enjoy how it tells the story of Hazel but inside that is the story of Hazel and Augustus. I think that the passionate love that Hazel and Augustus share is a feeling that everyone wants and is searching for so when we read about it, it makes the book even better. The characters are very detailed and are so complex that they could actually be real people! The main characters are the type of people who everyone would want as their best friend (or boyfriend), and you really get a feel for who they are. The main strengths of this book are the characters, love story, and the genuity. As I said before, the characters have very rich details and you get the feel that they were based off real people. The love story between Augustus and Hazel is very captivating and I couldn't put my book down. I feel that the book is very genuine in the sense that you feel that this story could have really happened. The characters are always rational, the plot has its twists and not everything is a happy ending. I don’t feel that there are any weaknesses within the book. There might be a few tidbits that I would change, but I don’t feel that anything takes away from the book. A small change I would make is giving Augustus a voice. While I find Hazel’s point of view both entertaining and insightful I would really like to know what’s going on in Augustus’s head.
I would most definitely recommend this book to another person. Not just one specific person either, I feel that everyone who reads this book will thoroughly appreciate it. This book is a love story coupled with tragedy which leaves a bittersweet taste in your mouth after reading. This book is one of a kind yet it suits all who read it. If you see this book it is in your best interest to pick it up and read it!
Vocabulary from the book:
hamartia: tragic flaw
dysmorphia: malformation; an abnormality in the shape or size of a body part
sobriquet: a nickname
coterie: a group of people who associate closely, an exclusive group; clique
- nihilism: nothingness or nonexistence... an extreme form of skepticism: the denial of all real existence or possibility of objective basis for truth
My creative portion of this project was creating a "medicine" called Life. Hazel is constantly talking about how she is a side effect of life. Inside the box are society's idea of perfection; Nina Dobrev, Scarlett Johansson, and Blake Lively. On the back of the "medicine" it shows the sides effects which are Hazel and Augustus with their additions that are necessary for them to live. Below the side effects are the items "no longer available." These items are the people that were listed to be dead at the meeting where Augustus and Hazel first met.