Book Review-”The Fault In Our Stars” by John Green
“My thoughts are stars I can’t fathom into constellations”
If you can’t recognize this quote, then I can safely guess that you haven’t had the privilege of reading “The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green, or the pleasure of getting to know Augustus Waters.
While the novel is funny, poignant and luminous, it also revolves around the complex questions about life and death through its chief characters – Flazel Grace and Augustus Waters.
The novel revolves around Hazel Grace Lancaster, the protagonist, as she battles cancer. The 16 year old struggles not only to live a normal life with her terminal disease but she also struggles to care for her “star-crossed lover”, who was living his final days.
Augustus Waters is not depicted as a “grand super hero”, or as a “knight in a shining armour”. He is a meek, gentle boy, whose ultimate fear is the oblivion. He fears and is obsessed on the idea that he would not be remembered widely after his death, as he doesn’t have the time to achieve some heroic feat.
Augustus, a smart and handsome 17 year old amputee and a former basketball player befriends hazel in a support group meeting for cancer patients and survivors. Their friendship blossoms over their mutual interest of reading the book, ‘An Imperial Affliction’ and they go on a quiet to meet the author of that book in order to find the conclusion of the novel which ended abruptly. Though their quest ended up in a disaster, their Amster dam trip bought them close together.
Then the novel moves swiftly, where Augustus has a cancer recurrence and undergoes treatment. Finally he meets his end.
Augustus is one of those characters, whom we would be pleased to have or know in real life. Though he is young, the thoughts and ideas that he smartly orates throughout the novel, even till his death, are deeply philosophical. He is aware of the society and its realistic conventions and he does not hesitate to point out his own short comings as well:
“The world is not a wish granting factory”
“I’m on a roller coaster that only goes up, my friend” Hazel hesitates to get close to Augustus, as she fears that it would break his heart if she died. But nothing can deter the lively Augustus as he says:
“Oh, I wouldn’t mind Flazel Grace. It would be a privilege to have my heart broken by you”