In the United States alone, every single year, roughly 16,000 children and adolescents are diagnosed with some form of cancer. Of those 16,000, 1/8th will not live to see the end of their disease.
The fault in our stars (TFIOS), by John Green, is a beautiful novel written about the things people leave behind when they die, a novel based around perception and absolutes, and, somewhat importantly, the tragic love story of Augustus Waters and Hazel Grace Lancaster. In full honesty, I never intended on reading the Fault in our Stars, the soapy love book about two sad and lonely cancer stricken patients who meet at a pitiful Sunday class for the dying. It was never my intention, yet I found myself reading over the shoulders of every other teenage girl who couldn’t keep away, and just like them, I found myself emotionally attached to Isaac, falling in love with Augustus, and becoming Hazel Grace Lancaster. Hazel Grace is the protagonist, the life of the story, who begins the novel thinking of herself as a grenade. Explosive, taking everyone down with her. For the most part, She isn’t wrong.
It didn't take me long to realize that The Fault in Our Stars is about books and reading, not cancer and dying.
Hazel’s side-effect-of-cancer depression leads to classes at The Heart of Jesus where she meets Augustus Waters. She’s hesitant to begin a relationship with Gus, a boy she’s shocked even talks to her, because of her self proclaimed status as a ‘grenade’. One day, she will detonate, leaving her parents, Augustus, and the lives of everyone else she touched broken. Her journey is one of realization: realizing that she doesn’t have control over those who love her (Augustus: “It would be a privilege to have my heart broken by you”), realizing that she isn’t the sole reason that anyone is alive (her mom has secretly been taking classes), and realizing that there is too much wonder in the world and in Being a Person to worry about the damage one inflicts on people by...
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