October 22, 2012

The Fault In Our Stars



The story is told by Hazel Grace Lancaster, 16, Indianapolis. 

She has thyroid cancer and stopped going to school but attends a weekly Support Group. There she met Isaac and Augustus who changed her life dramatically. The change was good, though. As it hasn't seem to be boring but colorful and with more adventures and emotions. Though I haven't witnessed her showing her feelings fully during times when if I was in her position, I would cry. Except of course in the last part of the story. Maybe she isn't so emotional like me and that's what I like about her. She is strong and brave like what almost all characters told and described her.

Augustus is my kind of guy -- witty, smart, humorous, and according to Hazel, hot. But the most thing I like about him is that he loves Hazel so much. You just can feel it through his words and actions.


They got closer because of the book that Hazel likes to re-read. It's called An Imperial Affliction by Peter Van Houten. Augustus liked it too and they discussed it over the phone or in person almost every where. The book ends mid-sentence, a hanging end. Everyone who reads it would think Anna, a character from that book, who is also a cancer patient, died. They both thought of that, too. But Hazel was not only curious about Anna, she was curious for the other characters as well including the hamster.

“That’s part of what I like about the book in some ways. It portrays death truthfully. You die in the middle of your life, in the middle of a sentence” -- Hazel, on The Imperial Affliction.

Hazel has been sending letters about questions on the characters' life after that mid-sentence ending to Peter Van Houten but she didn't get a reply. Augustus emailed Van Houten's assistant about it and then eventually they found themselves being invited to meet the author personally in Amsterdam for free by an organization that grants one wish for cancer kids. Hazel had one but she spent it visiting Disney Land some years ago. Augustus was very generous to spend it for her. He went to Amsterdam with Hazel and her mom.

My favorite part is when they were in Amsterdam. Their dinner date in Oranjee where they drank two glasses of champagne which was described as closely to stars by the waiter. And then they finally went to Van Houten's house. Van Houten was acting very badly in front of his visitors and he was drunk to entertain Hazel's questions about the book. The meet-up was not so good and Hazel didn't get her questions answered properly.

Anyway, the time before the "Venn diagram" moment was my favorite. I was surprised so much by that. It was lovely and sexy. And lastly, the time when they were both in Hazel's hotel room. Augustus admitted to her that he is sick, and maybe dying.

Much of my life had been devoted to trying not to cry in front of people who loved me, so I knew what Augustus was doing. You clench your teeth. You look up. You tell yourself that if they see you cry, it will hurt them, and you will be nothing but a Sadness in their lives, and you must not become a mere sadness, so you will not cry, and you say all of this to yourself while looking up at the ceiling, and then you swallow even though your throat does not want to close and you look at the person who loves you and smile. -- Hazel, describing how Augustus is doing while talking about his sickness to Hazel which he kept for a long while.

The pre-funeral which Augustus arranged was full of emotions. Being witty as he is, he invited two if his friends, Isaac and Hazel, to make a eulogy for him and to recite in front of him. I almost cried again in this part. How could you not cry reading a eulogy for a dying cancer patient by cancer patients? Heart-breaking. The dialogues may not be really sad, but you know that behind all those laughter and funny words and thoughts are heart breaks.

"I can't talk about our love story, so I will talk about math. I am not a mathematician, but I know this: There are infinite numbers between 0 and 1. There's .1 and .12 and .112 and infinite collection of others. Of course, there is a Bigger infinite set of numbers between 0 and 2, or between 0 and a million. Some infinities are bigger than other infinities. A writer we used to like taught us that. There are days, many of them, when I resent the size of my unbounded set. I want more numbers than I'm likely to get, and God, I want more numbers for Augustus Waters than he got. But, Gus, my love, I cannot tell you how thankful I am for our little infinity. I wouldn't trade it for the world. You gave me a forever within the numbered days, and I'm grateful.” -- Hazel Grace, her speech in Augustus's funeral.

Their families are very supportive of the two even though there are some conflicts in between. During Augustus's funeral and after, Hazel wasn't alone because she has her family and Augustus's family as well.

Hazel read Augustus's letter to Van Houten which he wrote while in the hospital. Isaac mentioned it months after the funeral that Augustus may have written something. Hazel eventually figured that out. She emailed Van Houten's assistant, who wasn't in good terms of his then boss because of the attitude her showed while the two kids were in his house. The letter says asking Van Houten to make a eulogy for Hazel. He mentioned how she is like and how he loves her so.

“You don't get to choose if you get hurt in this world...but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices.” -- Augustus, ending part of his letter to Van Houten.

Moreover, his letter ended about hoping Hazel likes her choices, too. And, yep, she does.

2 comments:

  1. It sounds like a really good read and really touching as well

    ReplyDelete
  2. I guarantee you can't put this book down! It gets exciting every chapter :)

    ReplyDelete

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