The Star (St. Lucia) - - BOOK REVIEW - By Clau­dia Elei­box

The Fault in Our Stars is one of those books that you will ei­ther love or hate; there is no room for in­dif­fer­ence. It all de­pends on whether you have lived with can­cer or known some­one who has died of can­cer; ex­pe­ri­enced an un­usual love; can ap­pre­ci­ate the metaphors and the char­ac­ters’ philo­soph­i­cal na­ture; how open­minded you are will­ing to be while read­ing, and your opin­ion of a happy end­ing. I hap­pen to be one of those who love John Green’s mas­ter­piece. Mod­ern lit­er­a­ture set in present times is not my pre­ferred choice but I sure did en­joy read­ing this book..

Hazel Grace Lan­caster is a 16-year-old girl suf­fer­ing from the “side ef­fects of death”: thy­roid and lung can­cer. She shares her life with the oxy­gen tank at her side. John Green has cre­ated a treat­ment called “Pha­lanx­i­for” that mag­i­cally lim­its the growth of the tu­mours in her body. Hazel lives her days how­ever she can man­age: read­ing her favourite book re­peat­edly, at­tend­ing a sup­port group and vis­it­ing her doc­tor. That is un­til she meets a de­li­cious, 17-year-old plot twist, Au­gus­tus Waters, in “the heart of Je­sus” at the sup­port group. Much to Hazel’s sur­prise he is very hot and very in­ter­ested in her. He’s also an am­putee whose leg was re­moved be­cause of ter­mi­nal illnes.

From there the story blos­soms into an un­con­ven­tional love story. The cou­ple spend their nights mus­ing about each other and send­ing text mes­sages, just like nor­mal teenagers, but the fear Hazel has of be­ing a “grenade” and Au­gus­tus still care­lessly, bla­tantly cap­tur­ing her heart is what makes the novel beau­ti­ful. “You re­al­ize that try­ing to keep your dis­tance from me will not lessen my af­fec­tion for you. All ef­forts to save me from you will fail.”

Hope is not a ma­jor theme in the book. The writer cre­ates sen­si­ble char­ac­ters who are aware of their sit­u­a­tion and have ac­cepted it. Through­out the novel Hazel and Au­gus­tus

ex­press the an­noy­ance of be­ing pitied. They date and so­cial­ize as nor­mally as they can, ig­nor­ing the fact that Hazel’s days are grace and un­cer­tain, and they take ad­van­tage of their “can­cer perks”: Au­gus­tus uses his wish from the Make-A-Wish ge­nies to trans­port him­self and Hazel to Am­s­ter­dam to visit the au­thor of their favourite book. It is there that the most painful dis­ap­point­ments of the story oc­cur as well as some of the most out­stand­ing scenes.

The Fault in Our Stars is one of the most read ex­am­ples of mod­ern, young adult fic­tion, prob­a­bly be­cause John Green has syn­chro­nized ro­mance and tragedy bril­liantly. Ini­tially the tale is sim­i­lar to the sto­ry­line of “A Walk to Re­mem­ber” by Ni­cholas Sparks un­til the most dev­as­tat­ing of all its plots. I will not spoil it for any­one who hasn’t read the book yet but I can say that it will ei­ther make you cry a lot more than the movie ever will or it may be too pre­ten­tious for you to re­sist rant­ing about it. Which­ever it may be, you should take the risk.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Saint Lucia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.