For a bookworm, reading is second nature. From Dr. Seuss to Rudyard Kipling, from Suzanne Collins to Rowling and Tolkien, the bookworm has read everything. There are books that are just excellently written stories. Then there are those which absolutely engross the reader, and during the journey the characters and their problems seem to sound like our own. These books tug at our heartstrings; we cry with them, laugh with them and love the characters like they were family.
John Green’s ‘The Fault in our Stars’ struck the perfect note. Narrated by sixteen year old Hazel Grace Lancaster, a cancer patient, the book addressed something faced by a large majority of teens today, something the healthy ones know very little about – lives of the patients after diagnosis.
With every word I read, I lived a little, laughed a little and ultimately, died a little inside. The resolve shown by Hazel and her parents moved me, but my insides tore every time she showed the reader her sensitive side – the side that remained veiled for everyone else.
‘The Fault in our Stars’ gave a new meaning to life – and to death. It glorified the innocence of faithful relationships, the irrevocable love of a parent for her child, and the beauty of seeking refuge within another person. It made the reader realize the importance of enjoying even the minutest things, before – using a word from the novel, itself – everything disappears into oblivion.
The book mainly revolves around the romance between Hazel Grace Lancaster and Augustus Waters, another cancer patient, their struggle with cancer’s ‘side-effects’ and Hazel’s almost unhealthy obsession with Peter van Houten’s ‘An Imperial Affliction’, from which she derives most of her philosophies about death. The conversations between the two protagonists and their interactions with the rest of the characters are portrayed in such a terrific manner, that all of it just hits right home.
‘The world is not a wish-granting factory.’
‘Grief does not change you, Hazel, it reveals you.’
It talks about how, by trying not to pain someone, we may end up hurting them even more.
‘I’m a grenade and some point I’m going to blow up and I would like to minimize the casualties, okay?’
‘You realize that trying to keep your distance from me will not lessen my affection for you.’
The alluring manner in which Green declared less to mean so much more enraptured the reader even further.
‘Maybe ‘okay’ will be our always.’
I feel like I’m giving away a piece of myself when asking others to read this book. I know, however, that it is impossible not to give in to the sentiments that erupt within oneself during the course of this book.
A movie based on the book is set to release in June 2014.
Summing it all up in the words of Green, himself, ‘Books so special and rare and yours that advertising your affection seems like a betrayal.’