The-Fault-In-Our-Stars

Image Credits: Vernon Barford School

I’m always skeptical of books that receive a lot of attention or hype. I’m still pretty mad about how disappointing I found The Hunger Games to be. I put so much faith in that book and ended up feeling so disappointed in the end and like I have been cheated. So needless to say I was a bit of afraid to read John Green’s famous novel, The Fault in Our Stars. Scared, but also very curious.

I refused to spend $17 or so for the hardcover edition of the book. It seemed like an awful lot of money for a book especially one that was by any author I was unfamiliar with for a book I was so skeptical of. So I waited over a year for it to come out in paperback edition.

When I went to Target on Saturday I was pleasantly surprised to find the paperback edition of The Fault in Our Stars resting comfortably on the shelf at the fair price of a little more than $10. I purchased it without thought and began reading it as soon as I got home.

I. Could. Not. Put. This. Book. Down.

This novel hooked me straight from the beginning. I loved the character of Hazel. She was a unique kind of strong and smart.I felt sad for her for being so sick and on the verge of death but I admired her for her acceptance of her faith. She accepted that she was going to die and she didn’t seem scared or bitter about it. She mostly just felt bad for the people she’d leave behind. She didn’t want to hurt anyone. This is something most people don’t think about in terms of terminally ill children. We feel sad for them because they are going to die too soon…but does anyone ever really think about how they feel in terms of dying and leaving behind their loved ones?

I was convinced throughout the novel that Hazel was going to die. I felt really bad for her boyfriend, Augustus. I thought that Hazel would die and leave Augustus alone to live his life and to try to keep the memory of Hazel alive. And I expected him to turn a bit bitter since this would be his second girlfriend to die of cancer.

I fell in love with Augustus the moment he was introduced in the novel. He was so romantic and charming! Very smart too! I loved his obsession with metaphors and how he would suck on cigarettes without actually smoking them as a way of putting deadly items in his mouth but not allowing them the benefit of killing him. He was such a strong character. I  never would’ve thought he’d be the one to die of cancer in the novel.

I was so completely furious at John Green when it was revealed that Augustus was actually in remission and living his last days in chapter 13. It took me by complete surprise and absolutely broke my heart. I don’t think I have ever been so heartbroken by a book before. But this did not feel like a book. It felt like real life. And that just hurt.

Leading up to chapter 14 I have watched Hazel and Augustus begin to slowly fall in love with one another and I was reminded of my own past relationship with Casey and how it feels to fall in love. Even when your relationship falls apart and doesn’t work out the way you want it to, you never regret the falling in love part. Falling truly, deeply, passionately in love is the greatest  feeling in the world. There is no other emotion that come anywhere remotely close to it. And I really saw and felt that with Hazel and Augustus. Then right when everything was at it’s peak — right when Hazel and Augustus became each other’s firsts… BOOM! Augustus is dying. How heartbreaking is that?

I kept rooting for Augustus to pull through, even though I knew death was inevitable. I literally made a wish when I seen it was 11:11 that Augustus would live. I just loved this character so much that I couldn’t stand the thought of him dying. It was hard to remember he was fictional. I admired Hazel for standing by and supporting Augustus as he grew sicker and sicker. She herself was not well and it couldn’t have been easy to watch the love of her life die from the same disease that was killing her. She was literally looking death in the eye and seeing exactly what would happen to her in the near future. There was no doubt that she really loved him.

And what about Augustus? In his final days he did everything he could to be with Hazel and give her everything she could ever want. This is what love is. This is real, pure, true love.

Augustus may have died in this story (still so  mad at you for killing him, Mr. Green!!!!) and Hazel may be knocking on death’s door step, but the love shared between Augustus and Hazel will live on forever. These two demonstrate what it is to love someone in sickness and in health. What it is like to live like you are dying and to love like there’s no tomorrow.

I always wanted to die young. But after reading The Fault in Our Stars, maybe I should reconsider that. Maybe it’s just more important to focus on the now, the present, and to live each day like it’s my last dying day.

Because you just never know when that might be.

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