“Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.”
Now, for those of you who have read The Fault in our Stars by John Green you’ve maybe felt what I felt when reading it. For those of you who haven’t, well, you simply have to.
*spoilers, spoilers, so many spoilers*
I thought I could handle it. I thought wrong.
I thought I knew what heart wrenching pain felt like. I’ve felt it before for other novels by just as great authors… I thought I’d felt everything, I thought I was prepared. Trust me, if you think that you’ve read a book that has pulled your heart out, cut it up and thrown it leaving you to pick up the pieces, think again. I do not think any other book ever, ever has made me feel such strong emotions, made me cry so much. I was a mess! A snotty, tear stained, red-eyed, blubbering mess. This book is… It was… I am speechless. There is no word in any dictionary that would render justice to John Green or the book itself.
“What else? She is so beautiful. You don’t get tired of looking at her. You never worry if she is smarter than you: You know she is. She is funny without ever being mean. I love her. I am so lucky to love her, Van Houten. You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world, old man, but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices. I hope she likes hers.”
This is beautiful. Augustus was beautiful. I’m grieving, and I’m not handling it all that well. This was in his letter, his final words to Hazel.
16 year old Hazel is a true inspiration. She is brave, even though she is scared and in pain and knows she could be looking Death straight in the eyes sooner or later. She taught me a lot. She taught me to appreciate the things I have for they will not always be there with me. Everything has an expiration date from your favorite toy to your best friend to your lover to your parents. Nothing is forever, not even a memory. She taught me to be thankful for what I’ve got and stop looking at the things that I don’t. You should never take anything — especially life — for granted.
“I lit up like a Christmas tree, Hazel Grace.”
The moment I read that line was the moment everything crashed down and all the hope I had built up —the hope I convinced myself to hold onto — disappeared as fast as I had gathered it. Gus, poor, brave, wonderful Gus… he didn’t stand a chance. I would have done anything, anything, to be able to find him a cure. Anything. So what if some people tell me: “He’s just a fictional character!””He’s not even real!””Stop crying over nothing”. John Green makes the characters real. He makes them so vivid in one’s head, their voices so clear, their pain so palpable, their love so heart warming and true. There is no one on this earth, no one in this universe, that is even half as amazing, as astonishing, as grandiose as 36 year-old John Michael Green.
“Augustus Waters was a self-aggrandizing bastard. But we forgive him. We forgive him not because he had a heart as figuratively good as his literal one sucked, or because he knew more about how to hold a cigarette than any nonsmoker in history, or because he got eighteen years when he should have gotten more. Augustus Waters talked so much that he’d interrupt you at his own funeral. And he was pretentious: Sweet Jesus Christ, that kid never took a piss without pondering the abundant metaphorical resonances of human waste production. And he was vain: I do not believe I have ever met a more physically attractive person who was more acutely aware of his own physical attractiveness. But I will say this: When the scientists of the future show up at my house with robot eyes and they tell me to try them on, I will tell the scientists to screw off, because I do not want to see a world without him.” I was kind of crying by then.
“And then, having made my rhetorical point, I will put my robot eyes on, because I mean, with robot eyes you can probably see through girls’ shirts and stuff. Augustus, my friend, Godspeed.”
Isaac’s eulogy was my breaking point. I felt pain I never knew could be felt. This is where I really broke down. Some of you may not have found this as heartbreaking, but to me, it felt like my whole world had just been shattered. My hopes, my faith in life, my bubble of happiness, the were broken and popped by those words. And Hazel’s was just as heart twisting.
John Green really has a knack for playing with my emotions. But this book in particular was really quite the emotional roller coaster. It makes you smile at their meek attempts in flirting; it makes you laugh until tears are running down your cheeks; it makes you so angry you feel like punching someone and it makes you cry in pain and anger and happiness all at once. By the end of it, you are left a completely changed person. Nothing will ever compare.
The one thing that finally managed to make me let the book go at the end was knowing that even though he died, he died loved by millions. And he will always be.
This book is, I think, something anyone could (and probably would) enjoy. I think it’s safe to say that this book is in fact my personal favorite. And it’s going to remain that way for a long time.