I’ve had a busy month of exams, so I haven’t had a lot of spare time for reading. However, the one book I have read turned out to be one of the best I’ve read in a while…
The Fault In Our Stars
This book broke my heart (in a good way, if that’s possible!). It’s been a few years since the book came out, and I never really caught up on the hype, so I thought it was about time I gave the book a try. It’s not a literary classic, but in my opinion it needs to become one in the future.
It’s rare that a book captures my attention so much as this amazing piece of fiction by John Green did. It’s also rare that a book makes me cry. Somehow, without really realising what was happening, I became so invested in the characters of Hazel and Augustus and their story, that their emotions, their happiness, their pain and losses became my own. I quote Hazel in my reaction to this book:
‘I fell in love the way you fall asleep. Slowly, and then all at once…’
Without giving away too many spoilers, the book follows the story of Hazel Grace Lancaster, a terminal cancer patient whose survival has been temporarily prolonged by the latest miracles in medicine. Her life seems pretty dull and uninteresting to her. That is, until she meets cancer survivor Augustus Waters, with whom she falls in love, and experiences, as she terms ‘our little infinity.’
With this book, John Green made me more appreciative of life, with the realisation that, although nothing lasts forever, there can be an infinity in everything. I believe his characters will stay with me forever.
One of the things I love about this book is that, throughout, John Green address illness in a way that normalises it. The characters joke about their illness in a way that makes the subject of cancer seem less taboo. Even so, Green does not shy away from the harsh truths of illness, and of grief. Even if, as a reader, you have not directly experienced illness such as cancer, you know what it is to be human, to feel grief, and to hurt. Suffering in some form or another is part of our experience in this world, and comes hand in hand with happiness.We surely all have an Augustus Waters in our life, in one shape or another, and are all, in some ways Hazels – trying to make the most out of the short time we have on this earth.
I highly recommend this book to anyone, as a reflection on what it means to love and lose, and to experience infinity in the space of a few pages…