‘The Fault in Our Stars’ – John Green

From the author of An Abundance of Katherines and Looking for Alaska comes a new-age Shakespearean tragedy, The Fault in Our Stars. Trading poison for cancer, John Green’s story revolves around Hazel Lancaster, a 16-year-old girl diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. Hazel has been sick for so long she now no longer has friends, doesn’t attend school, and lives her life by dying one day at a time. That is, until Augustus Waters steps into the plot. Augustus is charming, witty (not to mention a babe), and through him, Hazel begins to see a new way of living.

Green strips away all pretenses surrounding dying adolescents by inviting the reader into a cancer support group; kids surviving, others dying, love gained and lost, and explicitly displaying the contrasting worlds between the healthy and the ill. Green forces the reader to explore death, the possibility of an afterlife and whether life holds any meaning as Hazel slowly approaches the answers.

The story will make you laugh, cringe, scoff and, as you come to know Hazel, break your heart. At the center of Green’s novel though, lies the question over who has control over our fate: the stars or ourselves? Here, Green boldly opposed the Bard when he states in Julius Caeser, “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars / But in ourselves.” The paradox lies for Hazel and Augustus to discover together – meanwhile, the clock is ticking.