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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    ‘The Fault In Our Stars’ shows triumph in tragedy

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    “The Fault in Our Stars,” by John Green, is a book for those who don’t enjoy books. Even if you despise reading, you will love this story. It is a tale of love and loss about 16-year-old cancer patient Hazel Grace and her love interest, Augustus Waters. The plot may seem cliché at first, but it’s clear by the end of chapter one that this story is anything but ordinary.

    Hazel is hilariously cynical and shockingly unconcerned about her inevitable death as she deals with her a terminal illness. In novels, child cancer patients are usually reduced to their disease, but Hazel’s ingeniously crafted voice and authentic snark make her seem like a real, complex person. In Hazel’s speech at her cancer patient support group, Green captures the too-cool-for-school attitude of the average 16-year-old girl despite the serious subject matter.

    “‘There will come a time,’ [Hazel] said, ‘when all of us are dead. There will come a time when there are no human beings remaining to remember that anyone ever existed. Maybe it’s millions of years away, but if the inevitability of human oblivion worries you, I encourage you to ignore it. God knows everyone else does.’”

    For being classified as young adult fiction, “The Fault in Our Stars,” is refreshingly philosophical, in no way like the vampire romances that share shelves with it at bookstores.

    Green’s writing is straight to the point, and though he’s less than lyrical at times, he still delivers heart-wrenching emotion.

    Unlike most authors of young adult fiction, Green never overdramatizes and is not afraid to let comedy share the stage with tragedy. For instance, when Hazel is questioned about the oxygen tank she must lug around due to her thyroid cancer, she simply replies, “My lungs suck at being lungs.” It takes talent to turn the tragedy of a terminal illness into a heartwarming and comedic love story, but that is exactly what Green has done.

    That’s not to say “The Fault in Our Stars” lacks moments of real emotion. The core of this story is in the love between Hazel and Augustus, reminiscent of that between Landon and Jamie in “A Walk to Remember” — except even more heartbreaking because both characters have a terminal illness. The magnificent tragedy of “The Fault in Our Stars” cannot be properly conveyed without spoiling the entire novel, but I can say one thing: You’re going to cry like a baby.

    Take a break from scanning your accounting textbook or watching last week’s episode of “The Walking Dead” to give this breathtaking story a chance. Even if you claim to hate reading, you will not be able to put this book down.

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