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The Creative Issue – News for Creatives | August 4, 2020

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Book Review: The Fault in Our Stars

Book Review: The Fault in Our Stars

| On 20, Apr 2014

Markus Zusak warned every reader with his noticeable critique stating: “You laugh, you cry, you come back for more.”

Yet I still found myself rereading The Fault in Our Stars – ON THE TRAIN – trying to hide the tears I remember forming the last time I had read the novel.

This book is so cleverly created with a real and raw, utterly charming love story that succeeds in tearing at your heartstrings.

“That’s the thing about pain, it demands to be felt,” Augustus Waters.

Augustus Waters and Hazel Grace, as seen in the TFiOS trailer

Augustus Waters and Hazel Grace, as seen in the TFiOS trailer

It is so easy to immerse yourself in the lives of Hazel Grace and Augustus Waters – both cancer patients at such a young age – that you find yourself feeling the emotions they do.

Each character meshes well together, with the iron humour slipping from Hazel’s mind to Isaac’s harsh-but-true jokes in regards to his condition, to Peter Van Houten’s… well, you’ll find out what he’s like.

Throughout the beginning of the novel you fall in love with each character and gain curiosity towards their illnesses and what they intend to do if everything goes horribly wrong.

It is not until the last third of the book that your emotions begin to rollercoaster through the drastic battle caused by being the side effect of dying.

The ugliness, struggle, exhaustion and pain leaves you wondering where your box of tissues are, and whether or not it’s a good idea to bring a box of tissues to the movie when it releases in Australia early June.

A landscape version of the movie poster

A landscape version of the movie poster

Hazel herself, in regards to her favourite book, mentions; it is not a book about cancer, wherein the heroine becomes her disease.

No, The Fault in Our Stars reveals the strengths of someone who has cancer and how they continue to live their life, uncaring about whether or not they will leave a mark on the world or whether or not they believe in Something with a capital S.

Conversations between Hazel and Augustus made me wonder why I hadn’t grown to see the world they do when I was 16-years-old, or even now.

They continue to have engaging conversations that allow the reader to form their own opinions about matters they had never thought about before, like why eggs are ghettoised as breakfast food.

“My thoughts are stars I can’t fathom into constellations,” Augustus Waters.

These teenagers are so perfectly normal and real, reminding people this book is just a story of their lives and not a story about the strong battle cancer patients suffer.

The movie adaptation comes out one day before America, a strange and rare occurrence to Australian cinema when the film has no Australian production towards it whatsoever.

With it’s poster tagline of “one sick love story” people have been arguing whether it is offensive, punny, or something the protagonist Hazel Grace would say about her own love story.

I shall leave you with the main lesson I have learnt from the book: “The existence of broccoli does not in any way affect the taste of chocolate.” (Analysis of quote: Sadness does not affect the way you feel happiness).