Stopping is Not the Same as an Ending   2 comments


Hazel, the insightful narrator of John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars, is a 17-year-old who’s fought cancer most of her life. While talking about another book, she could just as easily be talking about this one: “But it’s not a cancer book, because cancer books suck.” Green has written much more than that, and it comes nowhere close to sucking.

This is about living with the knowledge of death’s inevitability loitering closer than it does for most, especially the young. Hazel meets Augustus at a cancer survivor’s support group. Eyes meeting across a semi-circle of young adults in varying degrees of bad health may not sound romantic, yet it’s the beginning of a beautiful relationship between two young adults who teeter alarmingly near to death’s grasp.

Hazel is an endearing character: intelligent, witty and aware of what she has in life, versus what she might be missing. She does not want to be defined by her diagnosis. Although Augustus might be a little too good to be true, he is fun and expands Hazel’s world.

Through a shared passion for the book that is “not a cancer book,” which simply stops with no real ending, the pair find a way to look toward the future. They want to know what happens. Yes, this may be a metaphor for their lives, but it’s far less dismal than that.

A few plot twists help overshadow the novel’s predictability. The story’s beauty is based not on what’s lost, but is grounded on what’s gained.

The Fault in Our Stars
Four Bookmarks
Dutton Books, 2012
313 pages


2 responses to “Stopping is Not the Same as an Ending

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  1. I found it a bit tedious after a while. I don’t want to give anything away (to others) but while I thought the results of the trip they took to be a nice surprise, the rest of the book was slow.

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