The one with the book that made me bawl.
I have always been a sucker for novels about people experiencing hardships…when I was a kid, I couldn’t get enough of Lurlene McDaniel’s books…a young adult author whose bread and butter is writing about people suffering from chronic illnesses, dealing with loss of family members and many other maladies. I transitioned to the Nicholas Sparks books…usually a sucker for anything he writes, although I feel that some of his more recent books are almost unnecessarily sad. And so, I picked up “The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green knowing full well that it was going to pull on my emotional heartstrings…and fully prepared to bawl.
The novel is the story of Hazel, a 16 year old who has miraculously survived Stage IV thyroid cancer (so far) and struggles to find a shred of normalcy in her life of medications and oxygen tanks. Her mother, concerned about Hazel’s self-imposed isolation, forces Hazel to attend a cancer kid support group where she meets a gorgeous (in remission) Augustus Waters. This unexpected encounter takes Hazel on a journey she never would have imagined, and one that I will never forget.
I love, love, loved this book. It made me cry (obviously…and I read the bulk of this novel in Starbucks – embarrassing) but it also made me laugh. The characters are so well developed and you instantly become invested in their lives. Green takes you on a roller coaster of emotions…many, many ups and downs, but Augustus continually says in the novel, “I’m on a roller coaster that only goes up, my friend,” and he manages such a positive outlook in the grave circumstances that take place in the novel.
The novel’s title comes from a famous quote by Shakespeare, “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars/ But in ourselves,” and these star-crossed lovers leave an impact far beyond the turn of the final page.