The Fault In Our Stars – the masterpiece of 2014 – written by John Green, is one of the best books I have ever read. Though written primarily for a teenage demographic, I think this book is easily something that could appeal to a reader of any age. The way in which John Green writes is completely astounding, and captivates the reader from the very beginning. The book has such a sense of realism to it, that it’s often hard to believe that it is all a work of fiction. The characters; the settings; the relationships; the language; and even the metaphors – especially the metaphors! – capture your heart; and tear on every single nerve and string that comes with it. Your heart will pound, your blood will boil, your eyes will water, and you will be so thankful for it!
A lot of people consider this book just another love story, but it is so much more than that. To quote the book, “I will not tell you our love story, because-like all real love stories-it will die with us, as it should.” And yet people are still somehow naive enough to think that it is. This book is wasted on those people.
Yes! The book does involve a love story. And yes! It is an immense love story at that! It will have often have you with your face in your hands, or an inch from the page, but something that is constant throughout the entire novel, is that you won’t be able to hold back even the slightest emotion. They will pour out of you as sure as the sun will rise tomorrow. But this is the very base of the book, the foundation of John Green’s metaphor filled castle that is The Fault in Our Stars.
There are so many different themes, and messages, and reasons, and meanings behind this book that it would take another book to write about them all. I will just write about a few things. The ones I think are the most important.
The way I see it, the main story here isn’t the almost perfect love story between Hazel and Augustus, and it isn’t death and grief, it’s not even how we deal with the grief, this books main reason for even existing, the core of the architecture of John Green’s castle, is ‘infinity’. Now that may not make much sense to certain readers without a little context to go with it – so allow me to elaborate.
“There will come a time when all of us are dead. All of us. There will come a time when there are no human beings remaining to remember that anyone ever existed or that our species ever did anything. There will be no one left to remember Aristotle or Cleopatra, let alone you. Everything that we did and built and wrote and thought and discovered will be forgotten and all of this will have been for naught. Maybe that time is coming soon and maybe it is millions of years away, but even if we survive the collapse of our sun, we will not survive forever. There was time before organisms experienced consciousness, and there will be time after. And if the inevitability of human oblivion worries you, I encourage you to ignore it. God knows that’s what everyone else does.” This quote is the easiest way to explain my point about infinity. You see, most people tend to think that infinity means forever and always, until the end of time, and maybe more, and they’re right; however, they are also wrong. You see, some infinities are bigger than others, and so one person’s infinity could be just another day in the life of someone else. What the book is saying, in both obvious and obscure ways, is that you need to make your infinity count, and do what YOU want, because oblivion is inevitable, the end is coming.
This leads onto what I think is the second most important thing in this book, which is how people deal with their grief. The most suitable quote to go with this statement is also one of my favorite quotes of all time; simply due to the sheer truth behind it. “Grief doesn’t change you, Hazel. It reveals you.” There is an uncountable amount of references to grief in this book, and they are 90% of the time to do with dealing with it. I don’t want to do the books job for it, so if you wish to find out how it does this, or simply read it in more detail, go read the book.
I could talk so much more about the meanings, and themes, etcetera, however, as I’ve already said, I would write far too much, so I shall leave them there.
This book is in my top three favorite books that I have ever read, and I wouldn’t change a single part of it. The characters grab your heart, and don’t let go – even when they are gone. The comedy will have you literally rolling on the floor laughing, and the language will have you both perplexed and curious, but something that is extremely interesting, is that even when you don’t understand a word or a sentence, it’s written in such a way that it can still have an impact on you, and you just feel that you know what it means.
I give this book a 5/5, and would recommend it to anyone who reads, no matter how old they are, and no matter what genre they like.
This book is definitely worth time from your infinity.
Joshua Nathan Hart – Age 17.