Tuesday, 23 September 2014

The Fault In Our Stars - book Synopsis and Review

Hi guys! So, absolutely yonks ago (around four months ago, if I'm honest), I was on holiday to Scotland and I bought a couple of books to read during my stay. They were The Fault in our Stars and Looking for Alaska, both by John Green. I'm going to review The Fault in our Stars here, and Looking For Alaska in a seperate blog post, so that this post doesn't get too long winded! 

The Fault in our Stars - Synopsis
The protagonist of the story is a sixteen year old girl, named Hazel, who is a stage six cancer patient. She meets a boy named Augustus Waters, a cancer survivor, at her cancer support group. Augustus has a friend called Isaac, who in the early stages of the story has a rare eye cancer, and soon becomes blind. As Hazel and Augustus learn more about eachother, their friendship grows stronger, and feelings for eachother deepen. Hazel is reluctant to have a relationship with Augustus as she is aware her cancer is likely to kill her, and she doesn't want to put him through that. Hazel and Augustus are characters with a disdain for things conventional. They both enjoy reading, and are intelligent with a dry, verging on narcissistic, sense of humour, and are so compatible and endearing. Hazel shares her favourite book with Augustus, 'An Imperial Affliction', and they plan to fly out to Amsterdam to meet the author, Peter Van Houten, to find out more about the cliffhanger ending of his book. Just before they fly out, Augustus has a PET scan to see how his recovery process is going. Unexpectedly the scan gives him very bad news, as his cancer appears to be everywhere in his system. He flies out to Amsterdam with Hazel anyway, without telling her, so not to ruin the trip. Whilst in Amsterdam, Augustus and Hazel go out for a meal paid by Peter Van Houten one evening, before meeting him the next morning. Unfortunately for the two, Peter Van Houten refuses to answer any of their questions regarding the characters in his story, is insulting and condescending towards Hazel and her cancer, and appears very much a cruel, nasty alcoholic. Augustus and Hazel fly home from their trip, disappointed. When they get back to the USA, Augustus tells Hazel his bad news about his cancer. Over the course of the book, Hazel watches Augustus's condition deteriorates, as he goes from the strong, able man she loves, to a frail, weak man who needs a wheelchair for mobility. Augustus passes away, and Hazel writes him an emotional eulogy for his funeral. Peter Van Houten also attends, which angers Hazel, but he expresses his condolences and vows to Hazel that he will lay off the alcohol. The story ends with a letter written from Augustus to Peter Van Houten, asking him to write a eulogy for Hazel, and tells him all about her, how she never wanted to leave a mark, and that it was triumphant and heroic that she was so selfless. Peter Van Houten forwards the letter to Hazel. The last few lines of the letter read, "I am so lucky to love her, Van Houten. You don't get to choose if you get hurt in this world, old man, but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices. I hope she likes hers." 

My Review on The Fault in our Stars
I absolutely loved this book, and fully recommend reading it to anyone who is thinking of doing so! I know I've basically just told you what happens, but my words are not half as strong, or powerful, as the authors. I know this story is one that will linger in my mind for a long time yet as it is a very special book. It shows you how lucky you are to be alive, and to not take what you have for granted, and how thankful you should be to not have to be suffering the pain and discomforts that cancer patients do suffer. It gives you such insight and it makes me personally so grateful that none of my friends or family, or my son, have to go through that. I found this book actually meaning a significant amount more than I ever intended it to. It's definitely one I would read again and I will be keeping on to it for a long time yet. The story captures all the hurt, emotions, pain, everything Hazel felt. I just found it such an emotional story and it has honestly (no word of a lie), become my favourite book as I just found it so incredibly sentimental. 

Hope you're all having a good week,

Sammii-Jane x

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