Lately I have seen John Green plastered everywhere. Pinterest, people talking about him on Twitter, Facebook, and there is no real mystery why. On June 6th, 2014, the movie The Fault In Our Stars came out. You see, this film is an adaptation of John Green’s fifth published book. It is a story about Hazel Grace Lancaster, a terminally ill cancer patient, and Augustus Waters. The novel is in first person, from Hazel’s point-of-view. Even before I got into the meat and potatoes of the novel, Green impressed me with his ability to write in the voice of a seventeen year old female, what with him being a 30-something male.
This novel easily had the potential to fall into the hoards of others like it. When I was younger I used to read these teen romance novels where the lead female protagonist is diagnosed with leukemia and somehow through the horror of battling this disease she falls in love and miraculously the cancer goes into remission with no death and no unhappiness. I could not tell you what the title of these books were, or even the author, I just remember there being a slew of them that I devoured like chocolate chip cookies. The tropes of each novel were the same, the only things that changed were the names of the girls and boys and the town in which they lived. Every other detail was a repetitive and monotonous recounting of this horrific discovery being turned into a life affirming love. No one ever died. Ever. The Fault In Our Stars could have become another one of these epic and notorious novels that touch upon tragedy, but rather John Green pushed us head first into the deep end and left us to wade through the water to find our own salvation, our own understanding, of what death means. And with that understanding, he pushed us to see what life means.
This is what I wrote after I finished the novel last night: