Monday, 14 May 2012

The Fault in Our Stars

Some stories just get you smitten in the heart, some stories have wonderful, flawless writing, some stories are loaded with wonderful characters, some stories move you to tears. I guess The Fault in Our Stars is all of those in one, plus a few more. This novel is written by John Green, and it is not his first. He’s pretty seasoned in the novel business, though I admit, this is the first story from him that I have ever read. Honestly, it is great.

The story is basically about two cancer patients who meet each other in a support group therapy session, and, obviously fall in love. On the outside, it looks like that usual petty boy-meets-girl love story, but I assure you, it’s not, it never is. Its brilliance is unparalleled in the entire universe [sorry for the pun]. Who says you can’t put two ailing teenagers together and create a sick masterpiece out of them? [Sorry for the pun, again!] I love the characters a lot. I love Augustus Waters [henceforth, Gus] – his witty remarks, his metaphorical ideas, his ‘I-say-what-I-wanna-say’ attitude… girls, he is that one person you would love to have as a boyfriend. And then, there’s Hazel Grace Lancaster [henceforth, Hazel], a girl with faulty lungs who tells us the story [since the story is from her point of view]. I feel sorry for her because she says she can’t live that long, but at least she has Gus right? Right? And she’s not that bad on the thinking/statement-making department herself. Then, there’re Isaac and the Gus’ and Hazel’s families, and Amsterdam [a place, I know], and even that loathed Peter Van Houten - you cannot just stop loving the characters.

TFiOS shines through and through [there’s that pun again]. The tale weaves comedic moments but then as the novel progresses through, you’ll be absorbed in the melancholic moments that abound in the end. The author’s penchant of adding the languages of today’s teenagers [you don’t say?], the reference to science and math here and there [do you know some infinities are bigger than the others?], heck, he even created a novel that Hazel loves to read, and guess what? I thought that novel really exists. I blame him for having a make-believe epigraph from that so-called An Imperial Affliction by Peter Van Houten, and what d’ya know? Van Houten here comes from the famous chocolate brand... John, you really know how to play with my obsession towards chocolate. The language, oh the language, I salute John for the amazing prose he has, for the dialogues, for everything written in it. Oh yeah, because this is an American novel, some content might not be suitable for kids, or those who act like kids.

One couldn’t wish for a better novel. It’s moving, it’s funny, it’s heartbreaking – it stands on its own. The novel is a star, and a luminous one at that.

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