YA Novel Review
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
“The marks humans leave are too often scars.” –Augustus in TFIOS
I avoided this one for awhile only because I thought it would just wreck me. A love story about two teen cancer patients in the hands of the masterful John Green? A wreck, I tell you. Turns out, while I cried wildly and often throughout this book, it didn’t wreck me. It made me feel a deep, profound gratitude for John Green. Thanks, John. Thanks for writing a book about cancer that made me laugh far more than it made me cry, but that was also an unapologetic love song heralding gratitude and joy. Thanks for writing a book whose main focus was life, rather than death. I love Hazel and Augustus – and the complete cast of characters – all whole and wonderfully drawn. This book doesn’t have a villain (even cancer, Green submits, is just trying to stay alive). This book is a meditation on the power of life, on how special each day is, but in a fresh, wry way – a John Green way. How brave to tackle this subject with such originality, humor, and unabashed love. How optimistic. The Fault in Our Stars shows a tremendous understanding of how precious life is, how noticing things in this world matters, and how we have an opportunity each day to choose love over all else. In each of his books, (and especially in this one), the mark that John Green leaves is the literary equivalent of a bear hug.
The idea that “some infinities are bigger than other infinities” gets repeated throughout the book. Use this statement as a prompt and see where it takes you. The possibilities are infinite.
Outside Reading School Project
As mentioned above, Augustus says, “The marks humans leave are too often scars.” What do you think he means by this? How does he use Hazel Grace as an example of someone who “First, does no harm”? Give examples from your own life, history, and/or current events where you discuss examples of people “leaving scars.” How, instead, could people “do no harm”?