"The Fault in Our Stars" is a quick, easy read; a book that you can finish in one seating. While it touched on the lives of people with cancer, it is NOT a cancer book. I recently hosted a book talk with some library science students and here are seven lessons we collectively learned from "The Fault in Our Stars":
1 Life Goes on
Cancer or any terminal disease for that matter should not stop you from living your life. We learned from Hazel and Gus that you have to live your life to the fullest while you're still breathing because you won't be able to do so when you're six feet under the ground. Some people may label "The Fault in Our Stars" as a book featuring teen romance but do not mistake this as a High School Musical kind of thing. How the two main characters handle their current states is laudable and should serve as an inspiration to everyone.
2 A Relationship Can't Last Forever
But...it doesn't mean that it can't be successful. I think that many people think that for a relationship to be considered successful, it has to last forever. I believe that any relationship you are in - whether it lasts two weeks or fifty years - is special and successful in its own way. Especially when it is a relationship where you genuinely share your love and affection for each other and spend wonderful times together.
3 There is Wisdom from the Young
Again, this might be a book that gives us a love story of two teenagers but the kind of wisdom that Hazel and Gus impart to us is beyond their age. How they view death, how they prepare themselves for what is to come, how they look back and reflect on the experiences they have had in their past are some points to ponder on. I definitely want teenagers to read the book and view the film because of the depth of these characters.
4 Parents Are the Best
It's hard to imagine how Hazel's parents go through life thinking about their sick daughter. The amount of commitment, dedication and patience that parents of cancer patients have is immeasurable. Gus' parents and their encouraging quotes found all over the house is a novelty. I love how supportive these parents are to their children.
Sure it comes with all kinds of risks whether or not you have cancer but it's love and it's beautiful. You can't stop Cupid's arrow when it hits you. So just let go and let love takes its natural course.
A very striking part of this book is the author John Green's creation of a character in Hazel Grace who loves and adores a book called "An Imperial Affliction" and its author. She was quite obsessed with the book and its ending but I guess that's how good books affect the readers in us. I think Hazel is even more knowledgeable than any other high school teen of her generation because she reads and keeps herself updated.
7 Humor Saves the Day
The novel is not a stale, depressing tale of people with cancer. The way John Green injected humor in the conversations and dialogues is a fresh twist in understanding the emotions felt by people with cancer and the families involved. I love Hazel's relationship with her Mom and how they exchange banter like they are the best of friends.
Have you read the book and seen the movie? Which do you like better?