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"The Fault in Our Stars" Book Summary

"The Fault in Our Stars" Book Summary

Author of "The Fault in Our Stars":

The author of "The Fault in Our Stars" novel is called John Green in 2014. He is an American writer who writes fictional books for teenagers and young adults. He was awarded the Printz award in 2006 for his amazing novel “Looking for Alaska”. Later, his novel “The Fault in Our Stars” recorded number 1 on the list of the New York Times Best Seller. He published it in 2012. Then in 2014, it was turned to a movie and received a lot of reviews and money at the box office. At the same year, his name appeared in the list of Time Journal as one of the most influential people in the whole world. On the other side, "The Fault in Our Stars" novel is considered as the sixth novel written by Green. It talks about a girl named Hazel Grace Lancaster who is sixteen years old and suffers from Cancer. Her parents oblige her to a support group in order to be able to beat her disease and feel better. There, she loves a young boy called Augustus Waters. He is seventeen years old and he used to play Basketball but unfortunately, his leg was amputated.

 "The Fault in Our StarsBook Cover:

Speaking of the cover, I see it is nice and catchy especially for me because I like the blue color. I think he chose this color to show us the sky in which there are the stars. Also, he writes the title of the book in a cloud in order to refer again to the sky. Furthermore, maybe he wants to make us think more about the sky and raise our thoughts beyond the earth. That’s why I was so interested to begin reading it. As for the pictures, there aren’t any and perhaps this has many reasons. First, may be the book contains a lot of chapters, so they didn’t put pictures in order not to make it bigger. Second, perhaps the author wants us to imagine the whole story, its characters and its incidents without his intervention or interruption. Third, may be with the picture, the book will cost more and make people not be able to buy it. Those are the reasons in my opinion about not painting pictures or any drawings in the book.

Characters of "The Fault in Our Stars":

One of the main characters of the novel is Hazel Grace Lancaster. She is the protagonist and she is also the narrator. She is 16 years old. She is smart and acts according to her conscience and what she thinks is right. When she was 13, she was diagnosed with cancer that spread to her lungs. She isolates herself from people in order not to hurt them because she thinks that when she dies, they will suffer a lot. But she changes her concept when she loves Augustus. I think she is a loved and caring girl for separating herself and that shows that she cares a lot about others’ feelings and that she also prefer others’ interests on her own. Another main character is Augustus Waters. He turns out to be Hazel’s boyfriend. He is full of enthusiasm and has a great sense of humor. He also loves to show his emotions in gestures and performance. He loves her right away when he sees her at Support Group. As for me, I think he is a good character because he doesn’t let cancer frustrates his desires and his ambitions to be able to survive it and stay alive. Another character is Isaac. He is the common friend between Waters and Lancaster. He also makes the introduction between them at the beginning of their meeting at the Support Group easier. He is pessimistic and blind because of cancer. May be the reason behind his pessimism is because his girlfriend Monica dumped him. Sometimes, he represents doubt and suspicion in the novel. He also has the same name of the Isaac character in the Bible who also suffered from being blind.

Mrs. Lancaster is another character in the book. She is Hazel’s mother and she is devoted and caring because she dedicates her life in order to take care of her daughter. During the events of the book, Hazel feels deep sadness because she keeps thinking about what death will cause for her mother. But later, she becomes happy when she knows that her mother was taking secret classes in order to become a social worker. Moreover, Mr. Lancaster is another character. He is Hazel’s father and he is also lovely, emotional and caring man. Despite her mother, he understands the suffering and the disease of her daughter and he spends most of his time at work. The final character is Peter Van Houten from whom Hazel and Gus know that he is an alcoholic and cruel person who doesn’t show his feelings. Instead he turns them to cruelty and harsh deeds. 

"The Fault in Our Stars" Main Idea:

As a matter of fact, the main idea of the book is the awful disease called cancer. Many people suffer because of it. It is horrible and till now it doesn’t have an effective cure. A lot of persons lost their lives at a very early age and don’t have the chance to live it well. Their families also suffer with them because they have to pay a lot of costs beside their emotional anguish of seeing the people they love feel bad. But the good point which the author wanted to show and wanted the readers to know is that despite their sufferance, they manage to live happily without pessimism or without feeling bad because they don’t have much time before their death.

Also, not judging quickly on people before knowing their circumstances is another main idea. This is clear when Hazel and Gus hate Houten because he is drunk and refuses to answer Hazel’s question. But later, she knows that he feels that bad because he lost his daughter, Anna, because of cancer. Another main idea is how to love people and care for them. This is obvious when Hazel doesn’t want her mother to suffer after her death. Also, this is clear when Mrs. Lancaster encourages her daughter to go to a Support Group in order to feel better because she loves her daughter so much, she doesn’t want her to suffer a lot and she is ready to do whatever it takes in order to make her happier. As for me, the last main idea is how to be able to deal and face your problems. Instead of feeling bad and being angry, Hazel is a lovely teenager who wants to live her life at its peak before dying. She is optimistic and knows that she can beat cancer. Moreover, she wants to travel to Amsterdam in order to meet Houten to answer her questions about his book “Imperial Affliction”. Therefore, the author wanted to clarify that nothing is impossible and cancer can be cured through strong determination.

"The Fault in Our Stars" Book Summary:

"The Fault in Our Stars" story begins with Hazel. She is sixteen years old and she is forced by her mother to go to a Support Group in order to feel better and not to be isolated from others. During one of the meetings at this group, she meets Augustus Waters who is a teenager. He is 17 years old and he attends this Support Group in order to support, encourage and be with his friend Isaac. While Gus loses his leg because of cancer, Isaac loses one of his eyes because of cancer too. After their meeting, their relationship becomes stronger and Augustus tells Hazel to come to his house where both of them become close after watching a movie and talking about their experiences with the disease. Before Hazel leaves his house, they make an agreement about reading each-others’ preferable books. Augustus recommends Hazel to read “The Price of Dawn” and Hazel recommends him to read “Imperial Affliction”. The author of Hazel’s novel is called Peter Van Houten. It talks about a girl called Anna who suffered also from cancer.

She gives him this book because it summarizes and shows her experience with cancer. After the end of the book, Gus is angry because the book doesn’t have any endings. When he tells Hazel, she tells him that Houten disappeared after the publishing of the novel and nobody knows anything about him or his life. Later, Gus tells Hazel that he was able to know news about Houten’s assistant and with her help, he was able to write e-mails to Houten. Therefore, Hazel writes to Houten asking him several questions about his novel and why the ending is so ambiguous and what about Anna’s mother. Finally Houten replies telling her that he can answer her questions when he meets her. Hazel asks her mother for a trip to Amsterdam in order to be able to meet Houten but her mother refuses for medical and financial reasons. Then, at one of the picnics, Gus astonishes Hazel when he tells her that he has two tickets to Amsterdam. He was able to get them from a foundation of charities. She is very happy but when Gus touches her face, she feels uncertain about this trip. Later, she searches for the ex-girlfriend of Gus who was called Carolina Mathers. She died also because of a brain cancer. When Hazel reads a comment from one of Carolina’s friends on her memorial page, she discovers a devastating thing: Gus adores her and she is afraid of his sufferance when he knows about her death. Because of her suffer between death and her deep love for Gus, her parents bring her to ICU (Intensive Care Unit). There, Hazel tries all her best efforts in order to make her parents agree on her trip to Amsterdam. With the help of Dr. Maria who was one of the closest doctors and most follower of Hazel’s case, Hazel’s parents approve her travel. When she and Gus go to Amsterdam, they go to eat in a restaurant and discover that Houten paid for their food. Gus admits this night that he loves Hazel.

Later, they meet Houten and both Gus and Hazel become stunned when they know that Houten is a drunker. Because she was scared of Houten’ attitude and way of acting, Lidewij, Houten’s assistant, admits that Houten didn’t know anything about this meeting. She is the one who arranged for it. Indeed, Houton becomes upset and furious and refuses to answer Hazel’s questions about his novel. After they leave from the meeting, Lidewij takes them to visit the Anne Frank House. Hazel suffers while climbing the stairs because of her lungs, but at the end of the tour, she and Gus kiss each other and the tourists in the attic clap because they admire this scene. Next day, Gus tells Hazel that his condition becomes worse and he has to go back to their hometown. When they get back to Indianapolis, Gus’s condition gets worse and worse. Earlier days before his death, he invites Isaac and Hazel to his funeral which he prepared and in which they say eulogies. Hazel tells him that she will never give up her love for him and the best moments in her life were being with him. Eight days later, he dies. Hazel is shocked when she sees Houten at the funeral of Gus. He tells her that he and Gus kept writing e-mails to each other since the meeting at Amsterdam. Moreover, Gus told him that he has to attend his funeral in order to make up for what he did there. Despite the fact that Houten attempts to tell Hazel about Anna’s mother, she remains angry from him and asks him to leave the funeral. Later, when Hazel was talking with Isaac, she thinks that Gus may have written an ending for Imperial Affliction just for her. While she was looking in the pages, she meets Houten. He explains to her that his book was a trial to make peace with the death of Anna which eventually was his daughter. She was just 8 years old when she died of cancer. Hazel tells Houten to wake up and write another book. At the end of the novel, Hazel knows that Gus sent the pages to Houten in order to make him write a good eulogy about her. Lidewij obliges Houten to read the pages and send them back to Hazel. When she reads them, she finds that Gus says that we can’t avoid getting hurt in this world but we have the ability to select the people who can hurt us. He adds that he is also delighted with his selection and he wishes that she likes his choice too. Hazel confirms that she indeed like it.

Themes of "The Fault in Our Stars":

Green discusses a lot of themes in "The Fault in Our Stars" novel. One of the most important themes is the importance of sufferance. Although "The Fault in Our Stars" novel is written for teenagers and young adults, one of its highlighted elements is suffering. All the characters feel a strong pain like Isaac, Hazel and Gus. In fact, because of cancer, Hazel doesn’t have the ability to breathe well and has a physical pain. Isaac also loses his eye because of the disease and that makes him blind and makes his girlfriend break up with him. Gus also as his leg was amputated because of cancer. 

Another fundamental theme is terror of being forgotten. The characters in the novel are pushed to handle with death in a way that adults didn’t handle before. Despite all of us will die at the end of our lives, according to what Hazel mentions at the Support Group, the quickness of death means that they can’t avoid it or what comes after it and all of them will be forgotten rapidly. 

The insensitivity of people is another theme in the book and the world. Green wants to show others that the things, wishes and desires we want them to come true and be achieved don’t come true and real world is a way different from our imagination. 

The last theme discussed in the novel is the cancer and its reality. The novel wants to clarify the idea that fighting cancer is not any more a noble and great act, it is a very difficult and suffering journey that no one can bear. As for me, I think that the novel is great and I would recommend it to a lot of my friends especially the romantic ones.

Impression of "The Fault in Our Stars":

As for me, I didn’t read any books written by Green before but I think that this one is amazing and it definitely had to be number one on the list of bestselling books. On the other hand, the genre of book is nonfiction as it talks about real incidents that happen in our life. Cancer disease of course is one of these incidents and many people suffer from it. Therefore, I think that the author wanted to talk about it and may be that what attracted readers in order to read it. The novel isn’t based on a true story but it certainly talks about daily events. In my opinion, I believe that people who will be interested in reading "The Fault in Our Stars" book are readers who like real events and real stories. The novel will be amazing for them and they will like it because it describes events from the real life. In addition, I think romantic readers will like it because it is full of emotions, romantic and story love between Lancaster and Waters besides it is so sensational. As for me, I like these kinds of stories which are full of emotions and sensations because they make my heart move and beat quickly. Moreover, they make me think about the sufferance of others and how they manage to live their life in a difficult way because of their disease. In fact, the author admired Shakespeare and was inspired by his play “Julius Caesar” in which Cassius tells Brutus: the fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.” I think that the title is mysterious and interesting. It actually attracted my attention because it made me ask questions about what this fault is and what he means by saying that the faults are in our stars. It is really ambiguous.

Best Part of "The Fault in Our Stars":

One of my favorite moments in the book is when Augustus admits to Hazel that he loves her so much. He says: “I’m in love with you”. Then, she replies: “Augustus” but he interrupts her and says: “I'm in love with you, and I'm not in the business of denying myself the simple pleasure of saying true things. I'm in love with you, and I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we're all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust, and I know the sun will swallow the only earth we'll ever have, and I am in love with you.” He knows that he is going to die because his case is getting worse but despite all of that, he wants to make sure that she knows his love for her and that no matter what happens he will always love her. She will remain his first and last passion. Another preferable moment for me is when both of them meet for the first time at the Support Group. Gus falls in love immediately with Hazel. He asks her: “May I see you again?” she replies “sure.” Then he asks her again “Tomorrow?” she replies: “Patience, grasshopper”. “You don't want to seem overeager”. Then he says: “Right, that's why I said tomorrow. I want to see you again tonight. But I'm willing to wait all night and much of tomorrow.” She rolls her eyes and when he notices that, he says: “I’m serious.” Then she tells him that they don’t know each other and she will call him when she finishes the book he recommended her. He tells her that she doesn’t have his phone number but this is come my favorite part when she tell him that he certainly wrote it in the book. That’s when he smiles. I love this part because it shows the beginning of their love and also how this love is innocent and pure. They want to help each other in order to beat the disease.

"The Fault in Our Stars" Book Summary

Ali Badr
By : Ali Badr
باحث ومترجم لغة إنجليزية، حاصل على بكالوريوس كلية الألسن قسم اللغة الإنجليزية من جامعة عين شمس

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