Even though I have a pretty big stack of finished books that need reviews, today I decided to write about The Fault in Our Stars while the tears on my face were still wet. So many people have already written about this book (and written about the crying), and I don’t really have much to add, but I’ll do my best.
For those few who don’t know, TFIOS is the story of Hazel and Augustus, who meet in a teen support group for kids with cancer. Hazel has terminal cancer in her thyroid and lungs, and always has her oxygen tank hooked up and totes it around with her. She knows she will never get better and spends her time watching reality TV with her parents and obsessively reading the same book over and over. Augustus is a cancer survivor (but he did lose his leg to it) and is beautiful and funny.
They bond over books and their quick wit brings them together fast and furiously. Their love story is beautiful and real. And so very, very sad. I had to put the book down a few times when I couldn’t even see the words anymore.
I’ve read that the story and the Hazel character were inspired by a beautiful young girl named Esther Earl (you can read her story here).
And I’m curious to know — based upon the subplot with Peter Van Houten — how many writers get inquiries from fans (who are ill) about how some of their popular series/characters/books will end up. I’ve read enough Stephen King to know that he was constantly bombarded with questions from readers who would never make it to the end of the Dark Tower, dedicated fans who wanted to know what happened to the characters that they loved, and that he wasn’t able to tell them, because he didn’t always have an answer for them.
I remember seeing this linkon the IO9 website a few weeks ago, “Scifi author spoils his entire book series for terminally ill fan”. The video is heartbreaking and uplifting at the same time, and I thought of it when I finished the story of Hazel and Augustus. And yeah, the video made me cry, too.