If you got cancer, would you be the optimistic person who would enjoy every single second of your life or would you be the pessimist who would just stay at home and relax? In the novel, The Fault in Our Stars; the author John Green, portrayed Hazel Grace Lancaster as the rather pessimistic girl who would watch America’s Top Idol and read her favorite book, An Imperial Affliction, over and over again. Her life has been that way ever since she has been diagnosed with cancer. When Hazel started going to Support Group, Hazel met Issac, who had eye cancer. Issac and his girlfriend had this thing where they would whisper “always” to signify how they would always be together and love each other forever. On the other hand, her encounter with a rather attractive boy, Augustus Waters has changed her life forever. But it all goes down on their visit to Amsterdam.
Hazel wasn’t the average teenager who would go shopping on the weekends and hang out with their friends. Her mom became aware of the fact that Hazel was depressed. She would spend her days in her bed and sometimes even ponder the opposite of what you’re allowed to when you have cancer, death. “I rarely left the house, spent quite a lot of time in bed, read the same book over and over, ate infrequently, and devoted quite a bit of my abundant free time to thinking about death.” (Green, 1 After meeting Augustus, the development of their relationship got faster and faster. Soon, they were calling each other in the night of serenity and sharing their favorite books. “Instead, I lay down in the grass on the patio’s edge, looked up at Orion, the only constellation I could recognize, and called him.” (104) Not long later, Hazel realized that with Augustus she can live her life much more thrilling than her cancer life. A miracle started when Augustus began emailing Hazel’s favorite writer, Peter Van Houten and they got invited to go visit Amsterdam to learn what happens next in the ending of An Imperial Affliction, Hazel’s favorite book. “Wow,” I said. “Are you making this up?” “Hazel Grace, could I, with my meager intellectual capacities, make up a letter from Peter Van Houten featuring phrases like ‘our triumphantly digitized contemporaneity’?” (156) Hazel was speechless by the fact that Augustus emailed Peter Van Houten and he replied their email. Especially because Van Houten was living in recluse. She had admired Van Houten for ages and Augustus was the first person to help her make her dreams come true.
Everything goes as planned in Amsterdam until they met Peter Van Houten. After their luxurious dinner at a fancy restaurant, who would’ve thought that he would be such a disaster. “When our waiter appeared to take dessert away, he said, “Your meal has been paid for by Mr. Peter Van Houten.” Augustus smiled. “This Peter Van Houten fellow ain’t half bad.” (177) When they saw Van Houten, he was an alcoholic person who had no aspirations for himself. Arguing then turned into yelling and slamming doors. Before they knew it, Hazel and Augustus were out of that crazy hermit’s house. “In the seventeenth century, his ancestor discovered how to mix cocoa into water. Some Van Houtens moved to the United States long ago, and Peter is of those, but he moved to Holland after his novel. He is an embarrassment to a great family.” (181)
Not only were Hazel and Augustus disappointed by Van Houten, but Augustus broke the news to Hazel that he had a PET scan and his cancer was back. Now, it was him who was dying and everything turned into a complete tragedy.
The Fault in Our Stars is fairly similar to another book, Wonder written by R.J. Palacio. The protagonist, August was born with a facial abnormality, even though he had gone through many surgeries, his face wasn’t fixed. But he had to accept the fact that his physical features of his face weren’t going to change. Instead, Auggie had to fight it. In the end, he overcame his fear and his problem.
Hazel and Augustus were both fighting cancer. They had to accept that one day they would lose to cancer and die. However, cancer defeated Augustus earlier than expected. Hazel was now mourning the loss of Augustus. But she reached some closure when she discovers at the funeral that Van Houten’s daughter who died of cancer and he wrote An Imperial Affliction for her. Van Houten also delivers a eulogy that Augustus wrote for Hazel since she was expected to die first. That was one last word from her first love.
“Okay,” he said after forever. “Maybe okay will be our always.” “Okay,” I said.” (138)