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The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

There comes a time in every person’s life when something beautiful makes you laugh and cry within the span of a few minutes. I have personally experienced this upon reading the book, The Fault in Our Stars.

The narrator, Hazel Grace Lancaster, has very set values and the ironic voice of an adolescent. At first glance or rather first paragraph, she seems like the normal female heroine. By the time your eyes reach the second paragraph, you are filled with the thoughts of a moody teenager who states her opinions very decidedly and forces you to accept them as true. Hazel does not want sympathy, and instead of portraying herself in the “victim” sort of way, she chooses to tell her story in a funny fashion. I was shocked to find out she had an oxygen tank, and Green excels right here. The tank is not a large, annoying object that is romanticized. It is simply another part of everyday life, mentioned when needed and sometimes forgotten.

Soon we meet Augustus “Gus” Waters, the charming male lead. Hazel, like any other realistic girl, believes him to be a fairytale character who uses elegant phrases and woos her. With Augustus, everything is a metaphor.

The two characters set out to find Peter Van Houten, a fictional author who wrote the book An Imperial Affliction, which is quoted many times within the book. Hazel and Augustus fall in love with the book and maybe each other.

One of the many beautiful things about this book is the book within the book. Green has successfully gotten into his characters, and into Peter Van Houten’s so much that a fictional book from Van Houten’s perspective is written. Green’s best point is being able to live in his characters and his solid characterization. Within this string of pages also lies a witty humor that not only gets the reader into a fit of giggles but also makes the story much more enjoyable.

Green knows where to throw in the emotion. It is one long roller coaster of emotions packed with dips and turns that make you gasp out loud. There are beautiful moments, tragic moments, silly moments, romantic moments, and above all, realistic moments.

If you believe that this is the kind of book you can read in one sitting and forget about after, you are most definitely wrong. This kind of book is like tea. You need to read it slowly and thoughtfully to get the full flavor, or rather, feeling.

Just as Hazel describes falling in love, I thought about the book in this way: “I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, then all at once.”

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