This week I read the novel “The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green. It is a Soaring Eagle Award Nominee for 2013. So needless to say, it was a great book. All of the reviews for this book have used words like “Electric, artful bursts of humor and tragedy, and best seller for sure.” These words are not usually just thrown around so when I saw this book and the rave it was creating I knew I had to get my hands on it. The book is about a 16 year old girl named Hazel who has terminal cancer. She carries an oxygen tank (who she named Phillip) with her everywhere. She cannot go without the oxygen for more than a minute or so or her lungs will be striving for air. Hazel’s mom is one of those hovering mothers and protects her and centers her life around taking care of her. Hazel’s dad is emotional, to say the least, but works to support his family.
Then one day Hazel is at her support group in this church shaped like a cross and their group meets in the spot where it would be the literal heart of God, so that’s what they call it, “The Literal Heart of God.” And there is this, oh so handsome, guy looking at her. After the meeting he invites Hazel to his house, she goes and they become friends. Little does she know he will become more than his friend…
When they talk on the phone, Hazel feels as though they are in some 3rd world of love where it’s just her and Gus and everything else has gone away. They make a word that means I love you and that word is “okay” so when they get off the phone he says “okay” and she says “okay” and they both know everything is fine and that they love each other (it’s quite sweet actually!)
Gus is a cancer survivor who has a prosthetic leg and he has not used his Make a Wish Foundation wish and he asks Hazel where she went. She replies “Disneyworld.” He makes fun of her for using it on the place where everyone goes and using it so hastily. Hazel and Gus connected in the beginning over a book called “An Imperial Affliction” written by Van Houten. But the puzzling thing about his book was that it ended midsentence and readers wondered what happened…there left so many unanswered questions aobut the characters. Hazel had written to Van Houten many times but never a response. Then she had Augustus read the book and he contacted Van Houten’s assistant, Lidewig Vliegerthart in Amsterdam.
She replies and they and they get to go! ….with Hazel’s mom of course!
Gus surprises Hazel with the trip of a lifetime and takes her to meet this author she so desperately wants to meet. When they get to Amsterdam Van Houten is not what they expected. Then Gus gives Hazel news that shocks her. In the end, Gus and Hazel have true, lasting love, but you will have to read the book to find out what happens in Amsterdam and when they arrive back in Indiana.