"I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly and then all at once."
The aforementioned lovely quote would leave a mark on your heart once you get through the bestselling novel, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, an American author and novelist. If you already have guessed that I am going to apprise you of a novel of love story, then you are right. But it is not like those love stories which you meet usually, because the creators of this sweet love story are the victims of cancer which always comes with bitterness.
This novel tells the story of Hazel, a sixteen years old girl who carries lung cancer and passes her days full of dejection and loneliness. Hazel attends a cancer support group where she meets with a handsome seventeen years old boy named Augustus Waters who is a patient of bone-cancer but recently has come in remission stage. Augustus's excellent stance and attire take Hazel's attention, so she makes an acquaintance with him. They start sharing their stories and exchanging their favourite books each other. The most beloved book of Hazel is 'An Imperial Affliction' that touches her heart too much that she cannot keep her temptation off to reread this book usually. She wishes if she could meet the author of this book to know what happens to the protagonist after the book ends. However, she recommends this book to her new friend Augustus.
At time hurtles, Hazel's life starts going in a full swing because of Augustus. His sense of humour, courage and optimistic insight bring Hazel a new version of the life. Meanwhile both Hazel and Augustus fall in love and this fact is caught by their parents who, however, are positive about what their children are doing. Their parents are hell-bent on providing their cancer-bearing children with utmost love and support not thinking what is going to happen afterwards.
After getting through 'An Imperial Affliction' Augustus is impressed. He arranges a discussion with Hazel about this book while he says that he gets the address of the author who lives in Amsterdam. Later on, they make a plan to visit Amsterdam. Hazel gets a tremendous excitement as her wish to meet her favourite author is going to fulfil.
Finally Hazel, her mother and Augustus embark on a journey to Amsterdam. On the way to Amsterdam, and after reaching there, what Hazel and Augustus do together is enough to tingle readers heart with romantic touch. In this part of the novel, they reach the peak of their love. But Augustus reveals a big truth which batters Hazel's heart painfully. This truth is Augustus is going to meet his maker soon after few days as to his doctor as he is still carrying his cancer, but he only hides it just thinking if it breaks her heart.
At the last part we, the readers, fall into a cruel reality when Augustus passes away. But Hazel retains a strong stance even with wrenching heart. Augustus comes to her life like a gust and goes away soon but he learns her how to be strong even standing on the verge of death. Hazel knows well that she is also going to meet the same fate sooner or a little later but she realizes that enjoying every inch of life with thrill as long as one survives is the salient need.
Overall I think this novel, during its progression, creates an urge to know what happens next. It has the charm to cumulate one's reaction thickly that takes time to dissolve entirely. Diving through each chapter doesn't feel like a drag as the characters, their activities, emotions, everything is presented here in a balanced way. The narrator of this novel is Hazel herself so it seems she is directly talking with us, that creates a realistic vibe, so readers will be a part of this novel and will feel the same emotions like the characters feel. Besides, not only Hazel and Augustus, but their friends, their parents, and other characters make such an excellent combination that gives this novel a riveting shape.
Cancer is unbiased and heartless to choose its target, it is such a cruel disease which never looks at the age, status, gender, anything else of a person to find its home. As millions of people become the victims of cancer and make a journey to death every year, millions of stories about dealing with cancer left behind, but very few of those stories come to light. However, this masterpiece, The Fault in Our Stars is like a mirror that reflects the stories of cancer survivals lucidly so that we, the readers, can easily get a close view of dealing with cancer. Honestly saying, if you are really of interest to read a thought-provoking, heart-touching, realistic story which will make you visualize the life anew, this novel is not to be missed.
Al Nahian Avro, Student, Noakhali Science and Technology University.
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