Summary

Summary: Hazel Grace Lancaster is a teenage girl living with cancer. Hazel attends a support group at a church where she meets a fellow friend named Isaac and develops a romantic interest in another boy named Augustus.Augustus has struggled with osteosarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer, but has recently been diagnosed as healthy. However, Hazel hesitates in starting a relationship with him, afraid to hurt him if her illness takes another turn for the worse. Hazel introduces Augustus to her favorite book An Imperial Affliction. He then emails the author and sets a plan for both of them to plan a trip (using the “Wish” given to him by a foundation for children with cancer) to meet the mysterious author of An Imperial Affliction, Peter Van Houten, to discover what happens after the book’s end. They are able to take this trip, but when they arrived they soon find out Van Houten is drunk and surly. At the end of the trip, Augustus reveals to Hazel that his cancer has come back and is much worse than the previous time.

They return home and Hazel stays by Augustus’s side until his death. Van Houten then attends Augustus’s funeral and tries to apologize to Hazel. He tells her that his book, was based on his daughter who died of cancer.

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Hazel copes with Augustus’s death, comforting herself with the strength of her family. At the very end, she learns from Lidewij Vliegenthart, Van Houten’s assistant, that Augustus wrote her a eulogy and fisent it to Peter Van Houten. The book ends with her reading the eulogy, which states that Augustus hopes that Hazel is happy with the choices she made. Hazel confirms at that moment “yes” she is happy.

Conflict: Near the end of this book, Hazel and Augustus experience a life-altering event. Through this reflective period of time, Hazel struggles to cope with herself and the emotions from a failing heart.

Setting: The year is never explicitly mentioned. However, it mostly takes place somewhere between 2006 and 2012. There is nothing in the book that suggests it is in the past or in the future, so it is contemporary. For example, they mention video games for the blind, which is technology that exists now.

Characters: Hazel Grace Lancaster – The novel’s narrator and 16-year-old protagonist. Hazel was diagnosed at age thirteen with a terminal form of thyroid cancer that has since spread to her lungs. She keeps most people at a distance, knowing her death will ultimately hurt them, until she meets and falls in love with Augustus.

Augustus Waters – The sixteen-year-old with osteosarcoma who soon becomes Hazel’s boyfriend. Augustus is explained as a romantic, charming teenager. Unlike Hazel, who is cautious and doesn’t want to make a real move at the risk of hurting anyone, Augustus is determined to leave a mark on everything and everyone that he touches. He almost immediately falls in love with Hazel after meeting her at a Support Group.

Isaac – The mutual friend of Hazel and Augustus’s who facilitates their introduction at Support Group. Isaac is cynical by nature. Blinded by cancer and dumped by his girlfriend Monica, Isaac often embodies skepticism and rage. Later in the book, Isaac becomes completely blind.

Mrs. Lancaster – Mr. Lancaster is Hazel’s Mother. She is an emotionally strong and kind woman who has devoted her entire life to care for Hazel. During the novel, Hazel obsesses over the emotional devastation that her death will cause to her mother.

Mr. Lancaster – Hazel’s father. He is caring and prone to tears. In contrast with Hazel’s mother, he only understands Hazel’s cancer broadly and spends much of his time at work.

Peter Van Houten – The elusive author of An Imperial Affliction. Hazel and Augustus learn he is a rude drunk who pretentiously deflects emotion with walls of intellectualism and cruelty.

Augustus’s parents – The few glimpses that we get of Augustus’s parents in the novel are of a kind and understanding people. Near the end of the novel, it means a lot to Hazel when Augustus’s father whispers in her ear about how great it is that she has been involved in his son’s life.

Lidewij Vliegenthart – Peter Van Houten’s assistant. Initially responsible for relaying Hazel and Augustus’s communications to the author, Lidewij comes to act as a voice of reason for Van Houten.

Plot: The Fault In Our Stars is about a teenage girl who has been diagnosed with lung cancer and attends a cancer support group. At first, Hazel is reluctant to go to support group, but she soon realizes that it was one of the best decisions she has ever made. Hazel meets a young boy named Augustus Waters who is charming and witty. Augustus has struggled with osteosarcoma and has lost both his legs, but has recently been diagnosed as healthy. Hazel and Augustus embark on a roller coaster ride of emotions, as they search for the author of their favourite book, An Imperial Affliction. They travel to Amsterdam in search of Peter Van Houten (the author of the book). While on their trip, Augustus breaks some heartbreaking news to Hazel and both of their worlds fall apart.

Climax: life vs. death; man and woman vs. death; individual vs. love; man vs. self

Resolution: The resolution of The Fault In Our Stars happens after Augustus Waters dies. At his funeral Peter Van Houten shows up. He finds Hazel and tries to apologize for how rude he was to her and Augustus. Peter ends up telling Hazel what he would have wanted for the ending of the book. The resolution to Hazel and Augustus’s relationship does not end very well. Hazel could not keep herself away from Augustus and ultimately fell in love with him. After Augustus died, Hazel felt broken for a while. A few weeks later, Hazel was able to realize that having Augustus in her life was not a bad thing, but a blessing. She realized that he taught her so many things about life and how to better appreciate it.

Themes: Love, ignorance, irony, curiosity