I’m not entirely sure what I have to say about The Fault in Our Stars that hasn’t been said before. But I may as well give it a try.
The novel tells the story of Hazel Grace Lancaster, a sixteen year old suffering from thyroid and lung cancer. At a support group for other young people with cancer, she meets Augustus Water, a cancer survivor, and the novel primarily follows their relationship.
It is both a novel about cancer and not a novel about cancer. I think the narrator Hazel’s description of her favourite novel, An Imperial Affliction, is apt here: it deals with cancer, but ‘it’s not a cancer book’. The Fault in Our Stars is not about the main characters being strong in the face of adversity, although of course at times they are both. What I like about the novel is that it’s more about the people than the illnesses they have. It is, to me, not about dying from illness but about living with it, about what’s left in life when its longevity is threatened.