By Shivalika Sharma
A box in a box, that little surprise factor which layers add, that’s what makes a gift way more exciting, isn’t it? As a reader, I experienced this in the wonderful gift from John Greens in the form of the book, “The Fault in our Stars”. Disclaimer – Don’t judge the book by its title!
The Fault in Our Stars: A Rare Unicorn that Became a Bestseller and Garnered Critical Acclaim
The Fault in Our Stars is the sixth offspring of John Green, born in January 2012. It turned five years old this year. I would have to say this was a prodigy child, 10 million plus copies were sold within two years. The book garnered great critical acclaim, and was soon adapted into a movie, which was released on the 6th of June 2014, by 20th Century Fox. Before you watch the movie though, please read through the book as the magic of author, reader and imagination cannot be matched. The title of this book is inspired from the Shakespeare’s seminal play, Julius Caesar.
Act 1, Scene 2 in which Cassius says to Brutus: “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, But in ourselves, that we are underlings.”
Written in the first person, narrated by the protagonist of the story Hazel, a 16-year-old girl, an avid reader, suffers from a terminal disease like cancer. She has understood life so closely, that proximity with death liberates her. Green has delicately woven the characters and their journey. The book has all the portions of thrill, laughter, love, tragedy, and humour!
This excerpt from the book stands out to me in particular–
“You have a choice in this world, I believe, about how to tell sad stories, and we made a funny choice.”
Life can throw unexpected gifts your way, You just have to be open to receiving them
I was overwhelmed after reading this book, but then as a reviewer, I have limitations to not spill the beans. This is the journey of Hazel, for whom life has huddled between the walls of her house and the hospital. At a tender age, her lungs are challenged to perform the phenomenon that we all take for granting, inhaling and exhaling. She can see the end of her life, and she has no clue of the action that awaits her.
Life takes a turn when she meets Augustus Waters, with his crooked smile, at a very unexpected place. Hazel’s wish now re-writes the story of her life. Not all love stories have a happy ending, but these stories are still beautiful!
Lessons I have Learnt from The Fault in Our Stars
I am a traveler at heart, and love to collect memories from all the journeys I have taken. Whether it’s moments shared with my loved ones or sea shells from beaches. Hazel has taught me to live as freely as you would on the last day of your life. Stop bugging yourself with questions such as what substantial change have you made in this world and how will you be remembered. This is futile effort. Just do what you enjoy the most.
Augustus taught me that love is a blessing. You shouldn’t cage it and turn it into a regret. Expressing love should not be subject to adversity or tough times. Tell your loved ones how special they are when they are still around and alive. This book has touched my heart, and has changed me in inexplicable ways.
Who should read this book?
I would recommend this piece of art to all the lovers of literature. If you aren’t fond of reading, you can pick up this book as your maiden novel. You will certainly find more of you.
To all the readers of Indspire Me, once you read this book share your experience and reviews with us in the comment section!
About the Author
Shivalika Sharma is an MBA graduate. In her precious time saved from clocking routine of 9 to 5, she likes to read books in the genres of philosophy, autobiography and fiction, write poetry, dance (i.e. a stress buster) and have long conversations with her little brother contemplating life. According to her, time well spent with family and friends is the most valuable. She is passionate about the causes of educating children and conserving the environment. She is an active volunteer with SPIC-MACAY an organisation promoting Indian culture and art-forms.