|The Fault in Our Stars|
Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten.
|This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).|
Sixteen year-old Hazel Grace Lancaster is forced by her parents to attend a support group for children living with cancer. Hazel was diagnosed with Stage 4 Thyroid cancer with metastasis forming in her lungs when she was 13, but has managed to live with her disease thanks to doses of an experimental drug called Phalanxifor. Hazel finished high school early, and has already begun to pursue a college education. Isaac, a friend, also attends the support group. Isaac lost his eye to cancer at a young age and has just learned that he must have the other removed, which will result in permanent loss of vision. Isaac is close friends with Augustus "Gus" Waters, a former basketball player who lost his right leg to osteosarcoma, and is in remission. Hazel meets Augustus through Isaac at the support group. After support group ends, Augustus and Hazel talk for some time, during which Augustus recommends a movie. Hazel says that she will check it out. Augustus wants her to come with him and watch it now at his house. After some banter, she agrees and tells her mom, who had been waiting for Hazel to make friends, that she will be going to Augustus' house. After meeting Augustus' parents, they take a tour of the basement, where they discuss Hazel's interests. Augustus decides to read 'An Imperial Affliction', Hazel's favorite book (as long as Hazel reads the novelization of his favorite video game) and he becomes almost as obsessed with it as she is. In addition to countless text messages and phone calls between the two, Hazel and Augustus begin to spend more time together. As their relationship deepens, Hazel begins to feel herself pulling away from Augustus. Augustus had saved his wish from "The Genies" (a fictionalized version of the Make a Wish Foundation), and wants to use it to fly himself and Hazel to Amsterdam, Netherlands to meet Peter van Houten, the reclusive alcoholic author of 'An Imperial Affliction'. While she is overjoyed by the proposal, Hazel decides that she does not want to pursue a relationship with Augustus, so that she can minimize the pain her eventual death will cause him, as Augustus lost his former girlfriend, Caroline Mathers, to cancer.
Hazel realizes that she sees herself as a grenade, and her tearful admission of this scares her parents, although they do their best to comfort her. After waking up in agony due to pain in her head, Hazel is admitted to the hospital with serious pneumonia. During her week of convalescence, Augustus visits several times, without her knowledge, and informs her that he cares about her more than he worries about the pain she could cause him. After her release, she realizes she's in love with him, and after some consultation with her doctors, she is cleared to fly to Amsterdam with Augustus and her mother to meet van Houten.
On their first night in Amsterdam, they are treated to an elaborate meal, courtesy of van Houten. Their meeting with the author goes less smoothly, as it emerges that Lidewij, his assistant, set it up without his full knowledge in the hopes that it would inspire him to give up alcohol and write again. Van Houten is very disrespectful and nasty to the teens, and is unable to answer their questions. Totally appalled, by their reception, Hazel and Augustus leave van Houten's house, accompanied by a disgusted Lidewij. She takes them to the Anne Frank house, where they kiss to thunderous applause. They carry this on later that night by making love in Augustus' hotel room.
Afterwards, Augustus reveals that his cancer has returned and has metastasized to several other parts of his body. Devastated, Hazel becomes heartbroken, but Augustus promises to fight for her. Even though he starts an aggressive treatment regimen when they return home, he is not expected to survive long. The romance continues through pain, struggle, and incredibly odd circumstances. Shortly before he dies, he asks Hazel and Isaac to conduct a pre-funeral for him, so that he can hear how they will memorialize him; Isaac takes the opportunity to roast him. Eight days later, Augustus dies. Soon there is a funeral where Hazel meets van Houten, who traveled to America to be there. He reveals that he had a daughter who died of cancer several years ago. She provided the inspiration for Anna, the main character of 'An Imperial Affliction' which was why van Houten was so affected seeing Hazel in Amsterdam, she reminded him of the years his daughter should have had. Hazel encourages him to get sober and write another book.
As Hazel comes to terms with Augustus' death, she spends time with Isaac and is told that Augustus left something at his departure. Hazel searches and eventually finds a letter that Augustus wrote for van Houten, supposedly about the sequel to 'An Imperial Affliction', but actually a eulogy for Hazel.
The novel ends with Hazel answering Augustus' letter by saying that she did in fact enjoy the infinity that he gave her within numbered days as much as he said he enjoyed his with her.