August 23, 2013

Peta Petidis

It isn’t a very common occurrence, when one finds that particular novel which opens their mind to new emotions and information in a non-congestive fashion. There comes a time in every being’s literacy filled life when we realise how beautifully breathtaking a novel is, not just for its strong exterior of a story line but more so for its depth and perception of the human mind and emotions. John Green is a mind developer, he allows you to see the complexity of the human mind through a protagonist as if it were your own. He dives into sorrow but allows you to see the positivity of the situation. To me this man is a mind reader for he can structure every word in a sentence and link it back to your own interpretations on life. As he shows bursts of deep-thinking questions and answers throughout many of his novels, ‘The Fault in Our Stars,’ is unlike any other.

With constant reference to a novel of his own imagining, “An Imperial Affliction”, Green thrusts the reader into a narrative and philosophical tale of disease, devotion and devastation when terminal lung cancer shock survivor, Hazel Grace Lancaster, meets the charming and recovering osteosarcoma patient, Augustus Waters, at a sombre Cancer Kid Support Group. The superficial girl meets boy scenario of every romance is turned on its head when Green engulfs the reader in a surprising turn of events.

When Augustus gives his saved “cancer perk” genie wish to Hazel, the two venture off to Amsterdam in search of answers from Hazel’s favourite writer, Peter Van Houton, fictional author of ‘An Imperial Affliction.’ It is then when the romance blossoms and the tale changes direction. Being a person who has not been affected by the strife and hardships of cancer, I felt as though I was literally surrounded by these characters and their personal growths and struggles throughout the entire story. The ups and downs of this doomed love story will widen your outlook on love itself and anguish. No matter how short it seems to last it is the strength of love which binds a relationship, as Green expresses through Augustus and Hazel. I must keep reminding myself that these phenomenal central characters are fiction based – surprisingly they are uninhabited, not real, poof, specs of nothing undiscovered within the human spectrum, and this makes me sad. In fact it appears evident within dialogue between the two leads as their conversations are very unlike any real exchange of words between a 17 and 16 year old. That maturity, intelligence and scale of attractiveness is just totally cray and unfair, there are no flaws-besides the cancer of course and maybe the exception of a prosthetic leg.

Each page revels with the other, combatting against previous statements of realisation and splendours of plot development. On the outside it may seem a simple enough storyline but it is the character growth which throws you. The detail in characteristics and habits of the two protagonists comforts the reader, however sparks grief and dishevelled  emotions as you will most likely find yourself crying for a solid three hours without knowing whether you are shedding tears of joy or sadness.

A book of question and personal adaption is what I see in ‘The Fault in Our Stars,’ after reading this book I have grown as a person when breaching judgement or my own first world problems. This is a bible of reflection towards yourself and an image of what love may stand for. I strongly suggest you read this spectacular fusion of humour and tragedy or suffer the emptiness without this book!

– Peta Petidis

– Photo Amy Steele

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