“You have a choice in this world, I believe, about how to tell sad stories, and we made the funny choice.” This quote from The Fault in Our Stars pretty much sums up the book itself. The story tells of Hazel, isolated from normal teen activity due to the debilitating effects of cancer on her lungs, she meets the handsome and charming fellow cancer survivor Augustus at a support group. Their ensuing short friendship and romance is sweet, hilarious, and heartbreaking all at once. A central part of the plot is Hazel’s favorite novel that ends abruptly and Augustus’ plot to use his “Wish” to take her to Amsterdam to meet the reclusive author and find out what happens next to the characters in the book. This is a bit of a Macguffin though as the true story is what we read on the page in this truly remarkable work of fiction. This is another example of how some of the best fiction out there today is in the Young Adult section.
“And yet still I worried. I liked being a person. I wanted to keep at it. Worry is yet another side effect of dying.”
“The weird thing about houses is that they almost always look like nothing is happening inside of them, even though they contain most of our lives. I wondered if that was sort of the point of architecture.”
“If you don’t live a life in service of a greater good, you’ve gotta at least die a death in service of a greater good, you know? And I fear that I won’t get either a life or a death that means anything.”
“But to be perfectly frank, this childish idea that the author of a novel has some special insight into the characters in the novel…it’s ridiculous. That novel was composed of scratches on a page, dear. The characters inhabiting it have no life outside of those scratches. What happened to them? They all ceased to exist the moment the novel ended.”
“It occurred to me that the voracious ambition of humans is never sated by dreams coming true, because there is always the thought that everything might be done better and again. That is probably true even if you live to be ninety—although I’m jealous of the people who get to find out for sure.”