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Friday, March 14, 2014

The Fault in Our Stars


I just finished my first five star book of 2014. It has been a long time since a book touched me so deeply and I have found that most people who have read it feel the same way! The Fault in Our Stars is a book about teenagers with cancer. Pretty depressing, right? But you would be wrong. Sure it is a sad story but these young people transcend their circumstances.  Hazel is a 17 year old who has struggled with thyroid cancer since she was 13. Now it has metastasized to her lungs. She is terminal but being kept alive with a maintenance drug. ( The drug used for Hazel does not exist...just there for the story.) She attends a cancer support group for teens where she meets Augustus Waters. Gus is one of the "lucky" ones who has osteosarcoma. Amputating his leg has left him NEC(no evidence of cancer). These two feel a spark from their first meeting and their love story is one that will touch your heart. This love story could easily go down the Sappy Road but Mr Green writes it with true grit.

As a former nurse, this book spoke to me on another level as well. The medical community in its zeal to conquer terminal illnesses seldom allows the patient to have a voice.  Death is seen as failure and in the medical business this is not widely discussed or dealt with realistically.  The voices of Hazel, Gus and their friend, Isaac, come through loud and clear in this book. One passage that sticks with me is when Hazel is admitted to the hospital in severe pain. The nurse asks the question, "On a scale of 1 to 10 what is your pain level?" Hazel answers nine. The nurse relates to Hazel, " I knew you were a fighter when you said nine and you were feeling ten." Hazel tells the nurse that she was not a fighter, she was just "saving" her ten.

My favorite quote from the book, Life is not a wish granting factory.  Oh how often we all fall into the trap of thinking that it is!

The book is being made into a movie starring Ansel Elgort and Shailene Woodley. In fact the movie is completed but there is no release date as yet. I for one will be waiting in line at the box office  for the first showing of The Fault in Our Stars.

4 comments:

Terri D. said...

I am a thyroid cancer survivor, so this piqued my interest immediately! I'm always happy for a good book referral! Thanks.

Arlene Grimm said...

I think you will find it to be a realistic view of the lives of cancer patients Terri. So glad you are a survivor Terri!!

Gina said...

Oh a movie! And a book! Sounds promising. :-)

Arlene Grimm said...

I hope the movie is as good as the book Gina...you know how that goes!! From the stills from the movie, it looks as though they follow the storyline.