A seventeen year old girl called Hazel Grace Lancaster meets a boy of the same age, Augustus Waters, at her cancer patients' support group. She has lung cancer and he had one of his legs amputated due to his illness.
They give each other their favourite books to try out which triggers both of their interest in 'An Imperial Affliction' - the book Hazel gives Gus. It has an unfinished ending which torments them both and consequently, Augustus decides to spend his wish from the genies on a trip to Amsterdam. (All children who have cancer get one wish from the charity). Whilst in Amsterdam, they hope that the author, Peter Van Houten will answer their questions.
However, when they arrive, they realise he is an alcoholic who can't be bothered with their questions. They don't let this fact spoil their trip and fall deeper in love which is only tainted at the start by Hazel's reluctance as she doesn't want to hurt Augustus when she dies.
At this point, there is a plot twist which reveals that Augustus had a scan before the trip showing the cancer has returned to his body and spread all over. After they return to America from their trip, his condition worsens until he organises a pre-funeral for himself, in which Isaac (Augustus' friend who also goes to the
support group) and Hazel say a few words.
Eight days later, Augustus dies. Peter Van Houten turns up unexpectedly at his funeral and tries to explain to Hazel what happens at the end of 'An Imperial Affliction' but Hazel doesn't want to know and turns him away. It is later revealed that Van Houten and Augustus were corresponding with each other so that Peter could write a eulogy for Hazel. The book ends when Hazel reads one of the messages Gus wrote to Van Houten. "I like my choices, I hope she likes hers." Hazel speaks aloud to Gus, "I do, Augustus. I do."
I would recommend this book to an age range of 12-18 but anyone could enjoy reading it.
Whatever you like, The Fault in our Stars definitely has a bit of your genre:
- Tragedy - Augustus dies and leaves Hazel heartbroken, "Augustus Waters died eight days after his pre-funeral."
- Comedy - Jokes are interspersed throughout, cleverly balancing out the tough main topic
- Romance - Hazel and Augustus fall in love, "I fell in love [with him] the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once."
Overall, I think this is one of the best books I've ever read and I hope you enjoy it just as much as I did.