In John Green’s romantic novel, The Fault in Our Stars, Hazel Grace Lancaster, a stage IV thyroid cancer patient, falls in love with supposedly “cancer-ridden” Augustus Waters. While the love tale is thoughtful and intriguing, I found myself predicting the ending of the novel on page 23 of 313, finding that the predictability of the plot was an immensely upsetting aspect of the novel and a disappointment that largely differentiates this novel from John Green’s others. However, Green’s superior writing style still scored high with me, resulting in my rating of a 6 out of 10, the loss of four points being a direct result of the predictability of this novel. While confronting others who have read this novel as well, they would often present to me the argument of predictability versus foreshadow, and the very fine line between them.
My rebuttal usually stays along these lines: Augustus Waters, the stereotypical “hot boy”, as Hazel Grace describes him, comes to his friend Isaac’s support group (the one that Hazel just so happens to attend), claims to be free of cancer (and it very much appears that way), but admission into the group is only granted to those with traces of evident cancer. That is my first argument, which is much weaker than its successor. My next argument comes on age 23, when Augustus and Hazel are discussing the invention of cars that make driving for people with prosthetic legs easier (as Augustus has a prosthetic), he finds hope, sighing, “Maybe someday”, which prompts Hazel to say to the reader that he “sighed in a way that made me wonder whether he was confident about the existence of someday.” This text would have been completely irrelevant had it not been for the ending of the novel (spoiler alert) of Gus dying of cancer. However, what the novel lacks in stability of plot twists is made up for in the irony of the ending, that being how Hazel Grace, the character that seemed to be dying and was doomed from the start, outlives Augustus, who was apparently cancer-free the whole novel.
While extremely critical of the novel, I did find pleasure in its outcome, as it was effective and did very well in demonstrating Augustus’ and Hazel’s love for one another. Prior to his death, Augustus had written an emotionally raw and tear-jerking letter to Hazel explaining how much he had loved her, telling her that had he not “left”, he could not have stopped loving her. He gave the letter to his friend Isaac, requesting that he let Hazel find it once he passes. She does, prompting her to write a letter back to him, explaining that she loves him back and that he has changed her. This ending was effective, as it properly conveyed their love for one another and successfully cleared up any loose ends.