Monday, June 9, 2014

A Little Infinity

The Fault in Our Stars is the memorable and moving story about a group of teens in a cancer discussion group and their valiant goal to leave a mark in this earth. Hazel's father tells her "I believe the universe wants to be noticed. I believe the universe is improbably biased towards consciousness, that it rewards intelligence in part because the universe enjoys its elegance being observed." Simply put, this is a book about the meaning and purpose of life, it is about the impact of our existence, our footprint in time. When Dick Clark of American Bandstand spoke about death, he said he wanted to live as long as he was relevant. This book is about the teens staring death in the face, knowing of it's impending arrival and the question of what was it all for. Both Hazel and Augustus suffer with some form of cancer, they have been robbed a joyous childhood, fun and games replaced by painful treatments and operations. Their lives revolve around the hard work of staying alive and the constant cheerleading from heart broken parents. They are bright and cynical, and understand each other. They fall in love and I don't want to say more, but the depth of their passion, the deep communion of their hearts made the characters come alive. This was a great book. I was not fond of the beginning,but Augustus tenacity won me over and the reader will fall in love with Gus's loyalty and companionship as deeply as Hazel. The ageless yearning of the characters made me forget that they were teens.

Hazel wishes for "a little infinity", the time to savor her budding love with Augustus, knowing instinctively it will end too soon. The dehumanizing treatments strip the patients of their humanity, healthy people distancing from them, remembering only the person who existed before the treatments changed them. Together, Hazel and Augustus carve out a pocket of time to discover the sweet perfection of loving a person so much life seems meaningless with out them. Augustus complained, " I always thought my obituary would be in all the newspapers, that I'd have a story worth telling. I always had this suspicion that I was special." The Fault in Our Stars give a face to the victims of cancer. The story so insightful, the characters moving, yet without pity. This book reminds us that we are all here for a reason, no matter how much time we have, or what we accomplish, rich or poor, successful or not, that a rut in the road of life has been created with a lasting impression that will be there forever.

Happy Reading!
Carole P. Roman

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