I love that the title of the book comes from a Shakespearean quote. John Green’s straightforward humor makes me chuckle and shudder a little bit at the same time. I believe that staying strong and optimistic is for the best. That’s why a little part of me collapsed when the cheerful and vigorous Augustus, lost all control and dignity, cursed his life helplessly and desperately in the parking lot.
This is not just a love story. It challenges the concept of being alive as well as the society’s glorfication of fighting a battle with cancer. My heart felt like a suddenly deflated balloon when Hazel said to Augustus, “Even cancer isn’t a bad guy really: Cancer just wants to be alive.” So whose fault is it? It’s got to be somebody’s, right? Peter Van Houten, the harsh man who mostly only said horrifying and disturbing things, wasright when he said, “…Never was Shakespeare more wrong than when he had Cassius note, ‘The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars/But in ourselves.’” Sometimes there is no bad guy but fate. This realization makes you feel utterly powerless, but eventually it makes you strong because you realize that there’s really no other choice. We are all dealt a random hand of cards. The only option is to play the best game.
“You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world…but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices.”
I pictured Augustus, half-conscious and having the last bit of life squeezed out of him, scribbling down his final thoughts in his eulogy for Hazel. Although heart-wrenching, it’s comforting to know that he was content with the final chapter of his life. He was right. No one can walk the earth without getting hurt. Sometimes it’s worth it because it makes you feel alive. I guess that’s what we should aim for—to make decisions so we can eventually say, “I like my choices.” Continue reading