I bought John Green’s book while browsing through the bookstore, not really sure what kind of story I was looking for. The title caught my eye and when I read the description, I knew I’d immediately love it.
Being a volunteer at the Canadian Cancer Society I wanted to read this book to give me a better perspective and some knowledge into things I wasn’t aware of. What it taught me was beyond what I even imagined. I was brought into this new world where I was seeing things I did not see before. Everything that I used to know was no more. This book was a whole different side and I was completely lost in time reading it. I want to describe to you everything I felt, everything I learned and hope you see even a tiny fraction of what this story means.
Everyone is fighting a battle. This is something I already knew but the book defiantly brought more light into it. It’s interesting when you get to know someone and slowly their story starts to fill the pages of your life. You start to learn the struggles people are going through and it doesn’t seem fair. We are all flawed, we have all lost, and none of us are perfect. I love learning people’s stories because it’s what I fall in love with. The job you have been working for twenty years, the school you go to, and the car you drive – it tells me nothing. How did you get here? Where do you want to go? What scars do you hide? What have you seen through those eyes? ….Where does your story go?
The book defiantly promoted the fact that that it’s okay to break down and cry. Sometimes we live in this “bubble” where even when things aren’t okay, we pretend that everything is fine. Mainly I think we do it because we want to A not break down our walls and B protect the people around us. This story makes you realize that your friends and family are put on this earth to help you. That it’s okay to speak your fears and let others help you. You need friends. Friends do help you get through tough circumstances. Maybe you think you can get through a certain situation alone. I believe that you can, but just because you can doesn’t mean you should. If you have good people in your life, appreciate them. Let them be there. And be there for them.
One of the best lessons I learned from reading this book is you are not defined by your illness. In one part of the book Augustus asks Hazel, “So what’s your story?” and she begins to tell her cancer story. “No, not your cancer story. Your story”, he says. It made me remember that yes my illness is a piece of who I am, but it is not entirely who I am. It does not define me. Augustus also says something that I really love, “Grief does not change you, Hazel. It reveals you”. There is a whole other person behind a disease. If you allow someone to open up to you, they will show you.
The HARDEST lesson I learned is you have to let go of the things not meant for you. If I had a dollar for every time I said, “It’s not fair”, I’d be a millionaire. Life isn’t fair sometimes and no matter how much you plan your life, the universe doesn’t have your agenda. But there is always hope.
The lesson I loved the most and I wish I could tell each and every one of you every day – You matter. The best kind of love is to be a good person and a good friend. And in the end, that’s what will make the difference. Each one of us is important and whether you make an impact on one person or one million, at the end of the day it still makes a difference. You are important, and I hope you never forget that.
Overall, this story taught me that we are not immortal, at any age, with any kind of diet, and with any religion. It is so important to appreciate the small moments and not let what we can’t control hold us down. It taught me to not be afraid of struggle because it’s an inevitable part of life. You will never know what the world has coming for you. But be strong. You have more in you than you believe. There is a fire in there, burning. Maybe you can’t see it, but I think it’s something.
The Fault in Our Stars is a highly recommended read and if you’re not into reading books that make you feel sad, you will be surprised. I am not sure I have ever laughed and smiled through any other book more than this one.
“What is the point of being alive if you don’t at least try to do something remarkable?” – John Green