Editor’s note: Maria is continuing her bullying series with a book that doesn’t quite fit the mold.
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
This isn’t really a bully book, unless you call cancer a bully, but I loved this book so much I had to share it. Hazel Grace, 17 years old, has cancer. At the moment, she is stable thanks to a new trial drug that has kept the tumors in her lungs from growing, but Hazel knows it’s only a matter of time. She knows she is going to die from this.
Hazel joins a teen cancer support group at her mother’s insistence, and there she meets Gus, who lost a leg due to cancer but is still, as Hazel puts it, “hot.” She also meets Isaac, who has a rare kind of eye cancer. The trio becomes very close.
You’d think this book is really sad and something you wouldn’t want to read, and yes, it is a tear jerker. You WILL cry at the end. But this is also one of the most life-affirming books I have ever read, as Gus states “Even cancer isn’t a bad guy really: Cancer just wants to be alive.” The way these teens deal with their disease and death is graceful and stoic. I’ll finish with this quote:
“Nostalgia is a side effect of cancer,” I told him. “Nah, nostalgia is a side effect of dying,” he answered. Above us the wind blew and the branching shadows rearranged themselves on our skin. Gus squeezed my hand. “It is a good life, Hazel Grace.”
And it is a good life, if we let it. This novel is beautifully written and poignant. I think it is a must read.