Published on November 19th, 2016 | by William Thoral0
The Fault in Our Stars: or when some infinities are larger than others
“The fault in our stars” is a novel by John Green, published in 2012 in the United States and in France (under the title “Nos étoiles contraires”) in 2013. A film adaptation opened in the summer of 2014. The book tells the story of two teenagers affected by an illness, Hazel Grace Lancaster, 16, and Augustus Waters, 17. Hazel is gravely ill from a lung cancer. She has to walk everywhere with an oxygen tank to breathe and has renounced to any love life. Augustus meanwhile is in remission, keeping as a reminder of his illness a prosthetic leg. He is an enthusiastic and confident boy whose only fear is of falling into oblivion.
The meeting of the two young people while in a support group is the starting point of the story. Between the two teenagers, the attraction is immediate. They have the same uncompromising outlook on the disease and the same sense of humor. Charmed by the young man’s originality, Hazel will share with him his passion for “An imperial affliction”, his favorite novel. Thus will start for Augustus and Hazel the crazy plan to go to Amsterdam, in order to meet the author of the novel, Peter Van Houten. This book, which was featured for seven consecutive weeks at the top of the New York Times Best Seller list, owes its success to the mixture of feelings it brings to its readers. Because if the disease is present throughout the book, it retreats to the background of the moving story of love and friendship experienced by its two protagonists with tragic fates. We cry, we laugh, and we’re moved. We feel all these emotions throughout the pages, immersed in a story cleverly orchestrated by John Green.
Hazel, who sees herself as a grenade ready to explode, is going despite all her fears, to let Augustus into her life. With him, she will experience love, before discovering that some infinities are larger than others, when Augustus offers her the most beautiful of gifts; eternity, even though their days seem numbered. Ultimately when the last page of “The fault in our stars” is turned, one comes out with a sense of sadness, of course, but also and especially with a real desire to live at 200%, to enjoy every moment, and love. John Green’s goal is reached, and we will gladly meet the American author again in his other novels, among them “Who are you Alaska?”, “The hidden face of Margo” (also adapted to film) or “Will and Will.”
It is worth noting that John Green participated in the film adaptation of “The fault in our stars” (with even an appearance in the long version of the film). The movie is very faithful to the original work, to the delight of the novel’s fans. Well led by the duo Shailene Woodley (also seen in the “Divergent” saga) and Ansel Elgort, it received rave reviews from its audience. If it isn’t yet done, dear readers of France and of the United States, you should jump on this fabulous novel. It is published in France by Nathan Jeunesse, and Dutton Books in the United States and is available at your local bookstore as well as on Amazon or the Fnac.
This article was translated in English by Sandrine Sweeney.