Books to Read: “The Fault in Our Stars” – Katherine Blanner

Katherine Blanner writes the Books to Read column for The Tern.

Katherine Blanner writes the Books to Read column for The Tern.

Every high school girl has a chick flick that they are obsessed with. It has transitioned from The Notebook to the Twilight saga, to The Vow, and now has become, undoubtedly, The Fault in Our Stars. John Green’s novel was published in 2012, dispersed evenly among the nerdfighter population and those simply seeking “feel good” books. It has recently become a film, enjoyed primarily by those who possess estrogen. All of the reviews of such a book have been positive, however, most discount for the true moral of the entire novel.

Briefly recall Aesop’s fables. Does not every story end with a lesson? These gems of knowledge, a take-away, if you will, plague every book, film, narrative, or even piece of music known to mankind, be it intentional or unintentional. This, again, is the case for The Fault in Our Stars (TFIOS). Examine first the novel itself. It is a pleasant little love story of a terminal, cancer ridden girl and a super hot smart boy with one leg. They meet on page four and instantaneously fall in love. Flirting prevails, they obsess over a book, meet a certain author, and then the boy dies. Every girl reading it cries.

I must admit to not being “every girl.” I did not find TFIOS a compelling novel that challenged my philosophical outlook on life, therefore I did not weep from its tragedy. However what I did find was a portion of John Green’s outlook on life. He is searching, just as we all are, to find purpose, happiness, and therefore meaning. In his novel, the love struck teenagers, a bit melodramatic and Romeo and Julietted, are dually searching for meaning. The struggle of cancer is so real, immediate, demanding, and tragic that it does become, in a sense, their religion. This is the meaning of their life, to get over cancer. Searching for more, Hazel and Augustus turn to a book, as many of us have in times of tragedies. However, theirs is not the inspired word of God, but rather a book that relates to them particularly well, “An Imperial Affliction.” This book becomes their bible.

Here is the end of their search for religion, in which they both are unfulfilled. It must be understood that this is reflective of John Green. However, Green rarely reveals his ideals of religion or theism, so it cannot be confirmed. Nevertheless, it can be assumed, from The Fault in Our Stars and his past works, that he is desiring of religion and coming up empty.

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